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Do people need help with proposal writing? -Reply William Campbell 24 Apr 1998 07:08 EST

Interesting issue.  When I write a proposal with or for someone else, they at
least buy into the ideas and procedures which are going into the proposal--more
often, a group (including me) will invent the details and I simply write them
down in the most persuasive manner.  But, in any case, when it leaves campus
over the signature of the PI, it is his/her responsibility.  He/she gets the
credit, he/she gets to run the project when it's funded.

But legally, it's a proposal submitted by the institution and the institution
gets whatever accrues as a result--dollars, responsibility to perform as
promised, credit for a wonderful job, blame if it's botched, and legal
liability if somebody really screws up.

When a corporation issues a report--Arthur Anderson, for instance, or a CPA
firm, or an environmental consultant--it comes from the corporation.  One
person may present it to the client, but all credit/blame falls on the
corporation as an entity.  The individual who actually put the thing together
is never an issue, except perhaps internally in the corporation.  Seems to me
that proposal-writing is similar.  When I write proposals for non-profits as a
consultant, which I occasionally do, the proposal is submitted by and owned by
the non-profit, the identity of the actual author is immaterial.

Has anyone ever heard of a case where a proposal written by someone other than
the PI has led to a charge of misconduct, as Terry suggested might happen?

Bill Campbell
Director, Grants & Research
University of Wisconsin-River Falls