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Strange behavior for faculty appointment

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Strange behavior for faculty appointment

Postby AX » Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:38 pm

Hi All,

Would like some input on this matter.

I recently moved from academia (ivy university) to industry. I was partly super tired of spending my time writing grants for my project that was not approved because I was "too junior" and partly because I got a fantastic job offer (which I am still very happy for).
My PI was kind of chocked when I left an offered me an appointment as adjunct assistant professor, while he would submit my grant under his name. The project is based on my previous work, my ideas and I wrote the whole thing myself so I can't say I am not emotionally attached to it.
Anyhow, we submitted the paper work before I left and it sat in the administrative pipe for 5 months. Meanwhile the grant was submitted in its original form under my former PI's name. Then an email ticked in the other day saying that my appointment as adjunct associate research scientist was approved. I asked the administration if there was a mistake and got the answer that the faculty appointment was not approved so they appointed me as research scientist... Not at any point was I informed about this decision nor have I received any formal paperwork for the position. I find this act very strange and am quite confused how to react to this.
My immediate thought was to dismiss the appointment. I was appointed research scientist before and would consider myself above that level by now and it may not really add to my career ladder. In addition, I feel like they are trying to take advantage of my skills and consultancy with the project without honoring them.

What is your opinion on this?
AX
 
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Re: Strange behavior for faculty appointment

Postby P. Lues » Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:57 pm

I don't understand why are you have to consult with other on this, its' a no brainer. If you already have a fantastic job at your level that you are happy with at a company, why would want to go back to being a staff scientist and writing grants under someone else's name? How much commitment is this? Is this going to take you away from your company job at all? This isn't much of an offer and it's even a few steps back for you. It sounds like it's not worth it. Stay with your current company and don't look back. We all need to move up, not down.

I don't really know what an adjunct associate scientist even does, but it sounds like a bad idea. What is the adjunct for? It's a strange title...
P. Lues
 
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Re: Strange behavior for faculty appointment

Postby P.C. » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:33 am

Adjunct assistant professor is just another name for the scam called research assistant professor. It is a version of a name given to soft money temporary research staff. Basically it is a name they give serial or permanent post-docs so it does not look so bad. This trend where tenured professors submit their subordinate's grant under there own name I find disturbing,
unethical and exploitive. It sounds like the faculty member wrote this so-called job offer under his own initiative to exploit the original letter writer even more. As was noted by another poster, why go backwards in your career? If they are not willing to appoint you as faculty (presumably with the power to submit grants under your own name), if it was me I would tell them a rude and inappropriote place where they could shove their so-called job offer.
Last edited by P.C. on Thu Nov 08, 2012 8:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
"You know I'm temperamental." "Yeah, 95% temper, 5% mental." - "Curly" & Moe Horwitz
P.C.
 
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Re: Strange behavior for faculty appointment

Postby P. Lues » Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:42 am

Yes it's a lame offer. You should instead focus on trying to move up in your company.
P. Lues
 
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Re: Strange behavior for faculty appointment

Postby AX » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:34 pm

Thank you for your replies.

I forgot to mention, that an adjunct position is a part time. I will keep my job and have cleared it with my employer. My role will primarily be consultant and advisory on the project since they do not have the expertise in the area.
I am just not sure i would benefit career wise serving in that role under an associate RS title.
AX
 
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Re: Strange behavior for faculty appointment

Postby P. Lues » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:24 pm

What would you get out of consulting/advising for this project? Do you have to write the grant? Will it be under your own name? Do you give intellectual input? Do you get any credit for your intellectual input? Does it pay well? Do you get benefits? Or will it be that you come up with all the ideas, some graduate student or postdoc does the experiments, and the old boss takes credit??

Based on the adjunct title, I'm assuming the answer to all of these questions is that you get the shorter end of the stick. Unless there is some real benefit to you, I still say don't bother. But you know your situation better.
P. Lues
 
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Re: Strange behavior for faculty appointment

Postby AX » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:51 pm

Thanks Lues,

I am concerned that what you say is true. I do not feel like helping out since obviously they are not interested in giving me credit. I wrote the grant and they submitted it as is under former PI's name. Tired of that behavior in academia, fortunately at my current job they make a big deal out of making sure people get credits and thanks for their work, both technicians and scientist. In fact I am very impressed by the "academic" level of in industry, people are so versatile in their knowledge and they are great at collaborating.
AX
 
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Re: Strange behavior for faculty appointment

Postby P. Lues » Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:35 pm

Yes, since your name is not on the grant, and you also won't be doing any of the experiments, it's very likely that you will get zero credit. What's at stake here is not just your name on a couple of papers. If this project takes off and something comes out of it in terms of patents/intellectual property, your name will not be on it. This has huge legal/economic implications for you. If you don't know the story around the 2011 nobel prize on innate immunity, I highly recommend you read these:

http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsid ... gists.html
http://www.behinddiscoveries.com/

We have no way of knowing who is right in this case, but we all know how academia works. Someone comes up with all the ideas and does all the experiments, and the PI takes all the credit. To be fair, there are professors that go out of their way to give credit where it's due, but those are rare exceptions. Most take credit, not give. Sounds like your former PI is one of the takes, not givers.
P. Lues
 
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Re: Strange behavior for faculty appointment

Postby Nate W. » Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:16 pm

AX,

Just move on and focus your efforts with the company. They are paying your salary. Agree with Lues, it is a lame offer to get something for nothing.

Sadly, academia behaves this way when money is tight and is full of people who want to get credit for something they didn't do. If they didn't do an experiment that resulted in a figure or pay the bills, no credit or authorship!
Nate W.
 
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Re: Strange behavior for faculty appointment

Postby S.J.D. » Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:22 am

This is a bit strange, besides the fact that the PI does not want to lose a productive person. Was your name included on the grant as a co-PI? If you were a co-PI on the grant and now its awarding somehow hinges on your affiliation, this could explain some aspects of this story.
S.J.D.
 
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