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Trajectories of Early Career Research

logo of Trajectories of Early Career Research

The Early Career Research (ECR) project is a mixed-methods study of student development outcomes and equity among doctoral students in the biological sciences as they complete their graduate programs and transition into their careers. This longitudinal study follows a national sample of 286 biology Ph.D. students through their final stages of graduate school and into early years of the scientific workforce. The study has several overarching goals:

  1. To identify the ways in which the development of research skills and professional goals during graduate training may predict postdoctoral career attainment and trajectories
  2. To examine the capacity of postdoctoral research positions to serve as inflection points in ECR career trajectories
  3. To explore how race, gender, and other demographic characteristics shape the relationship between graduate student and postdoctoral experiences and subsequent career outcomes

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation, grant number 1760894. This project builds on the earlier work funded by the NSF through collaborative grants DGE-1431290 and DGE-1431234. For questions about the research, please contact David Feldon (david.feldon@usu.edu).

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People


David Feldon

Dr. David Feldon (Utah State University)

Dr. Feldon is a professor of Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at USU. His research examines two lines of inquiry that are distinct but mutually supportive. The first characterizes the cognitive components of expertise as they contribute to effective and innovative problem solving as well as how they affect the quality of instruction that experts can provide. The second examines the development of research skills within STEM disciplines as a function of instruction and other educational support mechanisms. He also conducts some research into technology-facilitated instructional approaches and research methods for examining them. Read more about Dr. Feldon.

Josipa Roksa

Dr. Josipa Roksa (University of Virginia)

Dr. Roksa's current research centers on two main areas: a) understanding the role of families and relationships between families and higher education institutions in fostering student success, and b) examining how students’ experiences in college contribute to inequalities in STEM fields. Professor Roksa has been keenly interested in understanding how educational institutions compensate for (or amplify) inequalities in family resources. After considering the role of cultural capital in K-12 education and transition into college, she is engaged in a series of projects that aim to understand how family support and resources are related to higher education success, particularly for first-generation and low-income students. Read more about Dr. Roksa.

Kimberly Griffin

Dr. Kimberly Griffin (University of Maryland)

Dr. Griffin's research interests are primarily focused in three areas: diversity in graduate education and the professoriate; diversity within the Black higher education community; and mentoring and career development. These interests have led her to conduct work on a variety of topics, including: career development of Ph.D. completers in science, Black professors and their engagement in student interaction, the experiences of Black immigrant college students, diversity recruitment in graduate education, and campus racial climate. Dr. Griffin is skilled in advanced quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as the integration of these strategies in mixed methods research. Read more about Dr. Griffin.

Jennifer Blaney

Dr. Jennifer Blaney

Dr. Blaney completed her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on gender equity and student development, with an emphasis on student leadership development in STEM disciplines. Additionally, Dr. Blaney is interested in feminist methodologies used in higher education research. More specifically, her dissertation research utilized feminist methods to explore the way gender shapes undergraduate students' conceptualizations of leadership in computing and technology. Before coming to Utah State University, Dr. Blaney worked as the Senior Data Manager on the Building, Recruiting, and Inclusion for Diversity (BRAID) Research project, a multi-institution study of equity in computer science education.

Soojeong Jeong

Soojeong Jeong

Soojeong Jeong is a PhD student in the ITLS department at USU. She earned an M.A. in Education, with an emphasis in Educational Technology from Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. She also holds a B.A. in Education and a B.S. in Mathematics Education, both of which she obtained at the same university. Her main interest areas include self-regulated learning, metacognition, technology integration into teaching and learning, as well as mathematics education. Currently, she is conducting her dissertation research that examines how college students develop their self-regulated learning strategies over time through an academic support program called Supplemental Instruction.

Kaylee Litson

Kaylee Litson

Kaylee is a PhD candidate in the Psychology program at Utah State University, studying quantitative psychology. Broadly, she is interested in the development of constructively defined latent variable models. The types of latent variable models in which Kaylee is most interested include measurement models and structural equation models. She is particularly interested in combining statistical models that evaluate longitudinal processes (i.e., change, stability, and causation) with latent measurement models. Her areas of expertise include structural equation modeling, latent state-trait analysis, multitrait-multimethod analysis, mediation analysis, moderated mediation analysis, factor mixture modeling, and latent growth curve modeling.

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Publications


Roksa, J., Feldon, D. F., & Maher, M. (in press). First-generation students in pursuit of the Ph.D.: Comparing socialization experiences and outcomes to continuing-generation peers. Journal of Higher Education.


Maher, M., Wofford, A., Roksa, J., & Feldon, D. F. (in press). Exploring early exits: Doctoral attrition in the biomedical sciences. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory, & Practice.


Roksa, J., Jeong, S., Feldon, D., & Maher, M. (in press). Revisiting the “Model Minority” stereotype: API students’ socialization experiences and research productivity. Research in Sociology of Education.


