Grounded in the Self-Determination Theory, this study examines the relations between teacher educators' experienced work pressure and opportunities for professional growth, their work related basic needs satisfaction (i.e. autonomy, competence and relatedness) and their researcherly disposition (i.e. being a smart consumer of research, being able to conduct research, conducting research and valuing research). A large-scale survey study was conducted, involving 944 teacher educators working within teaching-intensive teacher education institutions. The results of SEM-analyses show that teacher educators' opportunities for growth as well as the experienced work pressure are significantly related to the satisfaction of teacher educators' basic psychological needs at work. In turn, positive relations were identified between the satisfaction of the basic psychological needs and teacher educators' researcherly disposition.