Under pressure: The extent and distribution of perceived pressure among scientists in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
by David Johann, Isabel Raabe, Heiko Rauhut
While it has been stressed repeatedly that academics nowadays have come to face extensive pressure, the extent and distribution of pressure to publish and to secure third-party funding has not been systematically investigated on a large scale. Based on the Zurich Survey of Academics, a representative large-scale web survey among academics working at universities in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland (DACH region), which measures perceived pressure using six-point Likert scales, this article examines the extent and distribution of pressure to publish and to attract external funding. Specifically, we examine differences in perceived pressure across countries, disciplines, types of higher education institutions, sociodemographic characteristics (academic status, age, gender, relationship status, number of children), and working conditions (non-tenured/tenured, time available for research). It is shown that researchers in the DACH region feel a high level of pressure, with the pressure to publish being slightly greater than the pressure to attract external funding. The results also suggest that perceived pressure is not evenly distributed among countries and groups of academics. Specifically, the results suggest that (1) more secure and permanent (tenured) positions should be created and (2) the high-performance culture should be addressed in at least some disciplines if excessive pressure is to be alleviated. The findings also suggest that further investments should be made (3) to promote equal career opportunities for women and men and (4) to ensure that scientists have sufficient time for their research and are not too occupied with other responsibilities, such as teaching or administrative duties.
Published in: Research Evaluation, rvac014, https://doi.org/10.1093/reseval/rvac01421 June 2022
Research Evaluation, rvac014, https://doi.org/10.1093/reseval/rvac014
21 June 2022
The third John von Neumann Lecture is on game theory, a discipline that Johnny founded in the 1930s and 1940s. His daughter, Marina v.N. Whitman, will introduce the event, and Sven Seuken (UZH) and Marek Pycia (UZH) will serve as panellists.