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I was a first year PhD student and have mentioned before I was forced to quit although hardwork and grants. Now the head of the school admit that the supervisor was wrong and he had nothing to do with the supervisor which is awkward, he also confused about another student who hadnot passed his viva after years of work and publishing in top tier conference.

In to the retrospect, they asked me whether to sign a resignation letter or to be fired and asked me to sign in the moment, but I refused and asked them I will take the letter and do it later during this week.

They asked you have to do it during this week ( obligatory), could any one recommend me whether this is good direction to sign this letter as it is first time for me and I am not aware of many LEGAL stuff.

PS. For more details why this happened:

I am a first year PhD student, I was working in a new topic, I found a problem in research and then I proposed a methodology and verified it. My PI said from few months ago that it was good what I did verbatim. Then I got two grants from top conferences although I waited a lot of time to do experiment in other lab, and this lab was not happy because I proposed different approach than they use, but I explained what I proposed and how it could solve. Honestly, I worked so much hard as you can imagine, but in the same time I noticed that my PI is underestimating from my ideas sometimes and have sharp looking at me without any reason, at the beginning he didnot want to publish anything or attend conference without any reason, sometimes he didnot listen to me and I made correction for him which was critical for research, but I did in very polite way

He began to catch small mistakes in report for instance which was very trivial and inflate it and never acknowledge the two grants I got and I did other stuff for free like videos for the group and sketching which he was astonished by it.

Until I present my work in the committee which every one told me that they do it to see every thing is okay and every one pass, this committee is my PI, another professor who have never worked in my research topic and asked questions was very sketchy and the head of the school also not related to my domain they see presentation and report no exams no other things, so just presentation and report. Of course this PI made badmouthing behind me and that what I know later and it was mentioned that I didnot do a good bibliography and he doubt the methodology although I got the same results as the real experiment based on physics approach, but he doubts. I was shocked and I confronted this PI, why you didnot tell me from few months ago when you said it is good, he lied and I told this PI, if you have doubts could you please tell me what are these doubts like 1,2,3 and what you suggested, he didnot say anyword and go. In conclusion, he wasnot specialized in this new topic, even when I am doing any proposed formula he accuse me that I stole it or from where I had come with this equation, I did that on my own, it is quite hurting because he accused me many times of any schematics drawings, sketches formula that may be I stole it, and I tell him that I did that on my own, and BTW I have never ever stole something so that can interpret his actions. In conclusion, this PI told me your are independent and he didnot like that and also know that I worked hard but he dont want to continue in this research this is after making badmouthing about me as I am not eligible to continue and even the committee yesterday which the head of the school told me I know you are very good and you did a good work, but no one can speak, the head of school recommended me to find another lab in different country. Sorry for English grammar mistakes and typos.

closed as off-topic by Nate Eldredge, zibadawa timmy, corey979, Buzz, gman Sep 25 '18 at 17:23

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "The answer to this question strongly depends on individual factors such as a certain person’s preferences, a given institution’s regulations, the exact contents of your work or your personal values. Thus only someone familiar can answer this question and it cannot be generalised to apply to others. (See this discussion for more info.)" – Nate Eldredge, zibadawa timmy, corey979, Buzz, gman
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 8
    I think you're going to need to talk to someone local, who's familiar with your specific university's culture and also your country's employment laws. Internet people are not really going to be able to help you here - we don't even know what country you're in. Another relevant question, which you haven't really explained, is why they are demanding that you leave. – Nate Eldredge Sep 25 '18 at 14:07
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    I second Nate's comment. Sounds like it's time to bring in a lawyer. – zibadawa timmy Sep 25 '18 at 14:08
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    You haven't mentioned the country, so there's not much we can say about the "legal stuff" or the local advantages/disadvantages to resigning or being fired. In any case, this site isn't the best place for legal advice. You might be better served getting a (possibly free) consultation with a lawyer. – Anyon Sep 25 '18 at 14:10
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    Here's another idea: in addition to your communications here on StackExchange, get in touch with personnel at other universities directly. Use your personal email address. Type the message to everybody on this: ( physics.unc.edu/faculty ) and this ( physics.nd.edu/people/faculty ). Be really nice and not too long; the only thing you are looking for at first is someone to listen to you. And when you have met them, tell them the details of your situation privately. – elliot svensson Sep 25 '18 at 18:18
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    Also, go here: ( research.fas.harvard.edu/postdoc_opportunities#external ) Start applying for fellowships now; explain your situation and see what they say. – elliot svensson Sep 25 '18 at 18:21
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If you can afford to do so, consult a lawyer. That way you will know all of your options, not just the most apparent ones. If you have no option other than to leave, then your decision should rest on whether you want to fight/contest your removal or not. If you don't contest it, then it is probably (subject to legal advice) better to sign the letter. But if you sign it, you are probably giving up options.

But advice like this should come from a lawyer.

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    In some countries, there is 'accessible lawyer' programs, for those who can't afford it. – Emilie Sep 25 '18 at 14:58
  • Problem is, in some countries the lawyer will speak of truths not applicable to all spheres. Suing in some regions can be awfully slow and expensive and coming from a foreigner on a visa almost guarantees it to fail. That's why international students/postdocs are the most frequent prey for contract holes. – Scientist Sep 25 '18 at 18:53
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Monika, it's time to hire a real lawyer. Get a consultation and be willing to pay the $500 or £350 or whatever. Organizations like universities are held accountable for their hiring and firing practices. Don't sign the resignation until you have had this conversation. And if the lawyer doesn't explain him- or herself to you so that you are satisfied, showing you the actual text of the relevant laws, then spend more money to get another lawyer. This is a big deal.

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    Make paper copies of all your communications starting right now! Also, do your best to write down exactly what they said to you. – elliot svensson Sep 25 '18 at 14:10
  • All I can say, I cannot afford lawyer, and I cannnot reveal which country! All I can say I feel lost completely and the other student who didnot pass his viva after four years in my same group no did something for him although he is the same nationality of the country! It is a clear bullying and every one in the committee acknowledge and they can do nothing, they told me it is better to find another lab in another country. Besides being alone and begin to see the world as monsters and no one support the student rights. – user39171 Sep 25 '18 at 16:48
  • There are monsters in the world, and there are angels in the world, too. – elliot svensson Sep 25 '18 at 16:58
  • Read the book of Esther. – elliot svensson Sep 25 '18 at 17:01
  • Lawyers are not so useful in many countries, particularly in the 3rd world and dealing with academic departments. These people may be just quite comfortable in breaking laws which are not enforced (for some). For instance, in China, or many parts of Latin America. – Scientist Sep 25 '18 at 18:05