Feldon, D. F., Jeong, S., Peugh, J., Roksa, J., Maahs-Fladung, C., Shenoy, A., & Oliva, M. (2017). Null effects of boot camps and short-format training for Ph.D. students in life sciences. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(37), 9854-9858.


Feldon, D. F., Peugh, J., Maher, M. A., Roksa, J., & Tofel-Grehl, C. (2017). Time-to-credit gender inequities of first-year PhD students in the biological sciences. CBE-Life Sciences Education, 16(1), ar4.


Feldon, D. F. (in press). Implications of measurement issues for advancing the socialization framework. In L. DeAngelo & J. C. Weidman (Eds.), Socialization in higher education and the early career: Theory, research and application. New York: Springer International Publishing AG.


Feldon, D. F., Franco, J., & Jeong, S. (2017). Education and STEM. In P. Ward, J. M. Schraagen, Gore, J., & E. Roth (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Expertise: Research & Application. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.


Feldon, D. F. (2016). The development of expertise in scientific research. In R. Scott & S. Kosslyn (Eds.), Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (pp.1-14). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


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Related Research


Feldon, D. F., Rates, C., & Sun, V. (2017). Doctoral conceptual thresholds in cellular and molecular bilogy. International Journal of Science Education, 18, 2574-2593.


Urquhart, S., Maher, M. A., Feldon, D. F., & Gilmore, J. (2016). Factors associated with novice graduate student researchers’ engagement with primary literature. International Journal of Researcher Development, 7, 141-158.


Feldon, D. F., Shukla, K., & Maher, M. A. (2016). Faculty-student coauthorship as a means to enhance STEM graduate students’ research skills. International Journal for Researcher Development, 7, 178-191.


Feldon, D. F., Maher, M., Roksa, J., & Peugh, J. (2016). Cumulative advantage in the skill development of STEM graduate students: A mixed methods study. American Educational Research Journal, 53, 132-161.


Gilmore, J., Maher, M, & Feldon, D. F. (2016). Prevalence, prevention, and pedagogical techniques: Academic integrity and ethical professional practice among STEM students. In T. Bretag (Ed.), Handbook of Academic Integrity (pp. 729-748). New York: Springer.


Gilmore, J. A., Vieyra, M., Timmerman, B. E., Feldon, D. F., & Maher, M. A. (2015). The relationship between undergraduate research participation and subsequent research performance of early career STEM graduate students. The Journal of Higher Education, 86, 834-863.


Feldon, D. F., Maher, M. A., Hurst, M., & Timmerman, B. (2015). Faculty mentors’, graduate students’, and performance-based assessments of students’ research skill development. American Educational Research Journal, 52, 334-370.


Gilmore, J., Maher, M., Lewis, D., Feldon, D., & Timmerman, B. (2015). Feeding two birds with one scone? The relationship between teaching and research for graduate students across the disciplines. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 27(1), 25-41.


Maher, M. A., Gilmore, J. A., Feldon, D. F., & Davis, T. E. (2014). Connected or conflicted? Doctoral students’ evolving perceptions of the teaching-research relationship. Journal of School Public Relations, 35, 402-425.


Gilmore, J., Maher, M., Feldon, D., & Timmerman, B. (2014). Exploration of factors related to the development of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics graduate teaching assistants’ teaching orientations. Studies in Higher Education, 39, 1910-1928.


Maher, M. A., Feldon, D. F., Timmerman, B., & Chao, J. (2014). Faculty perceptions of common challenges encountered by novice doctoral writers. Higher Education Research & Development, 33, 699-711.


Maher, M. A., Timmerman, B. E., Feldon, D. F., & Strickland, D. (2013). Factors affecting the occurrence of faculty-doctoral student coauthorship. The Journal of Higher Education, 84, 121-143.


Timmerman, B., Feldon, D. F., Maher, M., Strickland, D., & Gilmore, J. A. (2013). Performance-based assessment of graduate student research skills: Timing, trajectory, and potential thresholds. Studies in Higher Education, 38, 693-710.


Maher, M. A., Gilmore, J. A., Feldon, D. F., & Davis, T. E. (2013). Cognitive apprenticeship and the supervision of science and engineering research assistants. Journal of Research Practice, 9, Article M5.


Feldon, D. F., Peugh, J., Timmerman, B. E., Maher, M. A., Hurst, M., Strickland, D., Gilmore, J. A., & Stiegelmeyer, C. (2011). Graduate students’ teaching experiences improve their methodological research skills. Science, 333(6045), 1037-1039.


Feldon, D. F., Maher, M., & Timmerman, B. (2010). Performance-based data in the study of STEM graduate education. Science, 329, 282-283.


Gilmore, J., Strickland, D., Timmerman, B., Maher, M., & Feldon, D. F. (2010). Weeds in the flower garden: An exploration of plagiarism in graduate students' research proposals and its connection to enculturation, ESL, and contextual factors. International Journal of Educational Integrity, 6, 13-28.


