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Sobkin V.S., Andreeva A.I., Rzaeva F.R. (2018) Researcher in the field of education: barriers in actualising scientific work. National Psychological Journal, 11(2), 135–145


Background. The paper presents the results of a sociological study that focuses on the attitude towards the reform of the Russian researcher sphere in education. Much attention is paid to the influence of various stumbling blocks that influence the efficacy of research work. The relevance of the study is due to the psychological barriers for understanding the features of the creative self-actualised researcher.

Objective. The influence of age and social factors of professional status (e.g. scientific degree, scientific title, position) on the importance of various barriers that reduce the efficacy of scientists’ work is analyzed.

Design. According to the authorship questionnaire, which included 72 questions, 721 researchers were interviewed. The survey was conducted in different cities and towns of Russia, the respondents included those with different levels of scientific qualifications, and different experience of research work.

Results. The research showed that in the hierarchy of various barriers, those that are associated with the material and social status of the researcher are dominating. Psychological barriers themselves play an important role: lack of promotional opportunities, lack of professional communication environment, strained relations with management and colleagues. Correlation dependence between the barrier concerning funding of new projects and such motivational attitudes as aspiration to independence and professional self-actualisation are revealed. The upgraded position reduces satisfaction of material needs, and, on the other hand, the importance of those factors that concern career self-actualisation (e.g. funding a new research project) is emphasized. It is established that socio-psychological factors (satisfaction with the results of their professional activities, position in the scientific team) actualize the significance of barriers that fix the unfortunate socio-psychological relations in the team.

Conclusion. The obtained results allow to conclude that dissatisfaction with their material and social status for researchers are the most significant barriers preventing the research work. The study revealed a characteristic set of motivational attitudes related to the researcher’s desire for independence and self-actualisation. Te survey materials showed that the combination of reasech work and teaching is subjectively perceived as a barrier that prevents career self-actualisation.

Received: 03/03/2018
Accepted: 03/26/2018
Pages: 135-145
DOI: doi: 10.11621/npj.2018.0214

Sections: Professional identity of the person;

PDF: /pdf/npj-no30-2018/npj_no30_2018_135-145.pdf

Keywords: researcher; education; scientific activity; barriers; motivation; job satisfaction; sociometric status; questionnaire survey; social and professional status;

Available Online 01.08.2018

Fig. 1. Factors that reduce the efficacy of scientific work (%)

Fig. 2. Array of correlation links between barriers that reduce the efficacy of research work.

Fig. 3. Age dynamics of changing the importance of barriers affecting the efficacy of career work (%)

Fig. 4. Assessing the importance of social psychological barriers in researchers with different social status in the team (%).

Table 1. Importance of barriers affecting the efficacy of career work in researchers with different scientific degree and scientific title (%)

Barrier Type

Without Scientific Degree



Assistant Professor


Difficulty in obtaining funding for new research projects






Lack of promotion opportunities






Combining research work and teaching






Combining research work with more profitable work






Table 2. of barriers affecting the efficacy of career work in researchers who are “satisfied” and “unsatisfied” with their work results (%)

Barrier Type



р ≤

Low wage




Difficulty in obtaining funding for new research projects




Weak technical support




Low opportunity to be published in foreign scientific journals




Combining research work with more profitable work




Lack of interest in the results of research work




Lack of professional communication environment




Strained relationship with the boss





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Sobkin V.S., Andreeva A.I., Rzaeva F.R. (2018) Researcher in the field of education: barriers in actualising scientific work. National Psychological Journal, 11(2), 135–145

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