To teach or not to teach? Tips and insights on how to combine lecturing and research well
As an academic, the joint commitments of teaching and research can often feel at odds with one another. Applying for grants, undertaking research, writing publications and presenting your work to peers, require a significant commitment of time. Whilst these tasks underpin your success as a researcher, you may also have lecturing duties, as part of your role. So how do you balance the two? What are the pros and cons of a role with little or no teaching responsibility? Can teaching enhance your career and also, serve to benefit your research?
“If you do a direct comparison between how much funding is generated by research grants versus educating a large number of students, the latter pays a lot of the bills..”
Teaching: Synergies and advantages for your research
Case Study: Dr Hannah K Batchelor - Senior Lecturer, University of Birmingham, UK
“Talking about current issues in medication to students, can often result in interesting questions that merit further research.”
- Be strict about preparation times for teaching material. Set a time allocation, (e.g. 3 hrs), and stick to it!
- Keep the learning objectives in mind, when writing lecture material. It will help you focus and cover the essentials.
- Remember you don’t have to talk for the full time. Allow time in your lectures for discussions with students and Q&A’s. This should help you cut down on preparation time and is also beneficial for student understanding.