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Ethical Dilemma: Conflict of Commitment

1. What is the ethical dilemma of a conflict of Commitment; and has Dr. Frederick done anything wrong in giving Sandra this assignment? What potential conflicts in terms of data collection, data interpretation, and publishing might Sandra encounter as she continues with her research? Please give references.

A Conflict of Commitment
Sandra was excited about being accepted as a graduate student in the laboratory of Dr. Frederick, a leading scholar in her field, and she embarked on her assigned research project eagerly. But after a few months she began to have misgivings. Though part of Dr. Frederick's work was supported by federal grants, the project on which she was working was totally supported by a grant from a single company. She had asked Dr. Frederick about this before coming to his lab, and he had assured her that he did not think that the company's support would conflict with her education. But the more Sandra worked on the project, the more it seemed skewed toward questions important to the company. For instance, there were so many experiments she needed to carry out for the company's research that she was unable to explore some of the interesting basic questions raised by her work or to develop her own ideas in other areas. Although she was learning a lot, she worried that her ability to publish her work would be limited and that she would not have a coherent dissertation. Also, she had heard from some of the other graduate students doing company-sponsored work that they had signed confidentiality statements agreeing not to discuss their work with others, which made it difficult to get advice. Dr. Frederick and the company's researchers were very excited about her results, but she wondered whether the situation was the best for her.

2. Explanation of advices you would give the researcher who has a deep religious faith and part of this faith is the belief that same-sex relationships are against God and God's teachings. The researcher is part of a research team working together on a grant-funded project focusing on adjustment of children raised in families with same-sex parents. The researcher has been tasked with completing a major part of the literature review related to the topic. What advice would you give the researcher for remaining unbiased while reviewing the literature? Support your postings and responses with specific references

Solution Preview

Dear Student,
These set of tasks is requiring you to look at a particular situation and provide your opinion on the matter. Make it simple, straightforward and cite some resources so as to give weight to your position. I suggest using this simple outline:

1. Conflict of Commitment - give your position, 150 words
2. Advise on Religion and research - 150 words

This simple outline and content should cover what you need. You can also use the listed resources to further explore the topic. All the best with your studies.

AE 105878/Xenia Jones


Scenario A

Sandra finds herself lucky to have landed a position as a graduate student with Dr. Frederick, whose research is supported by grants. Over time, she begins to feel that her work for Dr. Frederick comes into conflict with her studies; and because of this, she finds that her likelihood to publish is also limited. But since she signed a confidentiality document, she is also finding trouble getting advice on the issue. While the company is excited about her study results, she finds herself wondering if her situation is disadvantageous for her.


I feel that Sandra, indeed, is in a position of conflict. A good number of graduate students would feel quite privileged had they landed in the same position - a fully supported graduate study under the guidance of one of the best in the field. But she is a graduate student - thus her work, under supervision, should be geared towards her own development as a student and while she is learning from Dr. Frederick, there is a fine line between teaching and taking advantage of ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides information, assistance and advise in tackling the task (see above) on the topic of ethical dilemmas in research. The solution includes resources to further explore the topic, an outline is also suggested.