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Prometeo Project, fostering research in Ecuador



“I’m proud of being a Prometeo and contributing with my research to my country”, Prometeo Ana Ruano, National Research Institute of Public Health.

The goal of this program is to strengthen strategic sectors of the country with the development of the capacities for research and teaching of both public entities and higher education institutions through the incorporation of Ecuadorian and foreign experts who live abroad, with long and renowned experience. The Prometeos come to Ecuador for periods from two to twelve months (not necessarily in consecutive terms) during which they will develop a project with an Ecuadorian host institution such as: universities, polytechnic schools, ministries, public research institutes, among others. These projects are focused on six priority fields: life sciences, natural resources, education, production + innovation, and art & culture.

What are the requirements to become a Prometeo? The applicants must hold a Ph.D. degree and reside abroad at the time of the application (or in Ecuador for no more than three months). They can apply online at where they will be required to submit their information. After a thorough evaluation of their profile, the pre-selected applicants are matched with a host institution to develop a project proposal. These proposals are evaluated by an Academic Committee and must reflect a clear contribution to the country’s development.

But what are the benefits of becoming a Prometeo? Besides a monthly maintenance fee from USD$ 2,000 to 6,000, the program covers airfare, initial accommodation, housing, insurance, and a fund for scientific visits and supplies. On the other hand, it constitutes a unique opportunity to explore the natural and cultural diversity of one of the 17 most biodiverse countries in the world. Ecuador contains about one-sixth of all plant life on earth in less than 1% of its surface, 15 indigenous nationalities and a growing network of universities and research institutes.

So far, 830 experts from 48 nationalities have being selected to become part of the Project. It has enabled the training of over 90,000 Ecuadorians in different fields of study. The Prometeos have organized over 1,000 academic events, have worked in the design of 378 post-graduate programs, and have contributed with 105 Ecuadorian institutions.

Beyond the numbers, Prometeo is the opportunity for Ecuadorian experts to return to their homeland. Such is the case of Ana Ruano – Ph.D. in tropical diseases – who is currently working at the National Research Institute of Public Health, where she directs the National Program for Unattended Parasitosis.  “The study of parasite-related diseases is my passion, and I want to transmit it to young researchers”, comments the expert, “I’m proud of being a Prometeo”.

“The Prometeo Project is open to every expert who is interested in contributing to Ecuador’s progress”, invites Susana Toro, the Project’s Manager, “we need experts that are not only qualified but have the biggest commitment and curiosity to accept this challenge”. The call for Prometeos will be open until 2017.

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