You Spineless Manipulative Bastard

Complete hijack, here - was this company British, with a name that began with the letter “F”?

I wish I’d had the resources for that!

I think part of the problem is that when the dicks whose length is discussed are short enough, measurement errors become a matter of quantum mechanics.

British, yes, but it began with a “B” when I worked there. I’d left by the time the reorganization happened (and it’s been reconfigured completely since then), but I do know that the mass layoff happened one morning because a friend of mine was still there, in accounting, and had been asked to inventory everything just beforehand (she didn’t know why she was given the task).

A big part of the problem, IMHO, is that doing sponsored research in a university setting is very much like playing football in a unversity setting.

There are winning researchers just like there are winning football programs - scientists that can generate true revenue for their institution. Those folks are as rare as hen’s teeth - just like “name” winning football coaches, rain maker researchers are the unofficial lords of their departments with way more power than the actual administrative structure. They get away with doing anything the hell they want, and 99% of the time they are complete pricks.
However, despite being called a revenue sport, in the vast majority of universities, football drains revenue and (particularly if you do the books honestly) does not make a profit. Similarly, most researchers can bring in grants, but they actually cost more than they bring in because they can’t generate enough outside money to truly make a profit for the university. Most of the department heads I’ve heard talk about economics and financing don’t appear to understand this. Most university types are truly mystified as why they are always in the red since their faculty are so productive.

There are many researchers in the department were I work that brag about all the contracts they get from industry. They get these grants because the company can’t afford to do them “in house.” We do them more cheaply at the university because half or more of the costs associated with the work aren’t counted as such.

To quote one of my favorite writers: Everyone plays politics. It’s part of the human condition. Those who think they don’t play politics, just play it badly.

I played with the house’s money! Let’s just say, that I was his first and last PhD student, and the school wanted to keep it that way. Without the school’s support (which they gave me not because they are so concerned about grad students, but because my desires coincided with their own), I had no shot. Five grad students in the lab quit the lab before I pulled this off.

No joke. I like you’re “picked on kid in High School” analogy. At this University, in the social hierarchy, I am very low: no degree animal specialist. I had to fight tooth and nail to get an authorship on a paper where three of the five figures where directly from my work. The “no degree = no credit” excuse was trotted out at first. I knew several fellow Mouse Mavens who had recieved authorships, and I threatened to take my photographs and have them copyrighted.

I never thought of it that way, but you’re right. Universities are always trying to get “Big Name” researchers to join them. Recuiting is a HUGE thing here. The downside is that after the Ward Churchill debacle, the U changed its tenure policy and is very hesitant to offer any long term contracts or support - and they offer the lowest pay in the country. I think that’s way so many Names are leaving. (And the U overextended by building this new research campus, the departments fighting over space - everyone wants their own building but doesn’t want to raise the funds, etc.)

I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with my career for a while now. Currently, I’m just getting over the “I’m pregnant, so my life is over” anxiety. Its frustrating to see the niche I’ve carved get sandblasted away, but I need a new place. Guess I’ll look into a career change.

Animal tech is a tough call. If we’re talking about changing cages, that person gets no authorship. If we’re talking about gathering data (measuring tumors, retro-orbital bleeds, etc.), it’s a grey area. I would probably lean toward including them as an author, but with low priority. If we’re talking about gathering data and having ideas about how the experiment is run, then animal techs get authorship, hands down.