Academia: reduce your working hours to get more work done⸮⸮⸮

I sometimes love how honest guides to academic “careers” can be. Take this description of a lecturer position (maître assistant):

In some departments, lecturers can obtain a reduction in their working hours in the final year of their contract so that they can devote more time to developing their research dossier. It’s worth obtaining information from colleagues about the department’s practices and where necessary negotiating a reduction.
“career advice” for lecturers

I realize this particular information is no longer updated, but the advice is quite simple: reduce your working hours to get more work done! Makes perfect sense⸮⸮⸮

It’s quite an honest description, though: temporary posts are dangerous and may undermine an academic career.

If you feel that your administrative responsibilities are jeopardising the development of your research dossier, you must have the courage to renegotiate your workload as soon as possible as temporary posts are dangerous and may undermine an academic career.
temporary posts are dangerous!

OK, but doesn’t this make you wonder why universities actually offer these positions that by their own admission are “dangerous” for a career, that do not include enough paid hours to get your work done? This particular guide suggests that lecturers “must take precautions against being overwhelmed by student supervision” and, better still, they “renegotiate your workload as soon as possible” — as if such a renegotiation were realistically possible.

It probably makes economic sense to have this kind of jobs, but if universities were seriously against precarious positions and exploitation, perhaps they could tackle this kind of position — maybe jointly with “part-time” PhD positions? Just an idea.

Inspiration for a career in academia

Scientia Futura provides inspiration for a career in academia, especially for women in the social sciences and humanities. Excellent initiative and very interesting and insightful interviews with outstanding scholars in the field. As it’s focused on inspiration, we don’t need that bit about survivorship bias.

Life after the Migration PhD

This promises to be an excellent event!

Exploring possible career paths outside of academia in professional fields of migration and beyond

What can your working life look like after graduating? With the support of IMES, the ACES Migration Network, and the AISSR, the organisers launch a new hybrid seminar series titled “Life after the Migration PhD”. The series targets PhD researchers who work on migration or related topics and connects them to post-PhD professionals who have moved onto careers outside of academia. The seminars offer insight into a range of non-university working areas and function as a networking environment. They kick off on the 26th of October with a seminar by Claudia Simons.

During three monthly sessions from October to December 2021, we learn more about different working trajectories by talking to professionals in three fields: (1) research institutes outside of university (think-tanks, foundations); (2) international advocacy (NGOs, IOs) and (3) diplomacy and government institutions. The seminars are interactive.

More information and registration: https://aissr.uva.nl/content/events/events/2021/10/life-after-the-migration-phd-1.html