Table of Contents
ISRN Education
Volume 2012, Article ID 934941, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/934941
Research Article

Challenges of Becoming a Scholar: A Study of Doctoral Students' Problems and Well-Being

1Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 9, Siltavuorenpenger 5A, 00014 Helsinki, Finland
2Department of Teacher Education, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 9, Siltavuorenpenger 5A, 00014 Helsinki, Finland

Received 3 April 2012; Accepted 29 April 2012

Academic Editors: M. Recker and N. L. Snyder

Copyright © 2012 Kirsi Pyhältö 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

Successful studying in Ph. D. education is a complex matter. Although Ph. D. students are a highly select group, some never finish. This paper explores the problems that doctoral candidates face during their doctoral studies as well as students' well-being in relation to their studying engagement. The study is part of a larger research project on doctoral education. Altogether 669 doctoral students from the Faculties of Arts, Medicine, and Behavioural Sciences responded to the survey. Doctoral students' perceptions of the problems they encountered during their studies varied. The problems reported were related to general working processes, domain-specific expertise, supervision, the scholarly community, and resources. Doctoral students' well-being and study engagement showed a clear relationship. More effective means are needed to foster students' ability to overcome problems encountered during their Ph. D. studies.