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Reason to leave current postdoc

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Reason to leave current postdoc

Postby RS » Tue Feb 21, 2006 5:03 pm

I have been in my current postdoc for 5 months, and am in the process of looking for another postdoc position. The real reason that I am looking for another position is because of PI abuse (I would much rather not go into details of this). I have decided not to complain to anybody about this, and just want to move on. I would like some advice on an acceptable reason to give for why I am trying to leave my current postdoc position. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Reason to leave current postdoc

Postby Kelly » Wed Feb 22, 2006 2:56 pm

"It just isn't working out." Don't assess blame, just move on and it is better to move on sooner rather than later.
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Reason to leave current postdoc

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:20 am

RS said . . . ". . . just want to move on. I would like some advice on an acceptable reason to give for why I am trying to leave my current postdoc position."

Kelly's advice is great. Don't assign blame. But you might also allude to the fact that there are only two times you can leave a position like yours, one when you are there for 2-3 years and have had some great publications, and the other when you've just arrived and have found that the environment isn't what you were hoping for.

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Reason to leave current postdoc

Postby LMG » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:06 am

I have recently left a post-doc position after only four months due to "differences" I had with my PI. I made peace with him before I left, but now I'm a bit concerned about how I should explain the situation to potential new employers. I have no desire to assign blame, but is saying "it simply did not work out" enough, or will they want more information than that?
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Reason to leave current postdoc

Postby Kelly » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:13 am

I would look for why the "differences" came up.

For example, was the PI really cranky and if so was this because of money issues? The answer then becomes:

funding was tight in the lab, it was clear this was going to created significant constraints and pressure for everyone. I was the latest arrival, without a project in full swing so it was easy for me to make a shift.

There is a lot that goes on under the surface that can make a situation disagreeable. It isn't always that the PI is fundamentally a PU. Find one of those reasons and work from there. It is fair to you and fair to the PI to go below the surface before concluding (to both yourself and someone outside the lab) that the PI was a PU.
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Reason to leave current postdoc

Postby Ike » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:07 pm

Whats a PU?
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Reason to leave current postdoc

Postby P.C. » Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:20 pm

Varient on PI, ... rotten , (smelling), PI, a bad PI.
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education" - Mark Twain
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Reason to leave current postdoc

Postby E. Johnson » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:39 am

I know it's not comfortable, but if the PI was abusive, please complain to someone in your university's administration. You should be able to do this without revealing your identity. Do you really want more students to make the mistake you made?
If we don't do something about the PU's they will continue to take students and put a black mark on their CV's too.
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Reason to leave current postdoc

Postby Kelly » Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:26 am

I agree that a blantantly bad PI should not be rewarded. I think we need to be careful in who makes that transition from PI to PU (aka a stinky PI). A "bad" PI from one person's perspective based on some particular behavior might be ok for someone else. I think we have to be careful while at the same time recognizing there are some behaviors that are simply not acceptable.
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Reason to leave current postdoc

Postby Ike » Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:44 pm

I agree that we should be careful, after all my students think that a strict professor who does not take BS from them is a bad professor and may get bad course evaluations.
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