What disengages doctoral students in the biological and environmental sciences from their doctoral studies?

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Virtanen , V , Taina , J & Pyhältö , K 2017 , ' What disengages doctoral students in the biological and environmental sciences from their doctoral studies? ' , Studies in Continuing Education , vol. 39 , no. 1 , pp. 71-86 . https://doi.org/10.1080/0158037X.2016.1250737

Title: What disengages doctoral students in the biological and environmental sciences from their doctoral studies?
Author: Virtanen, Viivi; Taina, Juha; Pyhältö, Kirsi
Other contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science
University of Helsinki, Behavioural Sciences






Date: 2017-03
Language: eng
Number of pages: 16
Belongs to series: Studies in Continuing Education
ISSN: 0158-037X
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/0158037X.2016.1250737
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/310684
Abstract: This study explored the causes of student disengagement from their doctoral studies in the biological and environmental sciences. The data came from interviews of 40 doctoral students (male = 15, female = 25) and underwent qualitative analysis for content. Our results showed that doctoral studies provide multiple contexts for disengagement, such as the scholarly community and supervision, while doctoral students’ sense of distress, cynicism and inefficacy emerged as central components of disengagement. The study identified isolation, indifference, and lack of support and constructive feedback as sources of cynicism, while distress and inefficacy were more often related to failure or lack of progress in research. Our findings indicate that the source of disengagement can vary not only between individuals, but also between the academic activities at hand. Thus, while promoting an engaging doctoral experience, awareness of what typically triggers disengagement in the doctoral journey is vital.
Subject: 516 Educational sciences
STEM disciplines
doctoral students
disengagement
postgraduate education
JOB BURNOUT
ENGAGEMENT
ATTRITION
departments
DISCIPLINE
UNIVERSITY
RESOURCES
PROGRAMS
TEACHERS
DEMANDS
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