The Setbacks for Research Practice in Higher Education: A Perspective from English Language Teaching in Iran

Document Type : Original Article


Razi University, Iran


While research is abundant on academics’ research engagement in higher education, very little has been done to study the setbacks for research practices in English language teaching (ELT) in higher education. Adopting a qualitative research design, the present study explored the research setbacks for ELT in higher education. To this end, 10 masters students, 10 doctoral students, and 10 university instructors of ELT in different state universities in Iran took part in the study. A narrative frame was applied to collect initial data, followed by conducting individual semi-structured interviews to gain more in-depth knowledge about the participants’ research practices. Thematic analysis, used to analyse the data, uncovered a number of themes and categories addressing the masters and doctoral students’ and university instructors’ research setbacks in higher education. A number of themes were generated for the following categories of research setbacks: issues with research projects, insignificant contribution, and pressures from the immediate context. The findings are discussed in the light of the literature and the status of research practice in higher education, and implications are suggested for research practice in higher education.