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34

If I understand correctly, you (as a postdoc) developed a research proposal, your professor submitted it under their name, and the project was funded. Then you were sidelined --- you will not be a PI on this project and you will not even take any role in it. This is a terrible experience and I am sorry to hear it happened to you. The professor's behaviour is ...


26

Asking someone to work without compensation is illegal in many jurisdictions. It is also hardly ethical. Unfortunately, it is also not uncommon in academia. In modern "publish or perish" academia professors are often under a huge deal of pressure from university administration to produce countless high-quality papers and teach ever-growing number ...


26

I feel weird trying to play "the devil's advocate" in this case. It is quite clear that doing some work and getting nothing in return is frustrating at least and might be connected with unethical behavior indeed. However, I still want to share a couple of "balancing" thoughts that might be or might not be true in this situation. First, I ...


10

There is a difference between no compensation and delayed compensation. An important question is how routine this paperwork is. If it is merely a bureaucratic hold up and you are already in town, why not get a jump start on your research? It could make the research when you officially start easier, and could lead to a better overall research experience, ...


8

I have never really heard of someone calling "dibs" on research. You cannot reserve a topic broadly in the academic community and expect no one else to publish on it. Naturally, you should credit the original paper. Most all research builds incrementally on other's work. You can and should cite the prior works. The only issue with this might be the ...


8

There is no "calling dibs" in academic science. In some cases, it may be risky/unwise to start a research program that is very similar to what someone else is working on, especially if they've already published in the area and you have not, but that is simply because they likely have a head start and you are at high risk of being scooped if they ...


7

The underlying issue you're encountering here is that, generally speaking, a postdoc position is considered an education (albeit a paid one) for the position holder. As a consequence, telling a postdoc before they formally start their job that they might want to start reading some background material or working on the project (presumably while they have no ...


7

My advice would be to inform the professor that "students" have contacted you with improper requests such as ... You were correct to refuse the student, but you may have an obligation to keep them anonymous, as you suggest. That would be true if you have a client relationship with them already, I think. But the university needs to become aware, if ...


5

This is pure opinion, of course, but I don't see anything wrong with getting a doctorate purely for the love of the field and a desire to know more. There are plenty of people in doctoral programs to fill the needs of academia in the future and some will be disappointed in their inability to find a suitable position. You don't need to apologize for anything. ...


5

You can always ask as long as you are polite. There are many reasons that an instructor wouldn't want to release their notes, though. Among them (there are others): Their notes are copyrighted and don't belong to them, either because THEY are using another person's notes or because their notes are part of a textbook that they wrote and signed copyright ...


5

No. A translation is not considered an original work in the context of submission to an academic journal whose stated policy is that submissions must be original work that is not published elsewhere.* You can still send an email to the editor explaining your idea and asking if they’d make an exception to the policy. Some journals, in some circumstances, ...


4

This might depend on the country you want to work in. The work contract may include a start date that is earlier than the visa issuing date. I doubt that you get such a work contract. A competent administration won't sign it. I'm in Germany and I just hired an international PhD student (here they often are employees in the same way as post-docs). The ...


4

Summary: there may be unethical details here. On the whole, I consider the professor offering you a job in their new group fair treatment that you cannot complain of not getting a job when you refuse to move there the ethics of the professor taking the grant with them unanswerable here a successful proposal a very important achievement for a fresh postdoc. ...


4

First off, no - this is not okay or normal. Advisors should meet their advisees on a regular basis. I'd say every other week is the boundary of reasonable (unless of course there are other circumstances like sickness, parental leave, long vacation or sabbatical etc.). While there are mitigating circumstances (this is 2020 after all), your advisor has a ...


4

Why would it be "exaggerated" to think that journals are reluctant to publish findings that have already been published? A journal has limited space to publish articles. They want to maximize the "value" they get out of the articles they publish (prestige, money...). An article that exclusively contains already-known findings is of less ...


3

You should encourage them to write a work contract that begins at a time when they will be allowed to pay you, and not before, unless they are agreeing to give back pay (I would be hesitant even in this case). You don't want any legal trouble for working when you are not legally allowed to work, this can be just as big a deal as hiring someone when you are ...


2

I don't actually see a clear cut ethical problem here. It is likely that the grant DID in fact have a better chance of success with the established professor as the PI. There was probably a considerable part of the proposal that involved the professor's research record, their connections to other scientists, etc. which played a large part in the decision ...


2

It isn't inherently wrong to give younger members of a research group reviewing assignments (it's a legitimate and commonly used teaching tool when mentoring younger scientists), but there are two points that are definitely ethically questionable: The review is in his name because the person quoted uploads it in his name. That's deception: The editor ...


1

It's Jan's job to teach lab members how to review. For younger lab members, Jan should read reviews before they're submitted and provide feedback. For older members, that might not be necessary. Jan should always give credit to sub-reviewers. Passwords probably shouldn't be shared, reviewing systems should define procedures for sub-reviewing, but, many don't,...


1

What are the legal, ethical, and practical implications of having another job while being on a research stipend? Legally, this depends entirely on your university's policies and your contract. Ethically, there will be a wide variety of opinions: One line of thought will say that a research stipend is not a "normal" paycheck in exchange for your ...


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