This instrumental case study (Stake, 1995) explores the external factors that influence international science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) postdoctoral scholars in the United States to pursue a career in STEM. Interviews with 20 international STEM postdoctoral scholars were analyzed deductively to shed light on their unique backgrounds and experiences. Three themes emerged: (a) parents were highly encouraging, (b) a love of science was nurtured in school, and (c) they were eager to engage in and promote scientific innovation. These findings illustrate the ways in which family, schools, and community influence the STEM career trajectories of international postdoctoral scholars.


international postdoctoral scholars, STEM careers, career decisions

ORCID Identifiers

Kathryn J. Watson: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2062-2849

Sylvia L. Mendez: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7723-4401



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



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