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EthicsCaseStudyForm edit

Title Would You Do a Post Doc with this Guy?
Long Title Would You Do a Post Doc with this Guy?
Contributor/Contact John Banja, PhD? (jbanja@emory.edu)
Contributor Details John Banja, PhD?
Director, Section on Ethics in Research
Atlanta Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322
CTSA Emory
Case Study Provided Dr. Stupendous was world-renowned—a fact that he reminded himself and his staff of every day. One reason that he was world-renowned is because his post-docs worked like maniacs and turned out an endless stream of manuscripts and grants. Dr. Stupendous was quite a motivator, which brings up the ethical problem I observed.

Every year, Stupendous hired at least 3 post-docs and frankly told them at their hiring that they would all be assigned to the same project. Whoever was first to produce a manuscript that, in his opinion, was ready for publication would be asked to stay. The others would be asked to leave at the end of their commitment. The latters’ letters of recommendation would be based upon the amount of progress they made in the time they had remaining in the lab.

While I suppose competition is a healthy thing, Stupendous’s version of it struck me as both sadistic and somewhat lunatic. It’s hard to imagine a laboratory marked by collegiality and trust, given Stupendous’s ground rules. But, alternatively, science is keenly competitive and his strategy certainly seemed to make for a work ethic whose productivity was the envy of every lab at the University.

Still, I don’t think I’d want to do a post-doc with this guy. Is this the way hiring and productivity rules for post-docs should be laid down?
Data Acquisition, Management, Sharing and Ownership Topics
Variations in lab practices—legitimate and illegitimate variations,
Data sharing,
Special issues related to scientific roles
Mentor and Trainee Responsibilities Topics
Power relationships and the potential problems they involve,
Scientific responsibilities of the mentor,
Addressing challenges and problems in the mentor–trainee relationship
Publication Practices and Responsible Authorship Topics No publication practices and responsible authorship topics
Peer Review Topics No peer review topics
Collaborative Science Topics
Types of collaboration,
Dealing with challenges in collaborative relationships
Research Misconduct Topics No research misconduct topics
Conflicts of Interest, Law and Policy Topics No conflicts of interest_law_and policy topics
Human Subjects No human subjects

URL http://www.actsi.org/areas/erks/ethics/index.html
RCR Keyword Grant, Collaboration, Ideas, Lab Partners, Manuscript, Mentoring, Post-doc
Other RCR Keywords Collegiality; Competition; Data Sharing; Letters of Recommendation; Productivity Rules; Science; Stressful; Survive; Trust
Type of Case

Source for Topic Areas Du Bois, J., & Dueker, J. (2009). Teaching and Assessing the Responsible Conduct of Research: A Delphi Consensus Panel Report. Journal of Research Administration, 40(1), 49-70.


Topic revision: r1 - 28 Oct 2011 - 18:22:25 - DebieSchilling
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