Developing a student-doctoral education fit analytical model to assess performance

Ann-Marie Ward, Niamh Brennan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding factors that cause students problems throughout their doctoral education is of benefit to doctoral educators striving to improve doctoral completion rates. In this paper, Baker and Pifer’s (2015, “Antecedents and Outcomes: Theories of Fit and the Study of Doctoral Education.” Studies in Higher Education 40 (2): 296–310.) multidimensional framework of student-doctoral fit is extended to create a more nuanced framework comprising student-doctoral environment fit (including the sub-dimensions: student-organisation fit, student-private environment fit and student-people fit), student-vocation fit (including the sub-dimensions: student-motivation fit and student-learning environment fit) and student-doctoral culture fit (including the sub-dimensions: student-learning identity fit, student-(academic)writing fit and student-personal characteristics fit). We then operationalise the framework to create a doctoral student education fit analytical framework for providing insights on the association between fit and doctoral student performance. Our analytical model provides a springboard for fieldwork to examine student-doctoral education fit and doctoral student performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1448-1460
Number of pages13
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number7
Early online date15 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


  • Analytical framework
  • doctoral education
  • doctoral student performance
  • fit theory


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