Research in Higher Education

, Volume 57, Issue 6, pp 714–738 | Cite as

Mentoring the Next Generation of Faculty: Supporting Academic Career Aspirations Among Doctoral Students

  • Nicola CurtinEmail author
  • Janet Malley
  • Abigail J. Stewart


We know little about the role of faculty mentoring in the development of interest in pursuing an academic career among doctoral students. Drawing on Social Cognitive Career Theory, this study examined the relationships between different kinds of mentoring (instrumental, psychosocial, and sponsorship) and academic career self-efficacy, interests, and goals. Analyses controlled for race, gender, field, and candidacy status. Psychosocial and instrumental mentoring predicted feelings of self-efficacy in one’s ability to pursue an academic career, and exerted significant indirect effects through that self-efficacy, on students’ interest in such a career. Race-gender comparisons indicated that sponsorship was not an important predictor for non-URM men, in contrast to the other groups.


Mentoring Sponsorship Career choice Self-efficacy Academic success 



The authors would like to give special thanks to Giselle Kolenic at the UM Center for Statistical Consultation and Research for her advice on the analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicola Curtin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Janet Malley
    • 3
  • Abigail J. Stewart
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyClark UniversityWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research CenterWalthamUSA
  3. 3.ADVANCE ProgramUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  4. 4.Departments of Psychology and Women’s Studies and ADVANCE ProgramUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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