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Evgeniy Terentev 1,2, Nikolay Rybakov 3, Boris Bednyi 3
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation
  • 2 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 16 Soyuza Pechatnikov Str., Saint Petersburg, 190008, Russian Federation
  • 3 National Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod, 23 Gagarina Ave, Nizhny Novgorod, 603950, Russian Federation

Why Embark on a PhD Today?
A Typology of Motives for Doctoral Study in Russia

2020. No. 1. P. 40–69 [issue contents]
Evgeniy Terentev – Candidate of Sciences in Sociology, Senior Researcher, Center of Sociology of Higher Education, Institute of Education, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

Address: 20 Myasnitskaya Str., 101000 Moscow, Russian Federation. E-mail: eterentev@hse.ru

Nikolay Rybakov – Graduate Student, Department of University Management and Innovation in Education. E-mail: rybakov-nv@phd.unn.ru

Boris Bednyi – Doctor of Sciences in Mathematical Physics, Professor, Director of the Institute of Doctoral Studies. E-mail: bib@unn.ru

National Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod.

Address: 23 Gagarina Ave, 603950 Nizhny Novgorod, Russian Federation.

Data obtained in interviews with doctoral students and their academic supervisors as well as in doctoral student surveys conducted across six Russian universities is used to explore the motives for embarking on and pursuing a PhD, and evaluate their incidence. Drawing from Deci and Ryan’s self-determination theory, three basic types of motivation are identified — intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation — and described in the context of doctoral education. Even though academic labor has been losing its prestige in Russia, intrinsic motivation associated with interest for research, science and education remains the most popular motive for embarking on doctoral study. At the same time, a significant percentage of doctoral students are driven by external non-academic motives, such as specific social benefits or desire to use PhD as an asset in a non-academic career.
Citation: Terentev E., Rybakov N., Bednyi B. (2020) Zachem segodnya idut v aspiranturu. Tipologizatsiya motivov rossiyskikh aspirantov  [Why Embark on a PhD Today? A Typology of Motives for Doctoral Study in Russia]. Voprosy obrazovaniya / Educational Studies Moscow, no1, pp. 40-69.
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