Experiences of University Professors Studying for a Doctoral Degree in the Mexican Context

Sara Elvira Galbán-Lozano, Ligia Garcia-Bejar
International Journal of Doctoral Studies  •  Volume 17  •  2022  •  pp. 459-477

To understand the experiences of full-time university professors at a Mexican university who are pursuing a doctoral degree, this study seeks to describe the experiences of doctoral students who are also university professors. The study focuses on the intentions, experiences, and prospects regarding the decision to study for a doctorate as a university professor.

This research has a dual background. On the one hand, there is the institutional interest in establishing an academic and professional profile of university professors studying for a doctorate in decision-making. On the other hand, the researchers who conducted this study maintain an interest in deepening knowledge of the doctoral process and researcher training. In the field of educational research, this article seeks to strengthen the almost nil research carried out specifically in Mexico on university professors who study for a doctorate, particularly in private institutions.

The research design is based on the interpretive paradigm, with a qualitative approach and a phenomenological perspective. A semi-structured interview was used to explore the individual experiences of 17 university professors who are studying for a doctorate.

This study is unique in that it explores the personal and professional views of university professors studying for a doctoral degree, providing further insight into academic and professional profiles.

Studying for a doctorate while already belonging to a research ecosystem makes the challenges and difficulties of this process easier to cope with, favoring more positive results.

To foster more assertive decision-making among university management, the recommendations are addressed to human talent managers, research managers, academic directors, university professors, and doctoral students.

To strengthen this line of research, it would be necessary to deepen the academic and professional profiles of university professors who are doctoral students and the materialization of an academic trajectory, to have more theoretical and practical elements for the training of researchers in the different fields of science.

Understanding the dynamics of doctoral training processes in the case of university professors in a Mexican context facilitates the formation of research ecosystems, labor insertion, and the consolidation of a professional career.

Future research should explore other university contexts and the consolidation of the academic career path for university professors.

doctoral studies, institutional conditions, Mexican context, student experiences, university professors
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