How Academics Spend Their Time? Not Me.

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I just read this review of how professors spend their time while working. It struck me that a key component that I spend a substantial amount of time and energy on is missing: Fund raising. Here is a visual summary of the article courtesy of someone on reddit:

I first looked through other practices like “letter writing” and “research development” but these require no time at all so I don’t think that’s where fund raising is hiding.

I then thought that perhaps fundraising hides in meetings, making fund raising talking to industry (rather than grant proposal writing). Here is what the article says about meetings:

These meetings included everything from advising meetings with students (which could be considered part of teaching or service depending on the department) to committee meetings that have a clear service function.

No luck either. I don’t understand: Just how, where, and when do these surveyed academics raise funds for research? I easily spend 20% of my time, if not more, on fund raising to keep my research group afloat. I really would like to know.

As I tell students at the end of Nailing your Thesis, my class on how to perform research: When everything else fails, try humor. In that sense, here is Jorge Cham of phdcomics fame on the subject:


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