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Old 05-08-2010, 06:56 AM
 
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I reviewed the threads I've started and didn't see this topic, so I don't think I've brought it up yet, tho, it's on my mind.

I've heard of people doing it. I've read a few articles and knew of person in my field at a different company that was doing it. He was actually a lab head of all things, so I don't know how he managed it.

In my fantasy my co and university agree to a joint project(s) where ownership is shared. I know a guy at my co that is doing most of his PhD research at our co. He has a uni adviser and the global head for the dept where he's actually doing the work is also an adviser. The thing is, he's only a grad student and not paid by the co, but the university. I'd like to flip that situation a bit. I want to keep my job, have the routine work stay the same, but my research would be something I could use towards getting a PhD.

Besides all that, have any of you managed it? with your co being in cahoots or not.
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Old 05-08-2010, 08:42 AM
 
Location: 20 years from now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
I reviewed the threads I've started and didn't see this topic, so I don't think I've brought it up yet, tho, it's on my mind.

I've heard of people doing it. I've read a few articles and knew of person in my field at a different company that was doing it. He was actually a lab head of all things, so I don't know how he managed it.

In my fantasy my co and university agree to a joint project(s) where ownership is shared. I know a guy at my co that is doing most of his PhD research at our co. He has a uni adviser and the global head for the dept where he's actually doing the work is also an adviser. The thing is, he's only a grad student and not paid by the co, but the university. I'd like to flip that situation a bit. I want to keep my job, have the routine work stay the same, but my research would be something I could use towards getting a PhD.

Besides all that, have any of you managed it? with your co being in cahoots or not.

It'll be tough.

It'll be tough to get accepted into the program of your choice and it'll be even tougher to find one that allows you to do it part time. A lot of these schools are full time only. Also keep in mind that it's even tougher to simply do the class room work and your own job and manage your personal life. I think the toughest part of it all, is knowing that by doing your PhD part time, you'll actually graduate a few years later, hence why people say you have to love what you are doing to stick with it. I know the program that I'm looking at graduates people on average 4-5 years full time and 7-8 years part time. Yikes!
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:02 AM
 
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Research that is paid for by the employer isn't going to be received as very credible by your peers. And PhD programs don't have much use for research that isn't rigorous enough to be accepted. So I think you will have a hard time finding a program that will accept your research plan. And even if you did, would there be much value in it if your research is rejected by your industry because of the conflict of interest?

Last edited by kodaka; 05-08-2010 at 09:11 AM..
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
Research that is paid for by the employer isn't going to be received as very credible by your peers.
I'm not sure I understand the difference if you wouldn't mind explaining a bit more. When I was in grad school I didn't find the research going on in my dept to be any more interesting than the research I'm involved in now. Do you mean the scope would be broader academically?

Quote:
And PhD programs don't have much use for research that isn't rigorous enough to be accepted. So I think you will have a hard time finding a program that will accept your research plan. And even if you did, would there be much value in it if your research is rejected by your industry because of the conflict of interest?
I'm not sure what you mean - rejected by my industry. The biggest issue that I can think of is a matter of rights. The university and the co would want rights. eta: the reason I bring this up is due to an experience I had while in college. I was developing a novel application. The people I had involved were from both industry and my school. Things got real hairy. My uni gave me a hard time and wanted full ownership. Franky, I didn't have enough experience at the time to deal with it. Any way, I thought this might be bypassed because of the colleague I have at work. Surely, the rights to his research are shared. Another thing I would have to be careful of is that I wouldn't be able to use anything at my job that isn't already commercially available. OTOH, the project I'm working on now stretches outside that and is broader in scope as far as application goes.
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by itshim View Post
It'll be tough.

