I am (was) a mature student with 20 years previous commercial experience

Over the course of two extensive field trips plus lab work during my Masters degree I developed and promoted some interesting and contemporary ideas and methods in ecology. There were certainly aspects of originality and practical use.

Of course in my literature review I examined state-of-the-art and the relevance of my work within that.

At the time I was trying to obtain more buy-in and interest from my supervisor and the course supervisor. The response was luke warm to say the least. In fact I was led to believe that there was very little value in my work by a course director - which definitely put me off - although I was committed to what I thought was a great direction.

I would also say there are/were publishing opportunities - but as a busy Masters student it is difficult to start this, without contributions from some supervisor or other.

Subsequently (within a couple of months of thesis completion) I found out that in fact there was actually a massive interest in this topic, at the university (and elsewhere) . When I found this - I held a meeting with an academic (in a different dept, as this was a cross-department interest) - indeed it turns out that there was funding applied for , for the very topic. But I didn't hear from this academic again , I felt (rightly or wrongly) that they wanted to pick my brains rather than establish any co-operation

Now the university are running a full scale promotion and research in this field - indeed it is becoming a flagship concept.

I am frustrated that there seems to be no acknowledgement of my work. In one sense I understand that as soon as you are not a student at that university - then there is no obligation to involve you in any way. However I also feel that there is a sense in which the 'push to publish' has led them to be non-collaborative in this work now. And it would be naive to think that departments are not competitive, especially when there is interesting new work involved.

However I would have liked to have been involved at some level, whether that is through acknowledgement - or further collaborative opportunities (as post university I am keen to get involved, whether as a consultant, or in further independet research which I have been working on). In fact the work they are engaged in now supposedly involves the commercialisation of the topic.

I would say that I am extremely amenable to co-operation (I work with lots of stakeholders in the work that I did previously) and avoid pointless conflicts

My specific questions are Should there be any acknowledgement of the work that I have done? Should I be disgruntled for having my work ignored? What could be done to alleviate this?

  • 2
    I am rather confused here. You mention not being acknowledged and also being ignored. Was your work used in the funding proposal or in published papers or not? Furthermore, what is the timeline? Was the funding received shortly after your graduated, during your time as a student, or what?
    – Dawn
    Apr 26, 2019 at 12:14
  • Yes I feel not acknowldeged and ignored (if thats possible as to both) I doubt my work was used in any meaningful way to secure funding. The timeline is that my thesis was handed in October. And then over the next few months there was a great uplift in interest regarding the same topic. I know that there was concurrent interest in the kind of work that I was doing when I was there - by other stakeholders, but at the time, I wasn't made aware of this by any staff members
    – bossa g
    Apr 26, 2019 at 13:58
  • 2
    what do you want to happen? Apr 26, 2019 at 16:26
  • It may be coincidence. Your activity coincided with pre-existing activity. Or it may have been "selective forgetfulness". A smart idea popped into your supervisors brain out of "nowhere" (or the brain of a student, which, for a certain type of supervisors is almost the same), and became a big thing. Both is possible, and I have seen both. @aaaaaa asks the pertinent question. What do you want to happen? Apr 26, 2019 at 16:56
  • "Acknowledged" has a more special meaning in academia, I would say. It means that your work was used without proper credit or appreciation. I would say you feel ignored and unincluded. I think that would make the question clearer.
    – Dawn
    Apr 26, 2019 at 19:40


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