8

I am starting a tenure-track position soon and writing a NSF CAREER proposal for the first time. I have no preliminary data on this topic; therefore I am using a number of figures from related papers to illustrate my idea.

Without preliminary results, is it a good strategy to use others' figures at this stage (this is a bit philosophical question, but I am little worried about the impression I make with the reviewers)?

4
  • I haven't been on a CAREER review panel (I'm only a PhD student myself) so take my advice as the uninformed opinion that it is, but based on all the advice I've been given on writing CAREER proposals, using more than a few figures (at most) from other people seems like a bad idea in most cases. You want to show that you have the skills and resources to carry out your research plan.
    – ff524
    Jun 15 '16 at 7:32
  • I edited out the part about copyright because it's a duplicate of this question. P.S. for future reference: please ask one question per post.
    – ff524
    Jun 15 '16 at 7:36
  • I don't think it is a good things, especially since you're supposed to do it yourself. Anyway If you do it, don't forget to mention it is not yours, and why you did it.
    – Gautier C
    Jun 15 '16 at 8:27
  • Leaving this here for the benefit of future readers: applying for CAREER in the first year can sometimes work, but is often a waste of your first attempt opportunity. Spend your first 1-2 years gathering your own preliminary results, developing an educational program, and preparing to apply. May 18 '18 at 0:17
1

I would strongly advise against doing this. Instead, create your own original work that illustrates the main points.

Sometimes I see figures reproduced from a journal article in a grant application. Usually, the figure doesn't work well in that setting. When the grant writer copies the image into the proposal, they typically shrink the image to save space, which makes the image hard to read and understand. Journal article figures are often very complex, making points that are not necessarily relevant to the proposal. It's usually best to create your own figure that says what YOU want to say - to make a point about the science you want to do. Also, I worry that reviewers may regard this as plagiarism.

3
  • Hi and welcome to A.SE. Can you expand on your answer a bit, please?
    – Mad Jack
    Feb 20 '17 at 13:04
  • Sure! Sometimes I see figures reproduced from a journal article in a grant application. Usually, the figure doesn't work well in that setting. When the grant writer copies the image into the proposal, they typically shrink the image to save space, which makes the image hard to read and understand. Journal article figures are often very complex, making points that are not necessarily relevant to the proposal. It's usually best to create your own figure that says what YOU want to say - to make a point about the science you want to do. Also, I worry that reviewers may regard this as plagiarism.
    – aloraine
    Feb 21 '17 at 12:50
  • Thanks for the clarification! It it's OK with you, I added your comment to your answer.
    – Mad Jack
    Feb 22 '17 at 12:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.