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Durham Research Online
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Doctoral students navigating the borderlands of academic teaching in an era of precarity.

Rao, Namrata and Hosein, Anesa and Raaper, Rille (2021) 'Doctoral students navigating the borderlands of academic teaching in an era of precarity.', Teaching in higher education., 26 (3). pp. 454-470.


Neoliberalisation of academia has led to an increasing recruitment of doctoral students in teaching roles. Whilst there is evidence of doctoral students being engaged in teaching roles and the reasons for doing so, there is a pressing need to understand their experiences and to develop effective support practices to help them in their roles as teachers. Using borderlands theory as a lens, the thematic analysis of case study data from doctoral students in two English universities indicates that although they were navigating similar borderlands, the structural inequalities posed by their institutions led to differential support for their teaching roles and teacher identity development. The paper highlights the need for aligning doctoral roles to academic roles. It concludes by challenging the precarious support available for doctoral students, and proposes recommendations for the holistic development of doctoral students as competent and successful teachers (and researchers) in an increasingly precarious academia.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 09 September 2022.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.
File format - PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Teaching in Higher Education on 9 March 2021, available online:
Date accepted:15 February 2021
Date deposited:10 March 2021
Date of first online publication:09 March 2021
Date first made open access:09 September 2022

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