It'll be tough to get accepted into the program of your choice and it'll be even tougher to find one that allows you to do it part time. A lot of these schools are full time only.
Yea, that's why I was thinking of a collaboration. I really need to get in contact with that lab head that managed it.
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Old 05-08-2010, 09:53 AM
 
Location: 20 years from now
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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
I'm not sure I understand the difference if you wouldn't mind explaining a bit more. When I was in grad school I didn't find the research going on in my dept to be any more interesting than the research I'm involved in now. Do you mean the scope would be broader academically?
Not speaking for Kodak, but I think I understand what he is saying. In otherwords, the integrity of your researched would be challenged by the academic world as being profit driven as opposed something under the guise of truly independent research. But then again, I think you're interested in the sciences, so I really can't say how it is viewed there. I know in my field (poli sci) working in conjuction with an organization may seem a bit less authentic.
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Old 05-08-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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btw, thanks for the responses and advice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by itshim View Post
Not speaking for Kodak, but I think I understand what he is saying. In otherwords, the integrity of your researched would be challenged by the academic world as being profit driven as opposed something under the guise of truly independent research. But then again, I think you're interested in the sciences, so I really can't say how it is viewed there. I know in my field (poli sci) working in conjuction with an organization may seem a bit less authentic.
I'm not as experienced as some may be, like kodaka, but nothing in my experience at school led me to believe that it wasn't profit driven. That's why rights matter. That's why I had the problem in the past at my uni with that one project. They wanted sole ownership for the green. Their prized professors are the one's bringing in the money.

And yea, I'm in the sciences. Again, it may be my limited experience, but I didn't find research at school to be all that more interesting. Frankly, if there's a novel idea "lets publish" seemed to be typical, but at work my group has had manuscripts trashed because it wasn't interesting enough. Another difference is that academic research can move at a snails pace, not so in industry. I have people crawling up my you know what for not completing a project in 6 months. OTOH, research is much easier at work. I practically have unlimited resources (funds, tools, instrumentation, scientists, etc). That's a huge plus over having to deal with an academic dept on a budget.

As far as authenticity goes, I don't think that comes into play. For one, my co in joined with local uni's; MIT, Harvard, etc. We share space, work, etc. That's why bio-tech is so big in Cambridge (lots of collaboration). I'm not sure how exactly it all works, tho, hence this thread. And we're there/paid to do research, so it's authentic.
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Braunwyn View Post
btw, thanks for the responses and advice.


I'm not as experienced as some may be, like kodaka, but nothing in my experience at school led me to believe that it wasn't profit driven. That's why rights matter. That's why I had the problem in the past at my uni with that one project. They wanted sole ownership for the green. Their prized professors are the one's bringing in the money.

And yea, I'm in the sciences. Again, it may be my limited experience, but I didn't find research at school to be all that more interesting. Frankly, if there's a novel idea "lets publish" seemed to be typical, but at work my group has had manuscripts trashed because it wasn't interesting enough. Another difference is that academic research can move at a snails pace, not so in industry. I have people crawling up my you know what for not completing a project in 6 months. OTOH, research is much easier at work. I practically have unlimited resources (funds, tools, instrumentation, scientists, etc). That's a huge plus over having to deal with an academic dept on a budget.

As far as authenticity goes, I don't think that comes into play. For one, my co in joined with local uni's; MIT, Harvard, etc. We share space, work, etc. That's why bio-tech is so big in Cambridge (lots of collaboration). I'm not sure how exactly it all works, tho, hence this thread. And we're there/paid to do research, so it's authentic.
Yes, lots of universities conduct research on behalf of companies, companies that are paying for their work. But that doesn't mean that the research wins anyone a PhD. Many companies pay to use university labs and their equipment. They rent the facilities, just like they rent or lease fleet vehicles instead of buying them. But their research is almost always proprietary. They are paying for the facility and nothing more. They outcomes of the research is proprietary, for internal use only. Some companies allow the research to be shared publicly, but it is almost never accepted by peer-reviewed journals, because research design lacks the credibility and rigor of independent research. There's simply too much bias in research that is paid for by a company. They have a vested interest in a particular outcome, regardless of how much they pay you and whether or not you did in fact alter the results because of that payment. PhD programs know this, and will not be likely to accept such a proposal from an applicant.

There's always a chance of course. I'm just pointing out the really obvious conflict of interest here. But I have to say, even if a school were to accept such a proposal, it is very troubling that you can't see the conflict of interest on your own. It raises questions about your ability to conduct viable research.

