I helped my PhD supervisor to secure a funding for an 18-month project in 2019. My supervisor got the grant in April 2020 and she asked me to consider doing a postdoc under the project. I was not very keen to continue doing lab research activity, yet I still agreed to take up the postdoc because of the uncertain job market during the pandemic. Since then I started to work on the postdoc project planning and budgetary control while preparing for my viva.
I successfully submitted my final thesis in September 2020 and the postdoc contract officially started in November 2020. The offer letter stated the contract is valid for 6 months, renewable until the end of project. This condition is regulated by the university.
As my 6-month postdoc contract is nearing its end, my supervisor asked me to liaise with the HR on extension. I hesitated to extend my postdoc because I lost the interest in doing lab research any longer. I also stumbled on a few job openings for research grant management elsewhere, which I am interested in applying.
The foundations of most of my postdoc research activities has been laid out/completed by now because I started the project before I passed my viva, e.g. communications between the project stakeholders, organizing workshops, pilot reactor design & procurement. The tasks left are mainly the reactor operation and data collection.
Should I let my supervisor know that I would like to move on to a different career path, since the 6-month contract is nearing its expiry? Or am I obliged to extend the contract so that the project does not get stuck in the middle? I feel the guilt because I had the experience of having to take over other postgraduate student's work because they left.
I would appreciate advise from postdoc/project PI who experienced similar issue. Thank you in advance!