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Talk to me about being a university lecturer

(14 Posts)
Concordia Mon 30-May-11 13:34:59

Hi all. I'm in the process of finishing my EdD (literally faffing about with the contents pages so very very nearly finished) and have seen a lecturer job which i am interested in. It's local, russell group, has research in the job description, as well as some undergraduate lecturing. i meet the criteria for the lower grade (grade 7) which would be a pay cut compared to my previous job but would take it if it were interesting enough.
I've previously worked in education (schools) but at the moment am part sahm part time doctoral student (gave up work just over a year ago).
i don't want to be out of the workplace too long and could go back to what i did before (if i could find a job in current climate) but being a lecturer would be a big career change for me. Worried i might not get back if i didn't like it. It's also a full time job, i would probably prefer part time as DCs are 4 and 2 at the mo'.
Have seen threads on mumsnet with academics stressing about their hours and how un family friendly their jobs are. Just interested in what it is really like.

Concordia Mon 30-May-11 13:36:30

should add that academia is probably a long held dream for me, and would quite suit me i guess. supervisor had asked if i had considered it, which is why i was kind of looking around on t'internet (rather than finishing the thesis!)
i'm 37 if that makes any difference to anything at all.

crystalglasses Mon 30-May-11 13:39:07

Apply. You've got nothing to lose. Lecturing posts are very competitive so you may be putting the cart before the horse. Decide whether you want it once you get to the shortlisted/interview or offered stage.
Good luck

ShimmeryPixie Mon 30-May-11 13:43:32

My DH is a Russell Group lecturer and he has pretty good hours. He does some lectures, some classes, plus research and he loves it. Teaching time is set at the start of the year (and you can request things such as "always finish by 16:30" or "would prefer not to have teaching time on Mondays" - so there is some flexiblity). He is very busy this time of year due to exam marking (it does eat up weekends), but when that is over, i.e. August, he has the time to rootle around in the British Library and research obscure points smile to his heart's content. He has to do some administrative work (though not as much as ina previous job) and has to do an 'enabling role' too.

Russell Group is generally good - though the first few years can be really hard work as you have to prepare all your classes/materials and you will also be pulled in many directions at once, but it is worth it in the end.

Threadworm8 Mon 30-May-11 13:50:32

This may be a function of my DH's personality as well as of the job itself, but as a lecturer at a RG university, he works all the hours in the day, including throughout the vacations. This Easter hol for example, he didn't even take Good Friday or Easter Monday off. There is a hideous amout of pressure to stack up publications, the teaching pressures are immense, and there is a significant bureaucratic workload too. The days of it being a family friendly career are long gone I think.

picc Mon 30-May-11 14:02:31

...was going to write what Threadworm8 wrote (same situation with my DH).

...and I left research partly for those reasons....

But go for it, and see! It's a very "privileged" life in some ways. You are doing something you love. But you do have to reeeeally love it, imo, as it becomes all-encompassing.

Good luck smile

crystalglasses Mon 30-May-11 14:40:05

Yes, I have spent most of this weekend writing up some research for publication (to 4am this morning) and a couple of conference presentations. I know I will be doing the same til about 4am tomorrow/ Tuesday am. house goes to pot, social life goes the same way, dh and dc completely neglected. dh completely supportive because he knows I love it and get completely lost in my work. Does nothing for my health though as my hips spread wider and wider and the effect of stress on my blood pressure.
What other job is there that's as poorly paid yet so absorbing you'd willingly give up all spare time?

Concordia Mon 30-May-11 19:38:46

Thanks for your comments, i am still mulling it over. On paper it looks like something i would love doing, but I am not sure at the moment i would be keen on a long hours full time role, it's only 14 months ago i gave up work to spend more time with the DC who are still young. Am considering asking whether there is any possibility that job share / part time will be considered (likely to be pipe dream i suspect if things are that competitive) and / or looking again in six months to a year to see what is out there then.
would love to hear others perspectives and opinions though. Have half filled in the online form!

Concordia Tue 31-May-11 19:10:13


Concordia Wed 01-Jun-11 14:25:34

any other advice gratefully received (or maybe you are just all working too hard!)

Concordia Thu 02-Jun-11 16:28:28


Concordia Thu 02-Jun-11 16:28:39


Libra Thu 02-Jun-11 16:44:58

I suspect that you are not getting responses because we are all in the hell that is marking.

I love the job, but I do it full time and I personally think that those of my colleagues who are part time get a poorer deal - their teaching load is not much reduced and they tend to have to do marking and preparation in their own time. They also tend to do less research, which has implications for promotion and status.

I would apply for the job and then worry about the hours after they have offered it to you.

There is flexibility outside teaching hours - so I can usually arrange to go to sports days or concerts, etc (unless I don't want to!) but within term time there is less flexibility.

Concordia Thu 02-Jun-11 18:50:31

thanks libra, i did know someone who went part time after the birth of her DS and that was her experience. she ended up leaving academia in the end.

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