Successful careers and families are both demanding, but putting flexible support strategies in place will help you move towards a more balanced life

 

Is it possible to have it all in academia - a successful career and achieve work-life balance? Or will it be a case of endlessly juggling work and parenting demands? Here we curate information to help answer that question in the context of your job and your family. The resources will support you to make the most of your situation, whether that means taking advantage of workplace flexibility or learning to say no. Join our mailing list to get the latest support and guidance sent straight to your inbox!


 

Interview with Gretta Pecl on work-life balance in academia

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“A manager asking the simple question ‘What do you need?’ is very valuable. Although sometimes it may not be possible to meet that need, often there will be an easy solution.”

Professor Gretta Pecl, Director @ Centre for Marine Socioecology


 

Interview with Jeremy Brownlie on balancing academia and being a dad

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“I still find that there is an expectation that fathers are more likely to be able to travel for work, to attend meetings early or late in the day, and that they won’t be at home as much.”

Dr Jeremy Brownlie @ GRIFFITH UNIVERSITY


 

Resources on work-life balance for parents in academia

article on balancing career and family in academia

Balancing Career And Family In Academia Global

This fantastic collection of articles from Science explores stories, tips and tricks to help you balance academic work demands and caring responsibilities. Topics include the two-body problem, support programs and the changes needed to support parents in academia.

article on finding right work-life balance

7 Posts To Help You Find The Right Work-Life Balance With Children Global

Whether you work in a lab, are a single parent, or are breaking back into academia after a career break, this collection from Nature provide tips on creating a balance between work and your caring responsibilities.

article on outsourcing for academics

Outsourcing For Academics: Is It Worth It? Global

Academic parents are busy busy busy. So how can we reduce demands on our time, particularly the demands that do not directly support either our career or quality family time? This article discusses outsourcing various activities as a way to improve your quality of life. Please note, this article is from the blog of an academic editing service who are likely looking for your custom. Nonetheless, they provide some useful guidance on how to decide when outsourcing is worth it.

article on working smarter

Working Smarter Global

An interesting take on work-life balance from an entrepreneur: "Cyan also has an app on her phone that reminds her five times a day that she’s going to die". Whether this approach is for you or not, it is worth checking out the tips on time management at the end of the article!

article on balancing fatherhood and academia

Fatherhood & Academia Global

Do you feel your story of balancing work with caring responsibilities isn't taken as seriously as those of female academics? If so, you are not alone: Matt Fotis discusses this and other challenges in his article on being a father in academia.

article on being a super working mum

Super Working Mum Global

Is there such a thing as a Super Working Mum? This article by successful business woman Hannah Mann focuses on tips to help working mums, while also busting common superwoman myths. She says "you can have both a successful career and kids if you really want it and are realistic about what that looks like"!

article on being an academic and a single parent

Academic & Single Parent Global

Are you a single parent in academia? Do you feel like you are struggling alone? This article by Helen Shen provides stories of other parents doing it tough, their wins and tips to make your life a little bit easier.

article on why women can't have it all

What It Really Takes To Be An Academic And Parent UK+

This refreshing article by Melissa Terras, a Professor of Digital Cultural Heritage in the UK, smashes some of the myths of academic motherhood. She asks us to move from a discourse that focuses on the unachievable (being superwoman) to a more realistic image of the challenges of being a mother and an academic.

article on using calendars to achieve work-family balance

Calendars & Work-Life Balance USA+

Good planning is central to a healthy, balanced life. Here, experts in work-life balance in academia provide you with pointers on using a designated calendar to achieve your work and home goals without having burn out.

article on the superwoman fallacy

Why Women Still Can't Have It All USA+

This article by Anne-Marie Slaughter, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University and ex-director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department, generated considerable controversy on its publication. The author is unapologetic about her view that we need to be careful about the stories we tell to women and the myths that are being built around careers and motherhood. Definitely worth a read.

 
Funding

Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship UK

If you have caring responsibilities or heath concerns, and need flexible work arrangements, then check out the 5 year Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships.

Tools & Training

8 Steps To Improve Work-Life Balance Global

This simple but effective guide breaks down the key steps to achieving better balance between your work and home lives.

Support & Community

The Chronicle for Higher Education Work-Life Balance Forum Global

If you have a burning question about achieving work-life balance in academia, then post it on the work-life balance forum and leverage the community’s combined knowledge.

Blogs to check out