Job Functions in Higher Education: Teaching, Research, and Service


Almost every chemist working in higher education performs three main functions:

ACS Career Services
The Teaching, Research and Service Responsibilities for Higher Education Job Functions
  • Teaching: Including classroom and lab, holding office hours, mentoring, and employing new pedagogies
  • Research: Including directing undergraduate and graduate students, publications, and grants
  • Service: To their department, their college, the community, and their profession

The difference from one educational setting to the next is the proportion of time devoted to each function. The following table presents a breakdown of the amount of time required to be devoted to job functions according to degree.

Faculty Responsibilities and Type of Institution
Degree GrantedTeaching RequirementResearch Requirement
Ph.D.3 - 6 hours per week (lecture)
  • 6 - 10 publications in 6 years
  • $100k+ in grants
M.S. and Baccalaureate10 - 15 hours per week (lecture and lab)
  • 2 - 3 publications in 6 years
  • $20 - $60k in grants
Associate's20+ hours per week (lecture and lab)
  • 0 - 2 publications

General note  - In order to get tenure, grants received in the first 6 years should roughly equal the startup package.