You do not need to work 80 hours a week to succeed in academia

Published today in the Times Higher, Meghan Duffy (Associate Professor at the Duffy Lab University of Michigan) argues how you can get on in academia without being chained to your desk:

‘There is a persistent myth (some might even call it a  zombie idea) that getting tenure in academia requires working 80 hours a week. There’s even a joke along the lines of “The great thing about academia is the flexibility. You can work whatever 80 hours a week you want!”

The idea that you need to work 80 hours a week in order to publish or get grants or tenure is simply wrong. Moreover, I think it’s damaging. I hear routinely from younger folk (often women) who are seriously considering leaving academia primarily because they think that a tenure track position would require working so much that they wouldn’t be able to have any life outside work (including raising a family). So, this is my attempt at slaying the zombie idea that succeeding in academia requires working as much as an investment banker…………’

How many hours a week to you work?  Have you ever added up the time you actually spend working?  Do we have a competitive atmosphere in terms of the number of hours people work?

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