Changing from FT to PT work as lecturer

(16 Posts)
lll77 Sat 27-Oct-18 12:12:02

Does anyone have experience of moving from FT to PT work as a research active senior lecturer in a teaching focused university?

I'm an SL on a permanent contract and whilst I mostly enjoy my work, I can't see myself doing this for another twenty odd years!

I'm planning to sell my house and and move somewhere smaller and cheaper now my family are grown up, which will hopefully mean that I'll reach a point in the next few years when I can manage financially without working full-time. I have grandchildren and would like to be able to spend more time with them as well as having more time for other interests and some voluntary work that I do.

My main worry about making the change is that I'd lose research time, rather than teaching hours and basically end up working FT hours for PT pay. Has anyone any experience (good or bad!) about making the move that they could share?

OP’s posts: |
luckycat007 Sat 27-Oct-18 17:55:18

Watching with interest..although I've been told even if you go PT you end up still doing a FT load anyway 🤔😕

purplepandas Sat 27-Oct-18 17:56:50

I've been told the exact same as lucky so carry on with ft. Annoying as would love to do 4 days.

tiredacademic Sat 27-Oct-18 20:55:16

One of my colleagues (professor) went to 0.5 contract. She really has to fight hard to protect her days off and is definitely doing more than her 2.5 days a week. She often ends up having to come in for the odd hour or two on her days off.

lll77 Sat 27-Oct-18 23:32:34

hmm, this is as I suspected. I definitely don't want to work full time for a part time salary!

I don't know of anyone who has made the shift from FT to PT for any reason other than having a new baby, and I suppose in that situation you have a very clear reason why you can't work on non-work days. A bit more tricky to manage perhaps if it's just because you want more time to do other things. I'll need to give this some more serious thought.

Thanks all.

OP’s posts: |
luckycat007 Sat 27-Oct-18 23:59:01

The thing is I suppose they don't generally want people going PT especially with student numbers / demands being the way they are at the moment. A lot of universities bang on about research but my exp so far is ultimately the nappy changing of students comes first (although I expect this is different at places which are not so teaching focussed). I know at my place if anyone went PT it would hammer everyone else workload wise although my area is very popular as a degree choice at the moment. Things may change, who knows, but I'd love to go PT as at the moment I have no time for a life outside work never mind being able to focus on research.

user2222018 Sun 28-Oct-18 09:03:52

I do know of people who work 0.6-0.8 and use that to refuse almost every task asked of them - they do far less than 60-80% of a full time academic's load.

Teaching is allocated according to a formula, so they get their 60-80% share of that, but there are lots of other things that aren't formally accounted for e.g. progression reviews for Phd students, peer review of grant bids, REF related work, appointments panels. They don't do any of the latter, due to their part-time status.

So I think it can work, but you have to be pretty tough about refusing tasks.

Orchiddingme Sun 28-Oct-18 09:27:37

The people I know who work f/t as lecturers are either junior or very senior (been profs for long time). I don't see how, with a cooperative head of dep't, you can't drop down to three days a week? If you are not fussed about career progression past this point (you aren't going to make professor going part-time). You just do 0.6 of the teaching load. It's not common but it doesn't mean it's impossible.

luckycat007 Sun 28-Oct-18 12:48:22

@Orchiddingme I'm very tempted... I may broach the subject myself...!

parietal Sun 28-Oct-18 22:09:04

if you do it, then you can point out to your HoD that this will be great for ATHENA SWAN and that you can't take on any admin etc because that will take too much time. So then it can work.

NeverEverAnythingEver Sun 28-Oct-18 22:20:02

I moved from FT to PT (after baby, as lll77 said). I managed teaching and research and supervision of PhD/MSc students and other admin tasks according to our workload model. I certainly don't work less than I'm paid, probably a bit more, but not a lot more. I love it.

But it's true about (the lack of) career progression...

Soontobe60 Sun 28-Oct-18 22:29:57

Although not in HE, I am a senior leader in a primary school who has dropped a day this term. I now work tues to fri. I did have some teaching commitment, and when I dropped a day I pointed out that I would also need to drop some teaching time. That was acceptable.
The best thing about PT? Not having that Sunday night feeling all teachers dread. I spend the weekend with family, and Monday catch up in any work I would normally have done at the weekend, allocating no more than an hour. Tuesday is a full on day but when I get home I feel like I'm almost half way through the week!
Next September I'm dropping another day and can't wait!

murmuration Tue 06-Nov-18 07:31:14

I don't have personal experience, but I've seen friends do this. It seems that yes, a big danger is losing research time only. In fact, I've had multiple friends up their admin when going part time. However, another friend (male, although not sure if it made a difference) made it very clear when he went part time that he was going to drop teaching and admin just the same as research, and got an agreement for a 50% reduction there before he ever put in. And was very good at saying "no, I'm part time" when asked for more. He did this for childcare reasons, though, so as you point out it is easier to explain.

I do know a Prof who moved to an 0.6 contract, and not for kids, but don't know any more. I want actually to ask her more about this... she's at a distant Uni, though, and we usually only meet once a year, so I'll have to find a way to meet up some other time when we're not so rushed.

FurryGiraffe Tue 06-Nov-18 09:20:54

I'm on a 0.8, on an ASE contract at a dual intensive institution. We have a pretty comprehensive workload model (there's very little that it doesn't cover), and I do 0.8 of the full time load. It works to a degree, but I have a huge senior admin role (it's a big department) and realistically that eats up far more time than is allocated to it. Also, I get 0.8 of the scholarship time of a full timer but honestly, working 0.8 doesn't reduce the amount of stuff I have to keep up with (very fast moving discipline). On the plus side I have a great HoD who is very supportive.

The other thing to watch if on a research contract is that working 0.8 doesn't reduce the REF expectation. I think you need to be on a 0.75 or less for that.

JustAnotherManicUsername Thu 29-Nov-18 11:49:09

I've worked 0.6 and now 0.8 for years. I got promoted L to SL within this time but I do think I'd struggle to get promoted to Prof without going FT. It works really well for me - I don't work over my hours and I have leadership roles. I do say no to things but I think I'm still seen as a good citizen. I know a Prof who has reduced her hours a lot (0.4? 0.2?) not because of kids but because of wanting to pursue another interest. It seems to work really well. She has a really clear and distinctive role within the department for which she is highly valued and doesn't seem to work more than her hours.

Could you do a trial period - say a year and then review, from both your own and your line manager's point of view?

Willow1992 Thu 29-Nov-18 12:00:45

My DP did a 0.6 lectureship while looking for something full time after his PhD. I would estimate that it was more or less a full time job by the standards of a normal working week, without meaning he was working most evenings and weekends as he does now in a full time senior lectureship!

Obviously this was different as he was keen to put in the hours for progression's sake. If you aren't worried about that then I would give PT a try and listen to those telling you to just practice saying 'no' to tasks outside of your contracted workload!

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