How I spent my work time in 2013

I recorded almost 2,000 hours of work last year. Ideally, I would have spent twice as much time doing research as I did teaching, and twice as much time teaching as I did administrative tasks. Here is what really happened.

  • Research accounted for 58% of my time in the best case.
    • 33% were organisation of COINS as a project, of its activities and processes. COINS is the Norwegian national research school of computer and information security. It is not research per se, it is researcher training, so one could count it in the intersection of research, teaching and administration.
    • 10% were own research time, developing secure user interfaces, and writing papers about the research and on user behaviour logging.
    • 6% of my time went to writing applications for funding. One could argue whether proposal writing should count as research or as administration.
    • 5% were Ph.D. supervision in the area of forensic readiness.
    • 3% of my working hours were devoted to attending conferences and to keeping current in the field.
    • 1% were peer-reviewing of articles.
  • Teaching accounted for 25% of my time in 2013.
    • 8% were teaching IMT3501 Software Security (as part of the bachelor in information security).
    • 6% were teaching IMT4122 Software Security Trends and IMT4881/4882 Specialisation Course (as part of the master in information security).
    • 6% of my time went to my tasks as the study programme director of the bachelor in information security. One could argue whether these tasks should count as teaching or as administration.
    • 3% were supervision of master theses or the preparation of thesis projects
    • 2% were supervision of bachelor theses
  • Administration accounted for at least 17% of my time last year.
    • 5% of my time were spent in meetings that were not classified as research or teaching.
    • 4% of my time were participation in activities of the FRISC network, bringing together academics, industrial researchers, and users.
    • 4% of my time were used to meet with industry in the region or in Oslo, or to give presentations, and those meetings could not be classified as research or as proposal writing.
    • 4% of my time were spent on various unspecified administrative tasks, like filling in forms, reporting, safety exercises etc.

Roughly, I came close to my goal of a 4:2:1 partition of my time to research : teaching : administration.

Looking closer, I spent just 19% of my time on real research (+33% on researcher training, +6% on obtaining funding), 19% on real teaching (+6% on managing teaching), 9% on pure administration (+8% on networking). Hence, the distribution of time looks more like 2:2:1 for research : teaching : administration with an additional 3:2 for researcher training and networking/funding.

Goal for 2014: Reserve more time for research.

About Author: Hanno Langweg

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