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ERIC Number: EJ1052159
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 26
ISSN: ISSN-0158-037X
Early Career Researcher Challenges: Substantive and Methods-Based Insights
McAlpine, Lynn; Amundsen, Cheryl
Studies in Continuing Education, v37 n1 p1-17 2015
Navigating academic work as well as career possibilities during and post-Ph.D. is challenging. To better understand these challenges, since 2010, we have investigated the experiences of early career scientists longitudinally using a range of qualitative data collection formats. For this study, we examined the experiences of four students and four postdocs to address two questions. The first, a substantive one, asked about the challenges early career researchers experienced and their efforts to be agentive in response. The second methods-based question examined whether different data collection formats, weekly activity logs completed monthly and annual interviews, might contribute different insights into challenges and responses to them. In fact, the subtle differences that emerged from each of the data sources enabled us to substantively characterize different kinds of challenges and different patterns of response. Individuals were generally successful in managing day-to-day and short-term research-related challenges (largely reported in the logs) and developing coping strategies for existential challenges (reported in the logs and interviews). But structural issues (largely reported in the interview) were less tractable. The findings suggest that combining distinct data collection methods may better capture variation in experience--in this case, challenges and responses--than single formats alone.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada