Department of Education

Lynn McAlpine

Professor Emerita of Higher Education Development

Lynn McAlpine is internationally recognized for her research, conducted in the UK, Europe and Canada, into PhD and post-PhD career trajectories both in and outside the academy.

She receives frequent international invitations to do workshops and keynotes that explore the implications of the research both from pedagogical and policy perspectives.

Research interests: Lynn’s research interest in PhD career decision-making has evolved over time.  Her early research in this area followed scientists and social scientists for up to seven years as they navigated their careers and personal lives during and after finishing the PhD. Seeing how many did not remain in the academy has led her more recently to studying post-PhD careers outside the academy. Recently, her particular interest focus has been how they navigate their own desires amidst global trends for highly skilled workers, national policy regimes and institutional affordances and constraints.

Some recent publications
  • McAlpine, L., & Austin, N. (2018). Humanities PhD graduates: Desperately seeking careers? Canadian Journal of Higher Education. 48 (2).
  • McAlpine, L., Pyhalto, K., & Castello, M. (2018). Building a more robust conception of early career researcher experience: What might we be overlooking? Studies in Continuing Education. 40 (2), 149-165.
  • McAlpine, L., & Amundsen, C. (2018). Identity-trajectories: Ways of understanding post-PhD career choices. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Mitra, M., & McAlpine, L. (2017). A balancing act: the interaction between the work and broader lives of male and female early career researchers. Higher Education Review. 50 (1), 5-34.
  • McAlpine, L. (2017). Building on success? Future challenges for doctoral education globally. Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education. 8 (2), 66-77.

Funded Research Projects:

  • Research (f)or impact? Integrating research and societal impact in the humanities PhD

  • 2020-2023

    Source of funding: Independent Research Fund Denmark (Sapere Aude).

  • Early career researcher identity development: research within and beyond academia

  • 2020-2023

    Source of funding: (ECRID) (Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

  • Global State of Young Scientists: Latin America and Caribbean Project Proposal. Germany: Global Young Academy.

  • 2019-2020

    Source of funding: State of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

  • Researcher Identity Development: Strengthening Science in Society Strategies (RID-SSISS) (Castelló, M., et al.)

  • 2017-2019


  • Extending and reinforcing good practice in teacher development (Pleschova, G. et al.)

  • 2016-2019


  • Doctoral Supervisor Training - A Hub for Collaboration and Internationalization (Nieminen, J. et al.)

  • 2016-2018

    STINT (Swedish funding)

  • Global State of Young Scientists in Africa’ (GloSYS Africa) (Coussens, A. et al.)

  • 2015-2018

    German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Doctoral Applications

Lynn welcomes doctoral applications from students interested in the following research areas:

PhD and post-PhD careers

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