Part-time work ?

Part-time work and job-sharing : solutions to be chosen with care

Some people, particularly women who have just had a child, wish to reduce their working hours in order to better « reconcile family life and work », thus demonstrating a strong sense of responsibility. In doing so, they wish to ensure that they will be 100% available when they are at work and as far as possible prevent their « private » life from encroaching on their
« professional » life.

Before opting for part-time employment, the pros and cons must be weighed up :

  • a lower salary – often for almost the same workload (particularly for « personal » research work) ;
  • more limited access to information and lower visibility within the institution and networks ;
  • no guarantee that the « reconciliation » will work much better.

However, part-time work can be a good solution if :

  • the reduction in working time is moderate ;
  • a significant reduction of the latter is for a limited time period only and part of a career plan discussed with the partner and superior ;
  • it concerns a permanent managerial/professorial position, with the option to increase or adjust working hours.

N.B. : part-time employees requesting funding in the context of a project submitted to the SNSF cannot increase their working hours using funds granted for the project.

Useful link: the SNSF 120% support grant. It is aimed at postdoctoral researchers who need to look after children during an important stage in their career and who therefore need more flexibility. The grant helps researchers to find the right balance between their academic career and family commitments by enabling part-time employment.