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How do I explain my current situation

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 9:36 am
by T.Y.
I have been a postdoc for several weeks in this position, and participating in a collaborative project. My mentor is encouraging, but his collaborator does not seem to like me. I tried to make the collaborator interested in my work and propose my ideas, but he just turned down my idea coldly each time. When my mentor and his collabotor had disagreement, I tried to follow my mentor. But the collaborator insisted that I follow his orders and force me to agree with him by freaking out and warning me. He warned me that every paper we publish should have his approval. I found that this seems to be true, as he did most of the analysis and my mentor is from an area not very relevant to this subject.
I am afraid this may not be the postdoc training I am pursuing. If I seek for new postdoc positions, how could I explain that I left my current lab after only several weeks?

Thank you!

Re: How do I explain my current situation

PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:30 pm
by PG
I am not entirely sure that I understand the problem. Your postdoc supervisor should be the one that Controls you work and if there is something that is unclear or needs to be discussed about your project that person should be in these discussions. My first advice would therefore be that you discuss the situation with your supervisor. If there is a problem with the specific collaboration partner maybe it can be resolved or you might be able to work in another project.

If you need to change research groups it can be done but I would advice to find a new position Before you leave your current position and when you have changed positions you need to stay in the new position for at least a couple of years. You then need good references from your new supervisor. IF you manage to do this most people wont care about the short failed postdoc. Sometimes things dont work out for various reasons, it is something that happens sometimes.

Re: How do I explain my current situation

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:41 am
by Dave Jensen
I totally agree with PGs comments. Personally, I've found that there are two times you can leave a job for minimizing the downstream negatives. One of them is after you've been there two or more years. So, you'd have to stick it out. The other is very, very early -- when you realize you've made a mistake, and you can honestly admit that to people who will be asking you about it for years in interviews. If you're only there a VERY short time and you "wised up," that's one you can talk around successfully, but you'll need to follow it with a success and great references.


Re: How do I explain my current situation

PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:07 pm
by T.Y.
Hi PG and Dave,

Many thanks for your advice! So I will try to find a lab in which I can work for a long term. I will also be more careful in seeking for jobs in future.