Similar or different?: Researcher Community and Supervisory Support Experiences among Danish and Finnish Social Sciences and Humanities PhD Students

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Solveig Cornér, Univ Helsinki, University of Helsinki, FinlandKirsi Pyhältö, University of Helsinki, University of Oulu, FinlandJouni Peltonen, University of Oulu, Finland
  • Søren Smedegaard Bengtsen
Previous research has identified researcher community and supervisory support as key determinants of the doctoral journey contributing to students’ persistence and robustness. However, we still know little about cross-cultural variation in the researcher community and supervisory support experienced by PhD students within the same discipline. This study explores the support experiences of 381 PhD students within the humanities and social sciences from three research-intensive universities in Denmark (n=145) and Finland (n=236). The mixed methods design was utilized. The data were collected with the Doctoral Experience survey. The results showed that, both Danish and Finnish doctoral students, emphasized researcher community support over supervisory support. The Danish students, however, reported higher levels of researcher community support and experienced lower levels of friction than their Finnish counter partners. The results also indicated that the only form of support in which the students expressed more matched support than mismatched support was informational support. Further investigation showed that the Danish students reported a high level of mismatch in emotional support than their Finnish counter partners, whereas the Finnish students perceived lower levels of instrumental support than the Danish students. The findings imply that seemingly similar contexts hold valid differences in experienced social support and educational strategies at the PhD level.
Original languageEnglish
JournalStudies in Graduate and Postgraduate Education
StateAccepted/In press - Jul 2018

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 120911717