Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Get It in Writing

In Science, Jeffrey Mervis reports on the case of University of Texas at San Antonio electrophysiologist Kelly Suter, who is suing the school because she says it reneged on promises made during her recruitment. Before making her final decision to go to UTSA in 2006, Suter negotiated for an additional $100,000 in her start-up package from a pot of state money set aside for computational biology research, Mervis says. When she arrived at USTA however, she found her start-up funds diverted, and her research delayed as a consequence. Suter sued the university, claiming that not only did the university fail to honor its commitment to support her research, but also that two male faculty members who had arrived after her had received money originally earmarked for her start-up package, Mervis says.

DrugMonkey is throwing his support behind Suter, saying, "I hope she wins." Universities need to know that if they go back on their promises to faculty, there will be consequences, he says. And cases like this are why DrugMonkey always advises newly-hired faculty to get everything in writing, signed by whoever has the most authority. "Otherwise, things have a way of magically disappearing on you," he says. "That lab space? Oh, that's actually 'shared space'. Nice big pool of cash? Did we mention we're going to subtract your office furniture from that? and you have to pay for your phone line...and internet! Even worse are the crocodile tears expressed by the Chair when he has to report 'well, the Dean didn't go for it. He promised me! What can I do, my hands are tied.' This doesn't happen everywhere, of course, but when it does, the university knows there's not much the faculty member can do about it, DrugMonkey adds, so "it is the responsibility of the candidate to make a deal for herself that is going to maximize her chances of making it to tenure and beyond."

The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.