To read this content please select one of the options below:

Mentor-protégé fit: Identifying and developing effective mentorship across identities in doctoral education

Vicki L. Baker (Albion College, Albion, Michigan, USA)
Meghan J. Pifer (Widener University, Chester, Pennsylvania, USA)
Kimberly A. Griffin (University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland, USA)

International Journal for Researcher Development

ISSN: 2048-8696

Article publication date: 4 November 2014




The aim of this conceptual paper is to explore Mentor-protégé fit as important to the selection and development of successful doctoral student–faculty mentoring relationships. We suggest that the student–faculty relationship in doctoral education is an additional and previously untested type of Mentor-protégé fit.


Generated from an existing framework of identity in the academy, we explore how three types of identity (professional, relational, personal) may influence students’ fit assessments as they seek to initiate and develop relationships.


We offer propositions for research to further explore the potential application of the proposed framework to knowledge generation about the doctoral student experience.


While the research about doctoral education has considered all three aspects of students’ identities individually, it has not explicated the ways in which these intersecting identities relate to students’ needs and expectations related to mentoring, their choices related to mentor selection, or the effectiveness and outcomes of mentoring relationships in fostering success and satisfaction.



The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge the advice of Ann Austin and Melissa McDaniels during the development and writing of this manuscript.


L. Baker, V., J. Pifer, M. and A. Griffin, K. (2014), "Mentor-protégé fit: Identifying and developing effective mentorship across identities in doctoral education", International Journal for Researcher Development, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 83-98.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles