In the field of doctoral student education, novice researcher identity literature is largely authored by research supervisors or other senior scholars. Novice researchers’ firsthand accounts of their triumphs and tribulations are relatively un(der)represented. This autoethnography draws on data generated through reflexive analytic memos and conversations with my academic advisor to offer just that: a firsthand account of my researcher debut, including the inherent vulnerabilities I experienced throughout the practicum process. The paper then asks the reader to consider what it might look like for doctoral education programs to make visible the ongoing internal negotiations of one’s researcher identity.


Autoethnography, Researcher Identity, Vulnerability, Novice Researcher, Doctoral Education

Author Bio(s)

Laura M. Kennedy is a doctoral candidate in the Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education program at Michigan State University. Her work explores professional identity negotiations through collaborative, (auto)ethnographic, and case study methodologies with novice teachers and researchers. Considering this piece specifically names and explores the vulnerability Laura experienced as a first-time researcher, it should come as no surprise for her (nor her reader) that writing this “author” bio has proven to be incredibly difficult. It boils down to this: Owning a profession for the first time is an inherently vulnerable act. Laura’s work asks how best we can support one another in persevering. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: kenne420@msu.edu.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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