The Professional Counselor | Volume 10, Issue 4 497 Participants also described the importance of leading and conducting their own research via dissertation or other experiences during their doctoral program. For example, Participant 9 said: Starting research projects that were not involving a faculty member I think has also impacted my work a lot, I learned a lot from that process, you know, having to submit [to] an IRB, having to structure the study and figure out what to do, and so again learning from mistakes, learning from experience, and building self-efficacy. Subfactor 4: Research Self-Efficacy The subfactor of research self-efficacy related to the process of participants being confident in identifying themselves and their skills as researchers. We found two action-oriented tasks related to research self-efficacy: (a) receiving external validation and (b) receiving growth-oriented feedback (both negative and positive). Participant 3 described their experience of receiving external validation through sources outside of their doctoral program as helpful in building confidence as a researcher: I have submitted and have been approved to present at conferences. That has boosted my confidence level to know that they know I am interested in something and I can talk about it . . . that has encouraged me to further pursue research. Participant 8 explained how receiving growth-oriented feedback on their research supported their own RI development: “People stopped by [my conference presentation] and were interested in what research I was doing. It was cool to talk about it and get some feedback and hear what people think about the research I am doing.” Discussion Previous researchers have found RI within counselor education to be an unclear term (Jorgensen & Duncan, 2015; Lamar & Helm, 2017). Although our participants struggled to define RI, our participants described RI as the process of identifying as a researcher, the experiences related to conducting research, and finding value and interest in research. Consistent with previous findings (e.g., Ponterotto & Grieger, 1999), we found that interest in and value of research is an important part of RI. Therefore, our qualitative approach provided us a way to operationally define CEDS’ RI as a formative process of identifying as a researcher that is influenced by the program design, level of research content knowledge, experiential learning of research, and research self-efficacy. Our findings emphasize the importance of counselor education and supervision doctoral program design. Similar to previous researchers (e.g., Borders et al., 2019; Carlson et al., 2006; Dollarhide et al., 2013; Protivnak & Foss, 2009), we found that developing a culture of research that includes mentoring and modeling of research is vital to CEDS’ RI development. Lamar and Helm (2017) also noted the valuable role faculty mentorship and engagement in research activities, in addition to research content knowledge, has on CEDS’ RI development. Although Lamar and Helm noted that RI development may be enhanced through programmatic intentionality toward mentorship and curriculum design, they continually emphasized the importance of CEDS initiating mentoring relationships and taking accountability for their own RI development. We agree that individual initiative and accountability are valuable and important characteristics for CEDS to possess; however, we also acknowledge that student-driven initiation of such relationships may be challenging in program cultures that do not support RI or do not provide equitable access to mentoring and research opportunities.