I am in a weird situation. I changed my advisors during my Ph.D. program. I received research funding for my doctoral research before I changed advisors. The funding source does require funding acknowledgment in papers.

Now I graduated, but I learned that my former advisor is doing research on a very similar topic, possibly using the data I collected (something the funding paid). When the time comes for the former advisor to publish a paper, is the former advisor supposed to acknowledge the student funding source?

I thought, 'Well, just let it go. I am graduated. I don't want to deal with that person again.' But at the same time, I am uncomfortable that the funding, which I spent weeks writing up an application, and my four years of work might not be acknowledged.

What is the general funding acknowledgment rule in this kind of case?

2 Answers 2


It is best to acknowledge the funding and possibly required, but any fault in the matter isn't yours.

Given that the research is still "in progress" a note reminding them of the funding requirements might be in order, but I doubt that it is worth pressing it further if you want to minimize contact. You should probably also be acknowledged in any publications. You could mention that in the note as well.

Phrasing it as a question might be less confrontational if you think that is required. "... can you let me know of any ack for my work and our funding source in your upcoming publications..."


It’s hard to tell based on your description, and perhaps depends a bit on the field. In mine, only the person who received the funding would acknowledge the funding. If the professor is using data you collected, they need of course to acknowledge that, with relevant citations to your thesis and/or papers where that data may have appeared for the first time. If the data has not appeared anywhere, that’s a stranger situation. How does the professor have access to it? If it’s only because you shared it with them while they were your advisor then the right course of action is probably quite field-dependent, based on how common such a thing is or isn’t, and what folks ordinarily do in such situations. If it were me, I think I would only feel comfortable in such a situation if I had asked you to be a co-author (in which case you would acknowledge your funding sources, of course).

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