Dilemma: Put your supervisor first
As a dean I am attending a reception after the graduation ceremony of our master students. I am talking to one of the students who will continue on a PhD track at our school. She tells me that her future supervisor is mentioned as first author on an article she had written on the basis of her graduation project. The supervisor was hardly involved in the project but told her that it would improve her chances for the PhD position. She tells me this in confidence and just wants to know whether this is common practice at our school. What do I do?
A: I tell her that it was her decision at the time and she should just accept it.
B: I tell her that if she thinks her master thesis supervisor and future PhD supervisor was wrong she should report this to the integrity officer.
C: I immediately go the supervisor to make clear that this kind of behaviour is not tolerated at our school.
D: I tell her that I think her supervisor was wrong and that if there are more issues she can always come to me to discuss them.
(We gratefully acknowledge permission to reproduce this dilemma from the “Dilemma Game. Professionalism and Integrity in Research” as developed by the Erasmus University Rotterdam (link to the game) in this tool.)