Document Type

Journal Article

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School of Education




Edith Cowan University


Merga, M. K., & Mason, S. (2021). Mentor and peer support for early career researchers sharing research with academia and beyond. Heliyon, 7(2), article e06172.


© 2021 There is a growing expectation that doctoral candidates and early career academics publish research outputs such as journal articles and conference papers, and that they share their findings with key stakeholders beyond academia. However, it is not known if these expectations are being coupled with support from mentors and peers within institutions. Through interviews with recent PhD graduates working as early career researchers in Australia and Japan, this paper investigates if mentor and peer support for producing both academic and translational outputs was forthcoming during their doctoral candidature and beyond. It also investigates kinds of supports provided in doctoral candidature and early career. Thirty early career researchers in Australia and Japan took part in this qualitative study involving in-depth semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of respondents. Researchers made translation support available for Japanese respondents so that those with limited English could take part. Findings suggest that mentor and peer support were not universal, and some respondents did not have a mentor or significant peer influence supporting their production of academic or translational research outputs. Support for sharing research with audiences beyond academia could be limited, with production of outputs for academic audiences consistently a greater focus of support. There were no mentoring supports for translational outputs that had salience across Australia and Japan within the sample. While limited attention has been given to the role that peer influence may play in supporting research output production of early career researchers the more even power relationship between peers as opposed to the peer-/mentor dyad can allow unique supports to flourish. Where institutions expect growing and diverse research output production by doctoral candidates and early career researchers, they should also ensure that support is provided through facilitating mentoring and peer relationships.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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