NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDA OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENE OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS , CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM Number: A06070036 In July 2006, an NSF program officer1 received allegations of misuse of grant funds, intellectual theft, and plagiarism via email and brought it to our office. The complainant2 alleged the subject3 incorporated his ideas and text into an NSF proposal4 without his knowledge or consent. The complainant also alleged that the subject misspent funds from a previous NSF grant5, on which the subject was the PI and the complainant was co-PI, on travel and entertainment expenses. We interviewed the complainant to gather more information about the allegations. Regarding the allegedly misspent grant funds, we determined that the subject did not seek the complainant's permission to reallocate grant funds for travel to a conference. As the PI, the subject did not need the co-PI'S permission to reallocate funds, and we concluded she did not mismanage the grant funds by doing so. Regarding the entertainment expenses, the complainant had historically paid for student conference lunches out of his pocket, but the subject charged them to the grant. This is an allocable, allowable, and reasonable participant support charge for this grant and did not constitute misspending. We provided a copy of the proposal to the complainant and requested he identify the allegedly plagiarized text, explain whether the existing references provided appropriate credit, and provide documentation to support his allegation. In his response, he identified the allegedly plagiarized ideas and text, but did not fully elaborate on the adequacy of the existing references, and did not provide documentation to support his allegation. The complainant said there was no written documentation supporting his allegation of intellectual theft, but a third person, who was present at a meeting when the complainant presented his ideas, would support his allegation. We reviewed the text the complainant identified as plagiarized. The subject had referenced most ' . of the questioned text, including citations to the complainant's work. A curriculum was developed for their previous grant, and the complainant had taught a course utilizing it. The subject made use of his course notes in her current proposal, but adequately referenced the complainant's unpublished notes. The complainant had said the subject had used his notes without his permission. Generally, one doesn't need permission to use another's work as long as it is properly cited.. In this case, the subject was the PI of the grant on which the notes were developed and were properly referenced. I NATIONAL.SCIENCE FOUNDATION OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM In conclusion, we determined the subject did not illegally spend funds from her previous grant and the subject sufficiently referenced the text in her proposal. In addition, there is no written documentation supporting the allegation of intellectual theft, so we conclude there is insufficient evidence to proceed with an investigation. Accordingly, this case is closed. .,. . -- ~ ... . ...-....- . -.-
Grant Fraud Plagiarism (Verbatim)
Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2006-12-08.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)