The knowledge production dynamics, resulting from scientific activities in higher education, have been a phenomenon widely studied in the last decades. In Colombia, the scientific research capabilities in higher education institutions have been the focus of attention in the last thirty years thanks to the strengthening of the national system of science, technology and innovation, at the head of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. This paper presents an analysis of the characteristics of professors with a research profile at Colombian universities. Through a quantitative, no experimental examination in 2018, a questionnaire was applied to 379 teachers, who are research group leaders and are working in Colombian universities. The data analysis was conducted using non-parametric tests H Kruskal Wallis and U of Mann Whitney. As a result, some variables such as the professor's field of knowledge, kind of university contract, and research conceptions of professors are related to the kind of scientific productivity growth in the universities. In this way, the study contributes to understanding how the institutional environment (organizational structure and management practices) and the individual's factors explain the differences over the development and consolidation of research activities in Colombian universities.