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Questions tagged [work-life-balance]

Questions that each member of academia may face during his academic careers, because of personal problems, and contradictions between academic life and personal life. These may include marriage, childcare, etc.

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6 votes
2 answers
2k views

After a few years away from school, inactive students may need to reapply for admission. Why?

At many schools in America, undergraduate students can freely take a semester or two off. But some students might want to take a longer break: perhaps two or three years. At many schools, after ...
-3 votes
1 answer
207 views

Why do some schools not allow part-time students in some programs?

My friend Josh is 40 years old and unemployed. I might suggest that he goes back to school, to get a bachelor's degree. I might like to suggest that he apply to Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), ...
23 votes
7 answers
11k views

Bad "breakup" with supervisor. What do I do?

Throughout the completion of my master's thesis, my supervisor suggested that we continue on to a doctoral program together. And after successfully defending my masters thesis, he requested weekly ...
69 votes
10 answers
30k views

Is it normal for an advisor to expect >80 hour workweeks from PhD students, and threaten them with dismissal?

My advisor always keeps pointing out that I should have publications and I should keep working and stuff like that. Recently he's been saying that not all student will finish Ph.D. and you should be ...
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

What's a reasonable STEM postdoc salary at Paris-Saclay university?

The year is 2023 and I'm applying for a postdoc at Paris Saclay university, and I wonder how should I adjust my expectations. I don't want to appear overpriced, but also I don't want to just scrape by....
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is the academic culture like in Spain for PhD candidates (Work-Life Balance)?

I tried to search for the tags of "Spain" and "PhD" but found nothing. I'm thinking of maybe doing a PhD in Spain due to ease of access to medical care that would be far more ...
3 votes
3 answers
299 views

How to decide when I'm too busy to accept a request to review a manuscript? [closed]

Does anybody have advice on how you draw a line in the sand of when you're "too busy" to review a manuscript that an editor has requested you to review? We're all busy all the time. How do ...
2 votes
2 answers
346 views

Is it common to allow professional compulsory activities over personal activities?

Professional compulsory activities I am referring here falls into the following two classes: The activities that need to be done very quickly. Activities given by supervisor to participate in a ...
-4 votes
1 answer
500 views

How to maintain your professional status and not get troubled by the junior lecturers

A new senior lecturer, say A has been assigned to work in doing some tutorials with a set of assistant lecturers. These assistant lecturers, say B1, B2, B3 etc. don’t know some of the theoretical ...
25 votes
2 answers
9k views

Gap year before post-doc?

I have been in a rush to accomplish academic goals since I remember myself. Started my PhD right after undergrad and did my Masters on the same time. Now I am about to submit my thesis and feel kind ...
1 vote
3 answers
157 views

Combining PhD and Work

I am starting my Ph.D. in Finance in November, This is not fully funded and I am considering taking a full-time job to enable me to fund my research work. Is it possible to take a full-time or part-...
43 votes
6 answers
11k views

How to deal with constant stress and uncertainty in academia?

I know there are a lot of similar questions but most of them are related to stress/pressure from their supervisor. I am doing my PhD and I am in my third year out of four. Everything is going very (or ...
0 votes
1 answer
388 views

Sabbatical Abroad Without Family: How Did it Work

Hello: Following this previous thread: (Profs who have done a full year sabbatical overseas with a family: How did you make it work?), I am equally curious about whether any prof has done a full-year ...
62 votes
11 answers
17k views

How do I gain back my faith in my PhD degree?

I am 3 years into a PhD program at a top North American university in STEM. My daily routine includes working on my research and preparing for courses I am assisting. In general, I would say that ...
2 votes
1 answer
204 views

PhD students, how did you get work done when you initially had no externally determined routine? [duplicate]

This question is geared towards (new) researchers who do not work in a lab and have no teaching duties, like maths PhD students. How did you learn to be productive when you started? After doing ...
23 votes
9 answers
7k views

Are reduced working hours in a PhD a reasonable idea?

I live in Germany. I've just recently finished my M. Sc. in computer science and I'm now thinking about pursuing a PhD. I've been offered a full-time position on a topic which I'm quite interested in (...
12 votes
5 answers
19k views

Can I keep my full-time job while I pursue a PhD in Psychology, and if so, for how long?

