Conceptualizing Generous Scholarship


  • Dragana Martinovic University of Windsor
  • Michelle K. McGinn Brock University
  • Ruth McQuirter Scott Brock University
  • Snežana Obradović-Ratković Brock University



generous scholarship, praxis of scholarship, descriptive theory-generating research design, collegiality, academic culture


In an era of neoliberalism and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to revisit the meaning, value, and praxis of scholarship. This article documents exploration of the emerging concept of generous scholarship, a compelling yet ill-defined and undertheorized construct that inspires our scholarly practices. We analyze the extant literature about generous scholarship and related constructs to address three guiding research questions: What is generous scholarship? What are its actions? What are its implications for scholarly life and the academy? A descriptive theory-generating research design led to a robust conceptual framework involving five principles of generous scholarship: social praxis, reciprocity, generous mindedness, generous heartedness, and agency. Generous scholarship is an intentional, collegial approach to scholarship that helps to mitigate the sense of isolation and depletion of energy often associated with managerial, production-oriented academic contexts. We argue that individuals and institutions that embrace generous scholarship may attract and nurture a vibrant cadre of academics, replenished in mind and spirit. Academics, university administrators, and higher education policy-makers are encouraged to address or resist the pressures inherent in their current workplaces and to carve space for generous scholarship.

Author Biographies

Dragana Martinovic, University of Windsor

Dragana Martinovic is a Professor at University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and a Fields Institute Fellow. In her research, Dragana explores knowledge for teaching mathematics, ways in which technology can assist in teaching and learning of mathematics, and epistemologies of STEM disciplines in relation to teacher and K–12 education.

Michelle K. McGinn, Brock University

Michelle K. McGinn is Associate Vice-President Research and Professor of Education at Brock University in St. Catharines, Canada. Her primary interests include research collaboration, researcher development, scholarly writing, and ethics in academic practice. She is a co-investigator for Academic Researchers in Challenging Times. Connect via Twitter @dr_mkmcginn or

Ruth McQuirter Scott, Brock University

Ruth McQuirter Scott is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at Brock University, Ontario, Canada, where she is Assistant Director of Teacher Education and teaches Junior/Intermediate Language Arts. Ruth’s research interests are in the effective infusion of technology in education.; Connect via Twitter @wordstudy

Snežana Obradović-Ratković, Brock University

Snežana Obradović-Ratković is Research Officer and Instructor in the Faculty of Education at Brock University, Ontario, Canada. Her research interests include migration, indigeneity, and reconciliation; transnational teacher education; research education; decolonizing arts-based methodologies; academic writing and publishing; mindfulness and well-being in higher education; and generous scholarship. Connect via


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