Ages ago I went into an anecdote about being asked to help someone try to get a research grant, and by help I mean do the fucking work. All of it. There was also a mention of the fact that I was helping someone do research for their PhD. The amount of help I gave was just barely above board, and I got to see the PhD process first hand. I wasn’t impressed.
However, I am not sure to what extent I can talk about this all without potentially getting someone in trouble.
I did the PhD. From conception to research to penning it, the work was mostly mine. Needless to say, I got invested. However, there were some parts of it that I couldn’t be too invested in, because obviously another person was going to take the credit for this work. I didn’t mind. This was what they were paying me for. What I hadn’t accounted for was to what extent the thesis opponents, and the institution itself, were going to play dirty.
The long and short of it came down to the school asking (me, through the other guy) to ignore the results of the research because they didn’t like what it implied.
It was as simple as that. “We don’t like the results of this research – what people you interviewed had to say – please change it to imply something else.”
That was about when I stopped working on it. I kind of passed it over to the other guy’s hands and let him sort it out. But the experience was very troubling. This was meant to be for a university, a place that takes scholarship seriously, and doesn’t poison the results.
I thought I had more to say about this, but I really don’t.