Ever wondered what professors get up to in the summer while you are enjoying your holidays? You may want to know the answer because you hope to be a professor one day too.
Well, in any case, here is what you need to know:
What Do Professors Do During the Summer Break?
Professors often have filled summers – they may teach either in their university or elsewhere, they may conduct research, do experiments, work with peers in their field, write books, and fulfill other administrative duties – they will often leave time for family and fun activities.
Do Professors Teach During the Summer?
Most professors are only hired for 9 or 10 months of the year. Thus, they are only obligated to teach semesters that fall in between these periods.
It is rare for professors to be hired for 12 months of the year but it isn’t unheard of. If this is the case, then the university may have you fulfill certain academic or administrative obligations during this period.
Some professors may request to teach during the summer months as well. This is more likely among professors with shorter work contracts.
Just because a professor doesn’t teach at their main university, however, doesn’t mean that they don’t teach during the holiday period. They may work as guest lecturers or take up a short-term teaching post elsewhere.
Professors also use some of their summers to prepare for the next semester. They will decide on the coursework, figure out which textbooks to assign, come up with assignments, etc.
Some professors may also do additional work with graduate students. This could include helping them to conduct research or help them write dissertations.
This may be a private service or one that is offered by the university.
Do Professors Work During the Summer?
Most professors do work during the summer. As mentioned, many of them are only employed by the university for 9 or 10 months of the year. As a result, they are only paid for this time.
Professors have to find other employment to make up for these missing salaries.
Many of them try to get research grants to conduct research during this period of time. Each grant is different and can cover a different section of time. Some may be only a month-long while the others may cover the entire summer.
Professors who only get shorter grants may be required to find other work so that they can be paid a salary all year long.
Some do this by doing consulting or having contract work. Now, this doesn’t take place only during the summer. However, as professors do have more free time during this time, they can take on a greater number of consulting or contracting gigs.
Professors who are able to get book deals will work on their books during the summertime. Some may write textbooks or even revise them.
Do Professors Only Do Work Related to Academia?
Most professors will try to teach, do research, or be engaged in some other academic endeavor. After all, most people are trying to build and bolster their careers.
If they aren’t involved in academia in some form or another, they may fall behind their peers.
At the end of the day, though, some professors are more focused on making ends meet. They will take any job or opportunity that comes their way.
There are also plenty of people who will volunteer their time as well.
Building Academic Connections During the Summer
Professors don’t only tackle paid work during the summer, though. They may attend conferences or present their work to authoritative bodies.
This is done to help build academic connections. In doing so, professors are able to legitimize themselves within their field. Having a proper network can also help them gain better access to research grants and other opportunities.
For many professors, the academic year is filled with teaching and other administrative tasks.
Due to this, summer is the only free time that they have. They use this time to link up with other professors and academics to carry out experiments that can help their research projects and others.
Do All Professors Have Such Engaged Summers?
No, the exact level of commitment will depend on the individual professor, the level of their career, where they are teaching, and the opportunities available to them.
It is only professors who need the money and accolades that will make an effort to fill up their summers. This is also true for individuals who are trying to build a more well-rounded career.
Professors that have seasoned careers and money in the bank may not make as much of an effort during the summer. Of course, this may change if they have a great research opportunity.
It should also be noted that not all professors have the same opportunities. If you have a storied career, have lots of published papers, or work for a good university, then you may get more chances to do research and get grants.
Otherwise, professors may find themselves having to conduct summer courses or tackle other tutoring jobs until better circumstances come along.
Do Professors Have to Work All Summer Long?
No, professors will take some time off for themselves too. After all, this is the longest break that they will get. Most people in academia aren’t given the same kind of vacation time as other jobs.
Thus, if they want to have a holiday or travel, now is the time to do so. Many professors will also spend time with their families.
These professors will first determine what kind of jobs or research opportunities are available to them. They will then plan their vacation around these days.
Of course, professors aren’t going to want to do this every year. And, if they have enough money and credibility, they will not have to either. It is possible that some professors may take the entire summer off to have fun.
What Do Professors Get Up to in the Summer?
There are a lot of things for professors to do in the summer – most of it is academia based and they may teach, help graduate students with dissertations, do their own research, work with peers, run experiments, and consult with other organizations.