Supports and barriers to researcher development in early career faculty

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
L. DiAnne Borders, Burlington Industries Excellence Professor (Creator)
Laura McLaughlin Gonzalez, Associate Professor (Creator)
Kelly L. Wester, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: Purpose: Depending on their institutional context, for new faculty members to successfully manage their transition from doctoral studies to early career, they must show potential as researchers. The purpose of this study was to learn about supports and barriers to researcher development in new faculty members.

Design/methodology/approach: The investigators solicited open-ended responses from early career faculty members (N = 49) in an online survey. Content analysis was used to provide an initial categorization of supports and barriers identified by the participants.

Findings: Ten barrier categories (e.g. lack of resources, previous training, lack of mentoring, workload) and eight support categories (e.g. effective research collaborations, supportive university environment, funding) were identified.

Research limitations/implications: Findings were framed with a social cognitive conceptual model, which parallels previous studies in doctoral research training environments and research productivity and builds on our knowledge of early career faculty development. The study was limited in terms of number of participants and online response format.

Practical implications: Practical implications to minimize barriers and enhance supports for new faculty researcher development were identified (also drawing from the conceptual model, SCCT).

Originality/value: Thus, the study has value for university policymakers, administrators, faculty peers, research mentors and assistant professors or doctoral students seeking to develop as researchers.

Additional Information

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education. doi: 10.1108/SGPE-D-18-00020
Language: English
Date: 2019
Researcher development, Social cognitive career theory, Early career faculty

Email this document to