This project examines imposter syndrome as a public feeling that circulates in and structures experiences of spaces and practices on the Carleton University campus. This initial inquiry will produce knowledge about the manifestation and impact of imposter syndrome at Carleton through an anonymous online survey. At this stage, it will focus on graduate students in the social sciences and humanities.


  • To investigate the prevalence of imposter syndrome as it manifests in academic spaces and practices at Carleton;
  • To improve understanding of the individual and collective impact of imposter syndrome on academic success, including factors that exacerbate and off-set those impacts and its relationship with barriers to equity in education; and
  • To produce preliminary findings to support further research examining imposter syndrome as a public feeling across campus, including faculty and students at all levels.


The Carleton University Emotional Geographies Lab has finalized a report stemming from our project entitled “Imposter Syndrome? Locating Academic (In)Security.” This preliminary inquiry examines “imposter syndrome” and the ways it circulates in and structures experiences of academic spaces and practices at Carleton University. You are invited to respond to this report in the comment box below.

Community Resources and Outreach

Data Visualizations:

Our team has collaborated on a collection of data visualizations containing aggregated, de-identified selections from the survey data. You are invited to read and respond to this collection, and provide advice and suggestions about next steps.We are hoping to use this collaborative analysis to enrich our understanding of the data and to start building community around the issue of imposter syndrome on campus.

If you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at This project has been cleared by Carleton University Research Ethics Board-A, which can be reached at (project #111533).

Impostering workbook:

The Mindful Impostering workbook was developed in response to the move to online learning for the 2020-2021 academic year. Mindful Impostering can be printed on 8.5 by 11 paper and folded into a workbook, or utilized digitally.

This workbook has the goal of familiarizing its user with their own relationality to their imposter self. It aims to bring the imposter self into the known in ways that neutralize the fear and shame around impostering. We hope that the activities can be done repeatedly as needed. We plan to gather feedback and resources from the community to continue to develop this and other workbook and journaling practices. Please email with feedback, suggestions, and additional resources.