Integrating research into the academic life of faculty and research staff in higher education institutions in the Philippines is not an easy task. In fact, most higher education institutions need to rely on their own initiatives and resourcefulness to meet the research mandate and the ascribed function of universities as generators of knowledge for national development. Forty-five participants in six universities in Region IV-A (Calabarzon) were interviewed to extract grounded data utilizing the constant comparison method to elicit the framework for creating, developing and sustaining research culture. But while there were elements of research culture extant in the institutions studied, the research participants of the study were not very confident that they were strong or mature enough to be called an academic research culture, except for one state university known for its global research track record. Their research cultures were still evolving or in transition, and needed further institutional push to become fully grown. The study recommends that HEIs seriously take into account the typology of higher education institutions proposed by the Commission on Higher Education to determine whether they will be professional or research institutions to prevent the dissipation of energy and scarce funds and to harmonize the extant realities prevalent among the faculty that are overloaded, inadequately trained to do research, and find difficulty meeting the institutional policy of research requirement for faculty ranking and promotion. Furthermore, it is recommended that the reward system be rationalized, inter-institutional collaboration be strengthened to create a strong pool of theoretically-oriented scholars with enhanced research skills, opportunities for inter- and multidisciplinary researches be provided led by mature research universities, the Philippine Higher Education Research Networks (PHERNETs), for example, and the maturing ones or transiting into maturity, the Higher Education Regional Research Centers (HERRCs), to mentor the budding research skills of HEIs that are starting to build their research culture and that ethical and IPRrelated issues be addressed to support thriving research environments.