Grad.Students (ab)use

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Sun Oct 15 17:05:33 EST 1995


Dear Dick,
Yours is a very good example, and of course there are
many cases like yours when students/postdocs benefit from
this experiencxe. There are also other cases as well. I got
some few interesting comments (7 or 8 total), mostly 
former grads and postdocs. The feelings are mixed and
quite few do think that they indeed beeb taken advantage of.

After a while I will probably post some kind of
(unattributed) summary of this. But generally, the
main reason I posted this pool is that I do see a lot
of links between grantsmanship (as it now practiced) and 
student abuses.  The sources of evil here I think all
the same (peer review, selectivity, competition ideology,
and all the stuff we are fighting with).

Yours - Alex  



On Sun, 15 Oct 1995, Richard Gordon wrote:

> Dear Alex,
> 
> I have long involved grad students and postdocs in the grant writing
> process, and now often ask that they produce the first draft. This doesn't
> simply reduce my work, but gives them a chance to formulate what they want
> to do in their research. It's voluntary, and only for grants on which they
> have a (named) stipend line. The result is that after they leave me they
> generally have much better success in getting grants than I do, and much
> of the money in "my" lab is actually independent fellowships held by my
> students. In the latter case, they write the first draft, I help, and MY
> name stays off. So it's reciprocal, voluntary, and occasionally even
> brings in money. 
> 
> Yours, -Dick[Oct15,95]
> 
> 
> On 7 Oct 1995, Alexander Berezin wrote:
> 
> > 
> > GRADUATE STUDENTS AS GRANT PRPOPSAL WRITERS FOR 
> > THEIR BOSSES : HOW COMMON THIS PRACTICE IS ?
> > 
> > In a private e-exchange on the research funding 
> > theme a colleague has informed me of a practice 
> > when (some) professors use their graduate students 
> > in the capacity of grant proposals writers for 
> > themselves (the professors).
> > 
> > Specifically, example was given when a student was
> > requested to write grant proposal for the "boss"
> > as a part of his/her PhD comprehensive examinations.  
> > "Write a proposal in the style of NIH grant".
> > 
> > In another case student "would hardly finish one of 
> > the boss' grants and the boss give him/er another".  
> > 
> > My correspodent concludes: 
> > 
> > "It's generally accepted by most grad students that 
> > I've talked to that this is abuse, but I really don't 
> > know what it thought by the tenure professors".
> > 
> > As I (A.Berezin) am presently working with another
> > colleague on a paper/letter about PhD (over)production 
> > and grantsmanship, I will appreciate comments on the 
> > above issue form profsessors AND graduate students
> > (and, of course, all other who may have info).
> > 
> > Any ideas on how widespread this practice is ? 
> > 
> > What are the moral/ethical "justifiers" behind it, if 
> > any ?  [ Yes, one can say that "we have to train 
> > students how to write grants" ], etc.
> > 
> > Do you personally consider it as abuse or "okay" ?
> > 
> > Comments can be either posted of e-mailed to me
> > privatly - in the latter case, the confindentiallity
> > of respodees will be, of course, respected.
> > 
> > **********************************
> > Alexander A. Berezin, PhD
> > Department of Engineering Physics
> > McMaster University, Hamilton,
> > Ontario, Canada, L8S 4L7
> > tel. (905) 525-9140 ext. 24546
> > e-mail: BEREZIN at MCMASTER.CA
> > **********************************
> > 
> >      
> > 
> > 
> > 
> 



More information about the Bioforum mailing list