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Presentations


Feldon, D. F. (2018). Desperately seeking socialization. Invited presentation to the University of Pennsylvania Center for Learning Analytics. Philadelphia, PA: July 9. 2018.


Feldon, D. F. (2018). The butler didn’t do it: Looking beyond the usual suspects in understanding doctoral success. Invited presentation to the Council of Graduate Schools Research & Policy Forum. Washington, DC: June 27, 2018.


Feldon, D. F. (2017). Panelist: National Academies’ Committee on Revitalizing Graduate STEM Education for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: November 7, 2017.


Maher, M., Feldon, D. F., Roksa, J., & Wofford, A. (2018). Making a match: Doctoral students’ experiences with laboratory rotations and permanent advisor selection processes. Paper to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. New York, NY: April, 2018.


Jeong, S., Feldon, D. F., Maher, M., & Peugh, J. (2018). Doctoral students’ faculty and peer interaction patterns: Relationships to researcher self-efficacy and skill acquisition. Paper to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. New York, NY: April, 2018.


Jeong, S., Maher, M., Feldon, D. F., & Peugh, J. (2018). Doctoral satisfaction with faculty advisors: Advisement characteristics and relationship to socialization outcomes. Paper to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. New York, NY: April, 2018.


Roksa, J., Whitley, S., Wofford, A., Feldon, D. F., & Maher, M. (2018). Friendly relations but limited opportunities: Experiences of first-generation and continuing-generation doctoral students. Paper to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. New York, NY: April, 2018.


Roksa, J., Jeong, S., Feldon, D., & Maher, M. (2017). Revisiting the “Model Minority” stereotype: API students’ socialization experiences and research productivity. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education. Houston, TX: November, 2017.


Feldon, D. F., Jeong, S., Roksa, J., & Peugh, J. (2017). What I did on my summer vacation: Limited impacts of boot camps and summer bridge activities. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Antonio, TX: April, 2017.


Wofford, A. M., Maher, M. A., Roksa, J., & Feldon, D. F. (2017). The early emergence of doctoral student attrition: Perspectives on early departure in the biomedical sciences. Paper to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. San Antonio, TX: April, 2017.


Feldon, D. F., Jeong, S., & Peugh, J. (2017). Progressions of research skill development in the biological sciences. Paper presented at the 15th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education. Honolulu, HI: January 6, 2017.


Feldon, D. F. (2016). Applying research data to research training. Invited presentation to the National Science Foundation EHR Division of Graduate Education Open House, Inventing the way forward: Graduate education for the STEM workforce. Washington, DC: September 19, 2016.


Feldon, D. F. (2016). Applying research data to research training. Invited keynote to the graduate faculty of the University of Southern California School of Pharmacy. Los Angeles, CA: January 8, 2016.


Feldon, D. F., Peugh, J., Sun, C., Maher, M. A., & Roksa, J. (2016). Gender inequality in supervised research time: A national study of Ph.D. Students in biological sciences. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Washington, DC: April 8-12, 2016.


Rates, C., & Feldon, D. F. (2015). Research skills as threshold concepts in biology graduate education. Paper presented at the 2015 Conference on Higher Education Pedagogy. Blacksburg, VA: February 5, 2015.


Urquhart, S., Maher, M., Feldon, D. F., Gilmore, J., & Timmerman, B. (2015). Lifting the lid on the black box: Primary literature engagement in graduate research skill development. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Chicago, IL: April 16, 2015.


Maher, M., Say, B., & Feldon, D. F. (2015). Faculty advisers as learners and teachers of disciplinary writing. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Chicago, IL: April 16, 2015.


Rates, C., & Feldon, D. F. (2015). Doctoral biology training and proposed threshold concepts. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. Chicago, IL: April 14, 2015.


Rates, C., & Feldon, D. F. (2014). Threshold concepts within doctoral biology programs. Paper presented at the 2014 meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Philadelphia, PA: April 3, 2014.


Maher, M., Gilmore, J. A., Feldon, D. F., & Davis, T. (2014). Doctoral student mentoring and the role of cognitive apprenticeship. Paper presented at the 2014 meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Philadelphia, PA: April 6, 2014.


Feldon, D. F., Maher, M. A., Roksa, J., & Peugh, J. (2014). The Matthew effect in STEM Ph.D. programs: A mixed-method study. Paper presented at the 2014 meeting of the American Educational Research Association. Philadelphia, PA: April 7, 2014.


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Press


University of Maryland CHSE: Hill, A. (2018, June 28). UMD researcher awarded NSF grant to study early career researchers' workforce preparation.


Utah State University CEHS News Archive: Havertz, M. (2018, June 22). Traditions of learning: Connecting native american heritage to STEM.


Michigan State University: Michigan State (2018, January 25). Special presentation: Dr. David Feldon.


Utah State University ITLS News Blog: Havertz, M. (2017, August 2). Dr. David Feldon published research on 'null effects of boot camps' for new doctoral students.


Utah State Today: Lyon, J. (2014, September 18). $1.15 million USU study examines graduate student retention.

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