Research competencies are adopted in higher education, however, little is known about the role of these competencies in the virtual environment. This research is one of the first to describe research competences in postgraduate students in virtual learning environments. An observational design study using the research competences questionnaire was conducted with 89 students. The findings indicate that cognitive and teamwork competences are the most predominant (58.4% and 71.9%) and that the weakest areas are related to technological competences 33.7%, methodological competences 39.7% and project management 22.5%. These findings highlight the need to improve curricula in postgraduate schools where research competences are strengthened by prioritising technological, methodological and project management aspects so that students obtain the necessary skills and abilities and can improve their research processes.