Special Interest Group on Work-Life Issues in the Academy


  • To share research findings, insights, and best practice on work-life issues in the academy.
  • To encourage international and multi-disciplinary research collaborations amongst members.
  • To disseminate information about relevant conferences, workshops, calls for papers for special editions of journals, and edited books.
  • To identify and compare the legislation, working conditions and support available for academics in different countries (e.g., the right to paid leave and attitudes towards flexible working practices), and the effect of national and local policies and how they impact on work-life issues in the academy.
  • To identify how specific features of academic work might influence personal life, both positively and negatively.
  • To consider the ways in which women and men balance the demands of academic work with family caretaking duties, as well as with responsibilities and personal interests outside work and the family.
  • To explore gender, inequality, and work-life issues in academia, particularly in STEM fields, and how these might impact on career choice, recruitment, and retention through the lifespan.
  • To explore the impact of initiatives, such as spousal hiring policies (particularly common in academia), on work-life balance.
  • To work towards influencing policy-makers, governments, and institutions to support the development of family-friendly workplaces in universities and colleges.


Co-Chair: Maike Philipsen
Professor of Foundations of Education
Virginia Commonwealth University

Co-Chair: Claartje Vinkenburg
Associate Professor
VU University Amsterdam

Group Organizer: Gail Kinman
Professor of Occupational Health Psychology, &
Director of the Research Centre for Applied Psychology
University of Bedfordshire, England