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List PIs collaborator in SOP?

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Short and sweet:  I worked on a significant research project as an undergrad.  Outside of this university my PI (biochem) is unknown in the grand scheme of things yet his collaborator (biochem, orgo, bioinformatics) is fairly well known and respected.  Locally in the least, as being "brilliant".  This other guy has published textbooks, short stories, and even poetry.  I worked directly for my PI and rarely saw this other guy yet I used techniques and protocol developed by other guy and my research is ultimately going to be to his benefit.  A way to think about their relationship is to consider that of Steve Jobs and Woz; where my PI is Jobs and The Other Guy is Woz.   In essence, The Other Guy did all of the heavy lifting and my PI sold the project to the school.  


My question is if it would be acceptable to mention my PIs collaborator and if so to what capacity.  I am thinking something alone the lines of:


For the Summer of '69 I participated in a research project developed by Prof X and Prof Other Guy, which set forth to....  Under Prof X, I investigated....using the algorithm developed by Prof Other Guy.  The algorithm is critical to the research and the entire research is designed around it.  


Another way to think about it is that if I don't mention who wrote the algorithm it will allude to my PI as being the author, which is false. I could avoid mentioning the algorithm altogether, then the research just seems like I am doing nothing more than running routine lab tests.  


I would not mention that I worked under Prof Other Guy, just wondering if it would be ethical to include his name in my SOP.  



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To me, this sounds okay, based on your description of the project.


In my field, co-authorship = collaboration, so here is another metric. Do you have a paper published or is there plans to write a paper? If Prof Other Guy will be a coauthor on this paper, then yes, I think it's fine to say it the way you did. If Prof Other Guy will not be a coauthor, that is, you are just going to cite Prof Other Guy's paper for the methods section, then no, I don't think it's fair to say that you collaborated with Prof Other Guy. In fields where PIs are not coauthors though, this metric won't work.


Another way to state the above metric is whether or not you are merely using Prof Other Guy's techniques/protocols, or if you are working with Prof Other Guy to develop and refine these techniques/protocols. If it's the former, then I think your statement is a little misleading (implies more collaboration than reality) but if it's the latter then it's fine.


Finally, I would say this is not as much a matter of ethics as a matter of being seen as blatantly name dropping. That is, if you don't really have a connection with Prof Other Guy (i.e. would Prof Other Guy be able to tell the admissions committee about your potential as a researcher?), then mentioning him is just name dropping. So you could choose to use that as another metric!

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