Research and teaching are often construed by academic staff as incongruous activities that have little overlap in practice. Many studies on the relationship of teaching and research assume an inherent competition or “rivalry” between these two practices. In this study, we draw on a framework that conceptualizes these academic practices not as distinct and irreconcilable, but rather as analogous practices with a common essential goal: the advancement of learning and knowledge. Taking a phenomenographic research perspective, we investigated how 39 early career, research active academic staff at a research-intensive university conceive of learning across their academic experience and practices. We identified five distinct conceptions of academic learning within three general categories: disconnected, transitional, and connected.