Research ethics survey

Valerie Cardenas Nicolson valerie at itsa.ucsf.edu
Mon Mar 3 20:14:59 EST 1997


S L Forsburg wrote:
> better.  This should not be a surprise to anyone.  If you go to
> graduate school, you must be prepared to work hard.  My technician
> has a 40 hour week.  My students don't.  It's no different
> for me as a PI.  Certainly I work more than 40hrs/wk, and

Just out of curiosity, what do you do about time-off and vacations
for your students?  Most of the students I knew didn't have to
count vacation hours (engineering students).  If they wanted to
go skiing for a day midweek and work all weekend, it was no big
deal to anyone in the lab.  If they'd spent day and night working
to meet an abstract deadline and wanted to take some time off
afterwards to read novels, go grocery shopping, whatever, no one
was watching the clock.  They never filled out time sheets.

Somehow that was never the case with me.  I was a bioengineer and
I worked for a physiology prof and then a psychology prof.  I had
to fill out time sheets and had to use accrued vacation and sick
leave when I wanted to visit family on breaks, take a vacation, or 
stay home sick.  That may not sound like a big deal, but when you're
only paid half-time (university rules) and accrue vacation and sick
half-time, but still work full-time, it really annoyed me.  

So how do all you PIs out there handle it?  Do you give your
hard-working students a break when they want a vacation?  If
your student worked her tail off all during the school year but
hadn't accrued 10 days of vacation and wanted to take
two weeks off for her wedding during the summer (this is assuming
you pay full-time during the summer), what would you do?  Make the
student take time without pay or just tell her to have a great time?
I really don't know if my advisers were just extremely tight with
money, or if they felt they had to handle student vacations this
way because they employed so many people who weren't students
(subject recruiters, admin asst., etc) who might be jealous of
students having more "flexible" schedules.

Valerie



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