I am a postdoctoral supported by 2 grants (say A and B) with 50/50. Those 2 grants are owned by different PIs.

I would happy to have suggestions for the followings:

  1. When I finish a paper for grant A, am I expected to acknowledge both grant A and B, or A alone?

  2. Am I expected to put the PI of grant B as a co-author? Contribution could be ignored here. I can always just send the paper to the PI and he/she could contribute to critically review the manuscript. So I am wondering am I expected to do that.

What is the obligation and common practices for these? Thanks.


You should only acknowledge the grant(s) on which the publication was actually based, i.e. where the funding/time/equipment came from.

(Co)Authors should only be people who have actually contributed to the publication. There are already some good answers to this part of your question, see for example this one related to PIs.

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Probably keep the co-authorships and acknowledgments separate, particularly if the topics are very different. At least, wait for the second PI to request it before you gift him with it.

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If a grant contributes to your specific work, acknowledge it. If a PI contributes to your specific work, acknowledge him/her at some appropriate level. But if your work is split, then you don't need to merge them mentally or otherwise.

But, I think the best way to handle this is not to make your now decision or take any advice here, but to talk to the two PIs and see what they recommend.

Any person or funding agency without whom/which you can't succeed is probably worthy of acknowledgement. For the agencies it is an easier question, especially if they are providing your salary and living expenses. For the professors, it depends more on the nature of your project(s).

In edge cases it is probably better to acknowledge people, or even include them as co-authors just to build academic comity and to keep people in your academic circle for a lifetime.

Your work as a doctoral student will be your first major work, not your last or only work. Hopefully it won't even be your best work. Build for the future.

I also note that co-authorship of PI's is a field-dependent issue. In some it is essentially required. In others, just not done. I was never co-author with any of my students on their doctoral work, nor was my advisor one of my co-authors.

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