- Akerlind, G., & McAlpine, L. (2015). Supervising doctoral students: variation in purpose and pedagogy. Studies in Higher Education, 1-13.
Explores how 12 experienced supervisors, in different disciplines, viewed the purpose of undertaking a doctorate, and related pedagogical strategies. The supervisors focused on developing the student/person, negating present debates about the product vs process/person purpose – with thesis completion (product) seen as a means to an end.
- McAlpine, L., & Mitra, M. (2015). Becoming a scientist: PhD workplaces and other sites of learning. International Journal of Doctoral Studies, 10, 111-128.
Reports where 12 UK doctoral scientists worked and why. Contrary to common assumptions, e.g., work in labs and with teams, students often chose to work in non-institutional sites including their homes. Nor did they necessarily engage with a team, or conduct research linked to their supervisors’.
- Chen, S., McAlpine, L., & Amundsen, C. (2015). Postdoctoral positions as preparation for desired careers: a narrative approach to understanding postdoctoral experience. Higher Education and Development, 34 (6), 1083-1096.
Provides a close look at how seven postdoc scientists prepared for their desired careers, tenure-track positions, through their day-to-day activities. They were all agentive in their planning and actions, yet exercised their agency differently, influenced by institutional factors and significantly by personal intentions and responsibilities.
- McAlpine, L., & Amundsen, C. (2015). Early career researcher challenges: substantive and methods-based insights. Studies in Continuing Education, 37 (1), 1-37.
Examined the experienced challenges and responses of 8 early career researchers, drawing on two data collection formats (activity log, interview). Individuals generally managed day-to-day and short-term challenges successfully (largely reported in logs), and developed coping strategies for existential challenges (in logs and interviews). But structural issues (in interviews) were less tractable.
- McAlpine, L., & Emmioglu, E. (2015). Navigating careers: The perceptions of sciences doctoral students, post-PhD researchers, and pre-tenure academics. Studies in Higher Education, 40 (10) 1770-1785.
Reports how 23 doctoral, postdoc, and tenure-track scientists in Canada engaged in career thinking and decision-making. Generally, over time and across roles, their knowledge of career opportunities grew, but concurrently their personal horizons for action became narrower due to changing personal relationships and responsibilities.
- Hum, G. (2015). Workplace learning during the science doctorate: what influences research learning experiences and outcomes? Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 52, 29-40.
Follows six science PhD students over 2.5 years; among the six, three pairs shared similar learning experiences and outcomes: a) positive-professional future, b) positive-academic future, and c) challenging-uncertain future; these outcomes were influenced by affordances and hindrances in/with: research projects, supervision, colleagues, and individual choices.