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Early career researchers making sense of their research experiences: a cross-role and cross-national analysis

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/06/2022
Issue number5
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)748-767
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date29/10/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Early career researchers’ journey (i.e. doctoral researchers and post-PhDs) is increasingly challenging, but little is known about how they live and interpret their significant experiences, that is how they attribute meaning to these experiences and their associated feelings. Moreover, research about how doctoral researchers and post-PhDs deal differently with such experiences remains scarce, especially when accounting for the interpretation of significant experiences across countries. This paper explores how role (doctoral researchers or post-PhDs) and country (Spain, UK and Switzerland) can influence individuals’ interpretation of significant events. It draws on the most significant events reported by 544 early career researchers in two open-ended questions. Analyses revealed differences between roles only regarding the sense-making, especially in the future implications, and across countries in both the sense-making and the associated feelings. This interaction between role and cultural/workplace practices, is the most compelling, especially given the high mobility expected of post-PhDs.