Students’ motivations and socio-professional integration as drivers of doctoral program completion: a reflection on personal experience

  • Florien Nsanganwimana
Keywords: Doctoral Education, Motivations, Self-determination, Mentorship, Persistence


Doctoral education allows individuals to acquire necessary skills needed to carry out research-related careers and/or creates the opportunity to show one’s potential to do research. To complete doctoral programs, much effort is needed by doctoral candidates. However, the completion of the program is not resolved to students’ effort and motivations; it is a combination of other factors operating within their working environment. The institutional frameworks on the requirements for the award, the scientific communities mainly comprising the supervisory team and the peers are key determinants of student’s success. Based on lived experience and on theories such as choice theory, self-determination and socialization, the present paper intends to provide insights into the nature of doctoral studies and how motivation and socio-professional integration determine successful completion of the program. Furthermore, the author’s experience serves to enlighten prospective and present doctoral students, supervisors and managers of doctoral programs on tips that support success into the program.

Keywords: Doctoral Education, Motivations, Self-determination, Mentorship, Persistence


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eISSN: 2312-9239