Emeritus Professor Michael Bittman

Appointment Citation

Michael Bittman is a scholar of high international and national repute. He is one of the world's foremost experts in the analysis of time use data. He has published extensively across a number of disciplines - sociology, family studies, economics, public health and child development. He has published 56 papers in peer-reviewed journals, co-authored and/or co-edited 4 books, 24 book chapters and 38 reports/working papers. He has an h-index of 40 (based on a total of 4,817 citations as of 14/3/2015). His article When Does Gender Trump Money? is amongst the most cited article on income, bargaining power and time spent in housework and his article the Rush Hour has become a significant point of reference for students of leisure. His report for the Office of the Status of Women, Juggling Time is considered the definitive work of its kind and held in most school libraries around Australia.

Michael Bittman has an outstanding reputation as a scholar, as attested by:

  1. Appointments to influential international forums; for example Chair, United Nations, Statistical Division's Expert Statistical Group Responsible for the Development of a Standard International Activity Classification, 1997;
  2. Election to learned societies; for example President of the International Association for Time Use Research, 2005-13; Fellow of Academy of Social Sciences in Australia since 2006. The latter includes his roles of chairing the International Committee and serving as a member of the Executive Committee from 2007-2014;
  3. Awards of fully-funded research fellowships at Australian National University, University of Melbourne, University of Essex, and the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Michael also holds a continuing appointment as an affiliate of the Centre for Time Use, University of Oxford, and has served as the Acting Director of the Social Policy Centre University of New South Wales, Australia's premier social policy research organisation. He has delivered keynote and plenary addresses across the world, and has helped organise numerous major international conferences and events including Biennial Meetings of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development (2006), XVlth World Congress of Sociology (2006) and training workshops on Understanding the Economic Contributions of Women (2012-2013 in South Africa, Brazil, India and China). Since 2004, he has been a Member of the Consortium Advisory Group, responsible for the design of the multi-million dollar Longitudinal Study of Australian Children.

Michael also has an impressive record of success in attracting external research funding. He has been part of teams awarded over $3 million in nationally competitive grants from the ARC and NHMRC, and has secured an additional $5.7 million research funding from various sources, such as the prestigious philanthropic MacArthur Foundation in the USA, industry, NGOs branches of Federal and State government, and international aid agencies.

Over his career, Michael has provided outstanding service to his discipline. He is a grant assessor for U.K. Economic and Social Research Council, Belgium's National Fund for Scientific Research, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He also has served as a grant assessor for the ARC, and, since being elevated to status of Oz-Reader in 2005, has assessed up to 20 Discovery and 20 Linkage applications for funding each year.

Michael has made substantial direct contributions to UNE. When appointed in 2005, Michael moved his share of 4 national competitive grants (ARC grants, LP0455391, LP0560982, NMHRC # 334308, # 399150) and some contract research from his former employer (the Social Policy Research Centre, UNSW) to UNE. This meant that UNE shared in the commonwealth bonuses associated with $951,000 worth of grants and contract research income over the lifetime of these existing projects. From 2005 to 2010 Michael Bittman continued to have regular success in the national competitive grants either leading or sharing in a further 6 ARC grants (LP0561891, LP0667674, DP0774439, DP0879812, LP0991650, LSOlOOOOOl) with a total value of $1,348,320. Michael continues to be an active researcher. As a UNE Adjunct, Michael was recently named as Chief Investigator on ARC grant DP140102856 with a total value of $340,000.

Michael Bittman was a founding member of the Centre for Applied Research in Social Sciences (CARSS) at UNE in 2005 and served as Director from 2006-mid 2010. His background in self-funded applied social research provided the necessary experience to win contracts. Most importantly, few academics have such a well-developed set of contacts among potential clients. He was instrumental in winning a $180,000 contract from the Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Aboriginal Affairs, being the initial contact for the Tender and co-author of the tender proposal which launched CARSS as a financially stand-alone entity. CARSS won a succession of research contracts between 2005 and 2010, generating over $750,000 in direct income. CARSS also was a very successful launching pad for developing research profiles across the university.

In terms of administrative contributions, Michael was an active participant on several UNE Research Committees - initially with the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Committee and later with the BCSS Research and Post-Graduate Committee - formulating policies and assessing and ranking application of research seed money.

Michael has given numerous presentations at sessions organised by the UNE Research Office, aimed at promoting staff activity in applications for national competitive grants, including building track records, and the specifics of how to write ARC Discovery and ARC Linkage applications. He followed-up these talks with offers to read and advise on grant applications by any UNE staff, leading to several successes. He also has been an invited speaker at several events for higher degree candidates, explaining the benefits and obstacles involved in completing dissertations and in building a track record for further academic employment.

In summary, Michael Bittman is an outstanding scholar who has made impressive contributions both to his discipline and also UNE. He is a great asset to the University, and we strongly endorse his nomination for Emeritus status.