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Parenting during the PhD

I recently ran a poll on Twitter to see which percentage of PhD students are parents, as Olga and I were wondering about this data for the book we are writing. As you can see, more than 1 in 5 PhD students are parents! This result came as a bit of a surprise to me. I’ve only ever known three people who parented during their PhD (two had kids during their PhD, one is a part-time PhD candidate who has -I think- teenaged children). In my field, I think it’s rather uncommon.

This poll teaches me two things:
– I need to keep my own biases in check! Because I don’t know many people who parented during their PhD years is not a reason to assume barely anybody parents during the PhD!
– Between a fifth and a quarter of all PhD students are parents. We should keep them in mind more often – when developing university policies, offering support, and creating more space in academia to fit the schedules of parents.

Thanks to all who voted in the poll!

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