Are there any studies that have compared the number of hours worked by faculty members who are teaching-focused vs. those at research intensive institutions?

I have the impression that faculty that balance teaching and research tend to work longer hours and on weekends more than faculty who do not have any research obligations. I don't know where I picked this idea up and I'm suspicious that it is biased and based more on opinion than fact.

Any studies/surveys out there to support / refute this idea?

I'm interested mainly in science departments in the USA.

  • 2
    Since a metric like "hours worked" in academia is likely to based on self-reporting (as opposed to a Walmart checkout clerk, say), and thus fraught with error, I would treat data of that kind with a healthy degree of suspicion even if it was available. Apr 17, 2018 at 16:41
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    I'd also add that intellectual work is inherently hard to meter. If I think about a problem when I'm in the shower, does it count towards "hours worked"? Apr 17, 2018 at 16:42
  • I would expect that people are willing to invest few hours during nights/weekends/etc. into research, but not into teaching. Apr 17, 2018 at 22:23
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    I would guess that there are more differences between individual teachers / researchers than between the average teacher and the average researcher. It is possible to manage a career in research and teaching without putting in excessively long wok hours-- it really depends on productivity, expectations, goals, and time management skills. The reason why so many researchers spend long hours in the lab is that the work is never done and there are always more interesting questions to pursue.
    – Jim
    Apr 17, 2018 at 23:51
  • The non-researcher teaching load can be quite heavy. That can balance things out. Apr 19, 2018 at 2:37

1 Answer 1


Looks like Jacobs and Winslow (2004) address this issue.

"the average workweek for full-time faculty exceeds fifty hours. These long workweeks are characteristic of all groups of faculty, irrespective of rank and institutional type. In other words, assistant, associate, and full professors all work in excess of fifty hours per week, as do faculty at research, liberal arts, and comprehensive institutions."

Jacobs, J. A., & Winslow, S. E. (2004). Overworked faculty: Job stresses and family demands. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 596(1), 104-129.

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