As part of a large-scale project on English Language Teaching (ELT) researchers research practice in higher education, this study explored how a Masters student, a doctoral student, and a university instructor in applied linguistics
in higher education setting constructed and reconstructed their professional identities as ELT researchers and how they coped with the contextual challenges in this regard. The required data were collected through a narrative enquiry approach in the forms of interviews, diaries, and field visits over nine academic months (i.e., one academic year) in the ELT higher education. The findings, guided by Grounded Theory, indicated a number of themes addressing the participants professional identities, which were subject to change. The participants formed and reformed their professional identities as ELT researchers with regard to the passage of time, their personal values, their social interactions with other researchers, and the institutional and sociocultural setting. The findings are further elaborated and discussed in the light of the literature and the uncovered themes. The study suggests implications for newly accepted or recruited Masters and doctoral students and university instructors in applied linguistics
as researchers in higher education.