I have read this question posed a lot for math and science doctoral degree, but my question pertains to pursuing a social sciences doctoral degree. I'm currently working as a Management Analyst in ...
3 votes
0 answers
224 views

Which arguments should be taken into account when deciding to travel to conferences or rather present online? [closed]

Living in South America, I was planning to present 4 articles at a conference in England in december, visit laboratories and universities in different cities for a few weeks, and to spend christmas ...
38 votes
8 answers
15k views

Is it possible to have a healthy work-life balance as a professor?

I am an MSc student and one future direction I have been thinking about is the potential of pursuing a professorship after I do a PhD. Why do I want to be a professor? I enjoy the back and forth of ...
1 vote
7 answers
1k views

How do you have time to hit the gym during your PhD?

I'm currently working as an accountant, I work out regularly, 6 times a week, and my gym sessions are around 1h, but I could reduce them to 30-40min if I'm focused. I'm about to start a PhD and I'm ...
11 votes
4 answers
2k views

Attending grad school in US or Canada with a dependent spouse

I am finishing up my undergraduate degree in mathematics in my home country and expect to apply for PhD studies in statistics in the US (I am also willing to consider Canadian options but more on this ...
6 votes
1 answer
154 views

Time/work management resources for leadership role

I recently started a leadership role in a research institute, where I am responsible for supervising PhD students, obtaining funding and doing my own research. I'm struggling with time management/...
-2 votes
1 answer
124 views

How useful is a master's degree if you're working in IT-consulting? [closed]

I'm currently working as a Software Developer (Azure, .NET, Scrum) for clients. I currently have an applied bachelor's degree in IT. I'm considering to do a parttime master but I'm wondering what the ...
0 votes
1 answer
198 views

To leave or not to leave academia if you do not fully love what you are doing but are proficient at it? [closed]

So I know that the choice to leave or not academia is a fully personal choice. What I would like to hear is your experience. Basically, focusing on the web I think that there is a strong bias on one ...
7 votes
5 answers
918 views

I got a paid PhD Position on a project, but Ido not have any responsibilities or tasks, besides working on my thesis. Am I doing something wrong?

I have been employed on a project at a German University for over a year and a half and got a half-time working contract. Even though I am getting paid, I have not been required from my supervisor to ...
-5 votes
2 answers
219 views

In which countries do more universities provide provision of 'baby care' while working time? [closed]

Many software and multinational companies provide 'baby care' centres for their employees. It generally helps (married) women to do their work peacefully as the employees or maids in baby care centres ...
14 votes
4 answers
4k views

How can you handle your professor not doing his job (as a postdoc)?

For the past two years, I have been working as a postdoc under a new German professor with what I consider to be an atrocious work ethic: His presence on campus is limited only to when in-person ...
4 votes
3 answers
790 views

How to deal mentally and emotionally with a prolonged stressful period?

I am a second-year PhD student, but I think this question may interest a broader readership. I'd like to ask experienced researchers for some insights on how to navigate a prolonged stressful period. ...
15 votes
3 answers
6k views

How can I politely request a professor to avoid late evening/night classes?

Background: I am a junior undergrad math major in India, and I am taking a graduate-level math course this semester for which attendance is mandatory. This is the last week of instruction (i.e., ...
18 votes
4 answers
3k views

What do I do with my advisees while on parental leave?

My wife and I have just been notified that we may get children for adoption in the coming month (apparently, it comes at a much shorter notice than having a biological child...). The law allows me to ...
10 votes
1 answer
344 views

How can I recover (academically) from a significant (physical) injury?

I am a young academic – I accepted a permanent academic position at the start of this year. I wrote a very large number of grant applications, and got "my big break" with a large, multi-...
24 votes
9 answers
8k views

Balancing empathy and deferring to the syllabus in teaching responsibilities

Questions of similar topics have been asked here for the situation of instructing a course and here and here for the situation of 'no late work' policies. Additional questions about balancing teaching ...
0 votes
1 answer
294 views

How can I ease in to the research arena?

