As his first major grant is coming to an end, several important elements
of Dr. Sanjay K.’s research suddenly fall into place. The last
series of experiments his graduate student ran clearly link the gene
they are studying to a particular type of cancer. His postdoc’s
work on the proteins associated with this gene could pave the way for
possible cures. With these results in hand, he is finally ready to make
a strong case for continued support and, happily, his pending promotion.
All he has to do now is publish the results.
A week later, Sanjay’s optimism starts to fade. As might have
been expected, his department chair was delighted with his progress,
but then suggested that the first paper announcing the results come
out under her name to give it broader circulation. Meanwhile, his postdoc
and graduate student have gotten into a heated debate about the order
their names should appear on the paper; the university’s public
affairs office has asked for a summary of the results for a press release;
and the technology transfer office has called telling him to hold all
publications until they can evaluate the commercial potential of his
- What should Sanjay do?
- Which of these problems should Sanjay tackle first?
- Is there anything he could have done to assure that things went
- when he was ready to publish his results?