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Education Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 217974, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/217974
Research Article

Developing “the Wings to Really Fly”: The Experiences of Four Postdoctoral Research Fellows within an Australian University Faculty of Education

1Faculty of Education, University of Lapland, P.O. Box 122, 96101 Rovaniemi, Finland
2Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning & Education, School of Teacher Education, Charles Sturt University, Panorama Avenue, Bathurst, NSW 2795, Australia
3Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning & Education, Research House, Charles Sturt University, Locked Bag 588, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2678, Australia
4Faculty of Education, Science, Technology and Mathematics, University of Canberra, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia

Received 30 May 2014; Revised 22 July 2014; Accepted 18 August 2014; Published 31 August 2014

Academic Editor: Jo Lunn Brownlee

Copyright © 2014 Tuija A. Turunen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Postdoctoral research fellowships are a recent phenomenon in teacher education and little has been documented about them. This paper presents findings from a study in which the experiences of research fellows in a rural university were investigated. The data were gathered as audio recordings from peer mentoring meetings, notes from these meetings, individual reflective journals, and interviews conducted with six key informants. The analysis highlights that the experience of research fellowships was marked by a need to negotiate four competing, though not necessarily exclusive, demands related to the institute’s research productivity, its research culture and teaching, and personal professional goals. A range of institutional practices and individual characteristics mediated these negotiations.