I'm a first year graduate student and my age is 24. I got a degree in statistics, but it was not that interesting. I barely got into a below average grad school program in mathematics. I want to ...
6 votes
2 answers
968 views

Do Chinese universities operate on a '996' schedule?

Do Chinese-speaking universities operate on a 996 schedule, meaning that under normal (non-pandemic) circumstances they expect their employees to be present from 9am-9pm or longer, six days a week or ...
29 votes
7 answers
6k views

How common is it for women to drop out of graduate school because they have children?

I am a 29 year old female. I want to go back to school. I have been told that I have a very good chance at getting into a very good graduate computer science program (machine learning, AI, robotics, ...
4 votes
3 answers
615 views

What are discretionary spending options that improve wellbeing for a PI?

Other research-focused PIs (or aspiring PIs) how do/would you spend funding to increase your own wellbeing? My funding stream (R1, USA) allows me some spending flexibility, and my lab is doing well. ...
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is it possible to survive as a researcher being a dispassionate person? [closed]

I heard a lot of tips for (upcoming) researchers from top professors and researchers. Almost all of them told that the passion of a candidate is one of the qualities that drive her research life. All ...
24 votes
5 answers
5k views

Can I live off post-docs?

I'm currently a theoretical/mathematical physics PhD student in Brazil. I still have little more than a year until my PhD finishes, and as far as tradition goes, it's soon time to look for a post-doc ...
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to Deal with Demanding Parents

I am currently a 5th year PhD student in math at an American university. I was talking with my parents recently and I told them that I had come to terms with the possibility of me not graduating with ...
1 vote
0 answers
446 views

Postdoc positions - a new trend?

I have observed a new trend in the academic life. I think it is something worthwhile discussing. Many postdocs choose to leave American and European positions and pursue appointments in Asia, and more ...
2 votes
1 answer
152 views

How to reduce workload and recover while dealing with aftereffects of a serious concussion?

Around one year ago, I had a ski accident and suffered from concussion. I was on sabbatical at that time ⛷️. At first, I didn't notice full-on effect. Now I am back to full academic life of teaching, ...
142 votes
13 answers
15k views

Why is my mood dictated so much by how well my research is going?

I'm a senior PhD student at an American university. I have found over the course of my degree that my mood has largely been influenced by how well my research is going. If I make a small break-through ...
3 votes
1 answer
333 views

What are the effective working routines for taking breaks while working?

I want to know the details regarding taking (short) breaks in the context of studying or research. So, I read an article titled The Science of Taking a Break. This question is focused on the aspect of ...
21 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why are small distractions impacting my day so much?

During the pandemic, at least the premier institutes of my country are operating in work from home mode. Since this lessens the physical activity of going around labs and classrooms daily I tried to ...
1 vote
1 answer
403 views

Is it true that the workload of professors has increased?

In general, a professor teaches basic, intermediate and advanced courses. The content of basic and intermediate courses is generally based on textbooks. Advanced courses may require recent results. ...
2 votes
2 answers
430 views

Feeling pressured to work

I'm a first year PhD student and the last month has been nothing short of a crucible of stress. I had to do 2 exams, wrote a 3k approval thesis, finalise my research objectives, plan the project and ...
4 votes
1 answer
495 views

What are certain work ethics and habits I should start developing right from my undergraduate to be an effective researcher?

I am a physics undergrad in India, about to graduate in a month or two. Now, I love my work and the research method, and love to read about things from many different perspectives to give myself a ...
18 votes
5 answers
2k views

Is single parenting compatible with success in academia?

Good day. I'm currently a PhD student in computer science. I was married and have a daughter with my former wife. There is a probability that our daughter will live with me. Could you please tell me ...
0 votes
1 answer
287 views

How do researchers cope with boredom? [closed]

Pre-pandemic, I used to do research in a lab environment. The disadvantage with the lab environment is that I focus only on applied work due to continuous monitoring. Now, during the pandemic, I spend ...
9 votes
5 answers
6k views

Feeling inadequate as a PhD student

I just started a STEM PhD before last christmas and whilst things are going okay, I still feel like I'm not good enough and don't deserve the opportunity. I guess it's some form of imposter syndrome ...