Beca Humboldt 2020

II Humboldt Scholarship Contest

In order to promote scientific research, stimulate intellectual development, and boost the ingenuity and creativity of young Ecuadorians interested in studying science and humanities, USFQ presents this contest to obtain the Humboldt Scholarship.

Why the Humboldt Scholarship?

In its mission on learning within the philosophy of Liberal Arts, USFQ recognizes the legacy of Alexander von Humboldt, the most renowned polymath and scientist of the 19th century, who is considered the father of biogeography, geo-science, and other disciplines, and whose global vision of nature, curiosity, and interdisciplinary perspective led him to explore the Americas, on a journey of about five years in different parts of our continent. Humboldt was a scientist but he also represents the spirit of the Liberal Arts; he achieved a scientific construction based on a network of interdisciplinary connections, and his expedition inspired other scientists who followed in his footsteps throughout the Americas and specifically through Ecuador.

In commemoration of this great scientist and humanist who visited our country in the 19th century, USFQ offers the Humboldt Scholarship program. The program consists of two full scholarships and two half scholarships for students who are completing their last year of high school or students who have graduated in the preceding year and who wish to enter any of the programs (except Human Medicine and Music) and who choose a sub-specialization from the College of Social Sciences and Humanities. Humboldt Scholarships will be awarded through a national contest and priority will be given to students seeking interdisciplinary training, inspired by the legacy of Alexander Von Humboldt. The objective of these scholarships is to motivate students with critical skills and intellectual curiosity to study within the framework of the Liberal Arts.

Who can apply?

High school seniors or graduates of the preceding year who meet the following requirements:

  • Have a minimum GPA of 9/10 over the last three school years.
  • Obtain a minimum score of 1900/2400 points on the USFQ entrance exam (PAA).
  • Take the entrance exam by March 28th, 2020.

All students invited to participate in the scholarship selection process must additionally:

  • Attend an interview with the dean or program coordinator.
  • Submit the deliverables described in the contest rules by May 20th, 2020, inside an envelope to the following address:
    Universidad San Francisco de Quito
    Diego de Robles y Vía Interoceánica, Círculo de Cumbayá
    Casilla Postal 17-12-841
    Quito, Ecuador

The envelope must have the following specifications:
Humboldt 2020 Scholarship Contest
Sabrina Guerra Moscoso
Oficina G-311

The Scholarship Committee will analyze all the candidates' results and will select the winners. The Committee will be made up of professors from different schools.


The prizes to be awarded are:

  • Two Humboldt study scholarships, with 100% coverage of fees for the first and second place winners of the national contest. Two scholarships covering 50% of fees for third and fourth place. Scholarships apply to all programs, except for the College of Music and Human Medicine. Scholarships do not include enrollment fees, or additional program related costs.

Contest Rules

  • All students who are enrolled as High School Seniors of the Unified General Baccalaureate of all schools legally recognized by the Ministry of Education of Ecuador or students who have graduated in the preceding year may participate in the contest.
  • Participation in the contest will be individual.
  • Online registration deadline is Saturday, March 28th, 2020.

Contest Conditions

  1. Ethnographic record (Traveler's Diary) that includes texts and images of the contestants visiting some place that was part of Humboldt's journey through the country. The ethnographic record must consist of three entries.
  2. An epistolary that includes three letters addressing Humboldt with the aim of giving an account of the current state of some of the places he visited, that is, of the conditions of that location two hundred years later. Letters must be based on two things:
    • Geographical location: locate the information in a geographic space that has been visited by Humboldt in Ecuador.
    • Disciplinary approach: each letter must be structured based on one of the disciplines that Humboldt explored: science, botany, geography, volcanology, geology, anthropology, etc.

Evaluation criteria

Content: research and reflection
  • The ethnographic record and the epistolary reflect a high level of research and knowledge about Humboldt's journey through Ecuador.
  • Both deliverables reflect on what Humboldt's current outlook would be like compared to his journey more than 200 years ago.
Structure/ Format
  • The ethnographic and epistolary record has an adequate structure: introduction, development, and conclusions.
  • The presentation format is creative, it presents a balance of texts and images.
  • Evidence prolixity in the presentation, writing, and spelling.
Use of sources and references
  • Uses more than five relevant academic references in each of the deliverables.
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