Who am I versus who can I become? Exploring women’s science identities in STEM Ph.D. programs

Katalin Szelényi, Kate Bresonis, Matthew M Mars

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


This article explores the science identities of 21 women STEM Ph.D. students at three research universities in the United States. Following a narrative approach, the findings depict five salient science identities, including those of a) academic, b) entrepreneurial, c) industrial, and d) policy scientist and e) scientist as community educator. Our study links the five science identities to epistemological approaches in knowledge creation and application and describes the ways in which women STEM doctoral students verified their identities in reaction to various social structures. Conclusions relate the concepts of identity confirmation, suppression, and flexibility to implications for policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-31
Number of pages31
JournalReview of Higher Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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