Last edited by kodaka; 05-08-2010 at 11:29 AM..
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kodaka View Post
Yes, lots of universities conduct research on behalf of companies, companies that are paying for their work. But that doesn't mean that the research wins anyone a PhD.
The research certainly could. I don't really think that's the issue. Again, I think the issue is battling rights to the work. Or, maybe I'm wrong.

Quote:
Many companies pay to use university labs and their equipment. But their research is almost always proprietary. They are paying for the facility and nothing more. They outcomes of the research is proprietary, for internal use only. Some companies allow the research to be shared publicly, but it is almost never accepted by peer-reviewed journals, because research design lacks the credibility and rigor of independent research.
My co doesn't use university labs. It's probably the other way around. I have little doubt our facilities rival any uni in the country. I'm not sure what you mean by research design lacks the credibility and rigor of independent research. Can you give some examples? All of our research is published in journals and we shoot for the likes of Nature. I mean, the whole point of a research institute is to do research, publish, develop, and sell. So, I'm a little lost here.

Quote:
There's simply too much bias in research that is paid for by a company. They have a vested interest in a particular outcome, regardless of how much they pay you and whether or not you did in fact alter the results because of that payment. PhD programs know this, and will not be likely to accept such a proposal from an applicant.
Wow. This is surprising to read. The majority of "fudging of the data" I've come across, for what it's worth, has come from uni's, not that it matters where it's coming from, but it seems to be far less likely to happen at work. For one, data collection, record keeping, etc is far more rigorous than in academia. Our legal teams crawl all over us due to patent issues. The notebooks I submit must be perfect and aligned with current patent law. Heck, we're trained in global patent law since regulations vary from country to country.

Point being, I published while in grad school and it simply wasn't at the same level.

Quote:
There's always a chance of course. I'm just pointing out the really obvious conflict of interest here. But I have to say, even if a school were to accept such a proposal, it is very troubling that you can't see the conflict of interest on your own. It raises questions about your ability to conduct viable research.
I'm sorry, I'm confused. Do you mean because it cannot be shared? Obviously, my company is doing collaborative projects with the local schools, or my colleague wouldn't be allowed on site. People cannot access our facilities without clearance. So, there's a shared resource and I figure any profits resulting will be shared. I don't know why they would allow him on site if they were not benefiting from it in some way.

But, why isn't he a paid employee at our co? Is he too busy? Maybe the uni will indeed garner greater rights to his work, as little sense as that makes so me, so there is no reason for the co to employ him.

Eh, like I said, it's fantasy land. lol
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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I don't know how many different ways I can explain it.

It raises questions about your ability conduct viable research because you don't seem to understand the concept of ethics. Conflicts of interest are a major breach of ethics.

I didn't say proprietary research couldn't be published in a journal, I said it likely couldn't be published in a peer-reviewed journal. There is a major difference. Nature magazine is not fully a peer-reviewed journal. They only select some of their articles for peer review, generally because an editor deems it 'ground breaking'. But the majority of their articles are not peer-reviewed. Nature is considered merely a scholarly journal. Examples of peer-reviewed journals on the subject of science are: American Journal of Bioethics, Ethics & the Environment, Natural Resources Journal, Perspectives in Biology and Medicine, Scientific American.

The terms 'credible' and 'rigor' are absolutely fundamental to conducting any kind of research. I'm not going to write out their definitions. If you want to be a researcher, you need to learn what these mean on your own.

And what is legal is not the same as what is ethical. Being accustomed to legal review in your work is nowhere near the same as having your work reviewed by your peers and being accepted.

Yes, data published by universities is sometimes disproven. A huge aspect of research is verifying or disproving previously conducted research. That does not mean that the research design (hypothesis formula, methodology, data collection methods, analysis methods, logistics, et cetera) are not credible or that the university accepted a research plan that lacked credibility or rigor, or that the researcher was paid by private corporations.

Again I find it extremely troubling that you seem so argumentative and obtuse on the subject of ethics, before you've even taken the first step in research. Like I've said before, I suppose its possible that a university will accept the plan you've described, but I would question whether a PhD from such an institution would be of any value.
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