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Re: Do people need help with proposal writing? Sally Eckert-Tilotta (Sally Eckert-Tilotta) 24 Apr 1998 09:00 EST

Bob pretty well expressed my sentiments on the subject.  If there is reason to be concerned about the PI not being the author of the proposal, then a number of researchers are in trouble.  It is not uncommon to require post-docs (and grad students, although I don't think that practice is as common) to write proposals to support their work, and these are submitted under the researcher's name .

Sally Eckert-Tilotta, PhD, Assistant to the Director
Office of Research and Program Development
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND  58202
tel:  701-777-2049
fax: 701-777-2504

>>> Bob Beattie <xxxxxx@UMICH.EDU> 04/24 8:03 AM >>>
See full text of original message below but consider this comment:
"...the PI signing the
proposal could be guilty of misconduct by assuming
responsibility for the work of another. "

What is the "work" in question?  The proposal is a description
of a project to be done.  Cannot anyone write the description
as long as the person(s) indicated in the description actually
carries out the project?  While I would agree with many of those
writing earlier that faculty should be able to write their own
proposals, I can see circumstances where collective writing
or even primary writing by someone other than the PI might be needed.

Is a proposal to be awarded based on the quality of the proposal
writing or on the merits of the project and the ability of those
proposed to do the project.  I think the latter two.  True, the
quality of the proposal writing might be an indicator of the
abiltiy of the PI to do the work; a vita better indicates that
persons cabability.  In situations where a number of faculty, from
different units, are collaborationg in a large project, is it not
usually the case that only one person would "write" the proposal.

Anyway, I cannot support the position that a PI must be the
author of a proposal as long as the PI can and will do the
work described.

Bob Beattie
Research Development and Administration
The University of Michigan

>From: Research Administration Discussion List on Thu, Apr 23, 1998 5:47 PM
>Subject: Do people need help with proposal writing?
>     I believe there is no question that assistance in reviewing and
>editing of professional papers and proposals is an accepted and valuable
>practice.  However, I would like to raise a slightly different issue that I
>think needs to be considered.  If a proposal is written largely by one
>individual and another signs it as the PI, then I think the PI signing the
>proposal could be guilty of misconduct by assuming responsibility for the
>work of another.  I know that "ghost writing" is a generally accepted
>practice, but I believe it should be avoided for many reasons, including
>this one.
>Terry A. May, Ph.D.                       Voice:    520-523-6788
>  Director of Research Administration     FAX:      520-523-1075
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>Subject:      Do people need help with proposal writing?