The scientific capabilities and performance profiles of the Faculty of Biological Sciences of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile were assessed building performance indicators from the ISI's Chile-National Citation Report, 1981–1992. Consistent with the educational goals of the Faculty, the scientific activity which nurtures graduate training, especially at the doctoral level, was examined field by field and compared to Chilean and World scores. The approach rendered a portrait of the Faculty which depicts, trends, strengths and weaknesses, and standards for the evaluation of future activity. The study shows a very competitive performance in most of the fields, relative to national and world average achievements. A remarkable finding was the outstanding performance in applied fields, such as medical and agricultural sciences, and also in biotechnology, with shows that when good basic science takes place, high level goal oriented research also occurs.