freetext responses by participants:

general comments
1st child's effect on career
2nd child's effect on career

statistics about the survey:

who took the survey
age and kids
time off and childcare
effect of child on work
gender ratios

other resources:

MamaPhD blog
Do babies matter?
Mind the gap
University of Michigan: Advance program


What is this survey about?

We, Karrie and Lada, are tenure-track faculty members at two large US research universities. In summer of 2010 Karrie was expecting her first kid, and Lada had a ten month old. Since it was all a bit new to us, we were wondering when other women with PhDs chose to have kids and how they balanced career and family. The survey was not part of any formal study, and we were just conducting it for fun and insight. It's not too late to take it, since we'll be updating the results periodically.

sample responses:

"my career has not been affected by having a child - my overall stress level was dramatically increased."

"For the two-year span between the last few months of pregnancy and the end of nursing, I probably worked at 50% productivity (excluding actual maternity leave time). Since teaching and other responsibilities remained the same, this meant that my research really foundered."

"My decision of having only one child was closely related to the stage of my academic career."

"She's an adult now, and my career has been quite successful."

"The first year was challenging. In the second year, I explored other career options before settling on essentially the one I had."

A disclaimer about the results of the survey. This is just an informal survey, any results posted are not necessarily representative, and therefore no inferences should be drawn from them about the female PhD population in general. But as a PhD, you knew that right? Great! And if you are interested in a rigorous treatment of work/life balance in academia, etc., there are a number of published studies on the topisc.

Click on some of the links on the left to see freetext responses or aggregate data.