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Case 72. Acknowledging Credit in Professional Work


Mary Rodriguez, associate professor sociology on a new campus ponders an unexpected turn of events in which, after working for week to develop what turns out later to be a winning proposal for a $2.5 million grant, she discovers that she has been left with no credit or participation in the project. Approximately one year ago, she was approached by a colleague, an associate professor in the biology department at the recommendation of a mutual colleague. The colleague suggested that the biologist ask for some help from Mary Rodriquez, well known for her proposal writing skills, as well as excellent methodological skills, to draft a proposal for survey research for a cancer study. The biologist was at a loss; she was extremely limited in social science research skills despite her wide contacts in science grant circles which would guarantee her an audience, if only she could generate the proposal. Further, the biologist was under some pressures to generate a grant having come to the University only two years ago and finding it difficult to adjusted to the newer, smaller setting where colleagues were scarce. The new grant was centered on a behavioral model which was explained to Mary, along with a statement that she would be incorporated in the project if funded. Mary had some reservations about the collaboration, particularly the vagueness of her role should the grant be successful. She consulted her dean who reassured her and encouraged her to cooperate. Once the grant was won however, Mary's long awaited collaboration offer failed to materialize. Instead of the co-principal investigator status she requested, she has been asked to "direct the survey" in return for one course release. She refuses and now ponders her course of action.


What should Mary do:

  1. What are the issues here?
  2. Who should she consult? the Dean? the granting agency?
  3. Should she consider resigning either before or after finding another position at another university?

Reflect on the above questions and form your own answers before clicking the discussion key to review the commentary provided with this case.