Ecuador’s government understands that capable research universities can help in solving the country’s pressing socio-economic problems. However, research capabilities and research productivity in its national universities have historically been low, as professors primarily teach and often do not have the inclination, the ability, or the time to do research. Through several initiatives, which have been both praised and scorned, the government is attempting to instigate a new research culture among its institutions of higher education. This article describes these initiatives and focuses on the “Prometeo–Viejos Sabios” grant program from the perspective of a recent participant. The program was created to attract international scholars to assist Ecuador’s universities in their research and development efforts.
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