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Title: Handling multiple demands in academia : does gender play a role?
Author: Burnell, Nigel R. F.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 3215
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2019
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This thesis is a collection of three related papers examining how academics handle multiple demands in the UK higher education sector, as outlined in chapter one. It suggests why some academics progress faster through their careers than others and why gender imbalances may persist in academia. It uses a behavioural approach to these questions by examining the role of individual preferences, differing responsiveness to student expectations and engagement and biases in evaluations of teaching. Chapter two reports the effect of individual research, teaching and time preferences on time allocated to research. I find that devoting more time to research is associated with higher levels of seniority. I find that preferences for research and teaching are in conflict and greater preferences for research predict more time allocated to research. Further, there are significant gender differences in research preference that provide a lens to examine a male career advantage in academia. Chapter three reports a survey experiment testing the motivation of academics devoting more time to extra-curricular teaching effort, when it is in conflict with research time. I test whether student expectations of support and student engagement motivates extra-curricular teaching effort, as well as examine gender differences in the responsiveness to expectations and engagement. I find that expectations and engagement affect extra-curricular teaching effort positively for both male and female academics. Chapter four tests for gender bias in teaching evaluations, following from findings that female academics may devote less time to research and more time to teaching (chapter two). I find evidence of gender bias and show that gender bias may be eliminated by the academic's seniority but not by a high warmth teaching style. I find no evidence of less biased evaluations by those who anticipate gender bias. Chapter five summarizes the findings of this thesis and concludes.
Supervisor: Cojuhareco, Irina Sponsor: Leverhulme Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral