Virtual Research in Quito
Virtual International Research is a four-credit research opportunity. Gain valuable experience participating in research with an international organization. Virtual research combined with the research course gives you an opportunity to learn and develop useful skills.
The Virtual Research in Quito program is a four-credit research opportunity. Virtual Research combined with the research course give you an opportunity to learn and develop valuable skills.
You’ll work on projects from the US for an international organization while adding a global perspective to your professional work and academic experience. You’ll apply your in-class knowledge to real-world meaningful work, gain experience working remotely, expand your skill base, earn four credits from coursework, and maximize your time.
While we’ll try to place you in your preferred location, keep in mind that our top consideration is making an appropriate match to your skills, experience, and goals.
At the conclusion of this course, students will be able to:
- Communicate and navigate effectively in a global, virtual environment
- Gain culture specific knowledge of placement country
- Understand your own values, skills, and behaviors and how different values and communication styles may impact workplace dynamics; develop strategies for adapting to these differences
- Conduct your work during the placement utilizing best practices around professional behavior within a virtual work environment
- Understand and practice tolerance of different cultural assumptions
- Demonstrate basic knowledge of the research process, including concepts of ethical research
- Develop skills associated with research such as problem-solving, decision-making, communication, and analytical reasoning
One 4-credit virtual research course as well as 12–20 hours per week at your placement.
June 1: Virtual research course begins
June 7: Virtual research placement begins
July 30: Virtual research course and placement ends
The class will meet synchronously five times throughout the summer. Our expectation is that you are able to make it to all synchronous sessions, and do not have any conflicting classes or other commitments. This class will meet at the following times:
- Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:30–10:30 a.m.: June 2, June 7 and 9, July 26 and 28
September 7: Virtual research course begins
September 13: Virtual research placement begins
December 10: Virtual research course and placement ends
The class will meet synchronously ten times throughout the semester. Our expectation is that you are able to make it to all synchronous sessions, and do not have another course that has conflicting class times. This class will meet at the following times:
- Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30–9:30 a.m.: September 7 and 9, September 14 and 16, October 12 and 14, November 30 and December 1, December 7 and 9
The 4-credit virtual research course course will be taught and facilitated using lectures, small-group discussions, readings, posting to prompts, as well as research outputs such as a research question, lit review, methodology, data analysis, etc. The course will help you develop as a researcher, and gain and develop valuable skills.
A draft syllabus is forthcoming.
Research placements are conducted entirely in Spanish and require 4 semesters of college-level Spanish (SPAN 1004), or equivalent proficiency.
Research is available in the following areas:
- Business & Economic Development
- Environment & Sustainability
- Human Rights
Sample Research Projects
- Investigate the environmental and economic impact of native seed recollection and exchanges among native populations, and orchard management (sowing, harvesting, propagation of species, post-harvest and marketing of products), and raising of smaller animals (guinea pigs, chickens, alpacas).
Business & Economic Development
Identify the social and economic impact of the economic crisis on communities compared to their income.
Environment & Sustainability
- Research the effect of climatological factors on reforestation, germination, and sustainability of livestock.
- Identify challenges in the Amazon to sustainably maintain the biodiversity.
- Investigate the impacts of pesticides on child and adolescent development.
- Research the knowledge, attitudes and practices in women's reproductive health and sexuality among adolescents.
- Research the impact of COVID-19 on mortality in the city of Quito and Pedro Moncayo counties.
- Analyze data of users of an organization's violence prevention and care services, considering age, economic status, education, marital situation, etc.
- Investigate the COVID19 impacts on migrant groups in Ecuador.
- Analyze the impact of recreational workshops for young people on prevention of domestic violence.
- Analyze historical Latin-American literary production by gender, ethnic background, age, geographical location, etc.
- Research psychological impacts of COVID-19 on marginalized populations in Quito.
Submit the online application and complete the assigned application checklist according to the appropriate deadline:
|Term||Program Dates||Application Open Date||Application Deadline|
|Spring Semester||Late January–early May||October 1||November 15|
|Summer Session||Early June–late July||February 15||April 1|
|Fall Semester||Early September–mid December||April 15||June 1|
The tuition rate for this 4-credit course is the same as other undergraduate UMTC courses and will be billed to your UofM student account. In addition to tuition, you will also be billed a $600 placement fee. If you are already taking 13 credits during fall or spring semester, you can add the virtual international research course at no additional tuition costs, but will be billed the additional cost of the $600 placement fee. Visit Onestop for additional information about tuition costs.
A program fee of $2,050 will be billed to your UofM student account. This amount is equivalent to a 4-credit course on the UMTC campus.
The regular Learning Abroad Center cancellation and refund policy does not apply to this course. If you decide to cancel your participation in the course after confirming your participation, the Learning Abroad Center will bill your University of Minnesota student account for non-recoverable costs incurred to secure an internship placement on your behalf. In addition to any tuition refund processed per Onestop policies, if you cancel before the course start date, you will be billed $400. If you cancel after the course start date, you will be billed $600.
After completing the above application, which includes submitting a cover letter and resume, your application will be reviewed.
After the above application is complete, your application is reviewed by our program team. You will be notified of an acceptance decision by email. After the initial application submission, you may need to submit additional application materials with our onsite partners. This could include a letter of recommendation, transcript, and/or a cover letter and resume in the language of your host city/country. You may also be asked to conduct interviews with potential placements.
Notification of placements in Quito will be made two to four weeks after the application deadline.
If accepted, you will be assigned a confirmation checklist, which you will complete to confirm your participation in the program. If you decide not to continue with the application process, log into the online application system and submit a Cancel Request.
Register for On-Campus Course
Once you are confirmed in the program, the Learning Abroad Center will register you in the 4-credit Virtual Research course. No other action is needed from you to register for the course. You will not be able to withdraw from this course on your own, you will need to contact the Learning Abroad Center.
We encourage you to reach out early in the process if you have questions about available placements, so that our advisers can help guide you to the location that works best for your skills, experience, and goals.
For further information or questions about this program, send an email to