I am a first year CHEME PhD student and I’d appreciate some feedback on my situation. I recently developed a hypothesis and a concrete potential project. My advisor was also very excited about the possibilities it held. It went to the extent that we reached and got new collaborators to do calculations. We also wrote proposals that granted us free access to a National Lab. As such, I was poised to begin the project and had an extensive experimental plan charted out. (I know these plans are doomed to fail as they often are, but the preliminary results are very encouraging)
However, recently out of nowhere, the advisor has reassigned the project to a new postdoc who only just joined the lab, stating that this work will be his warm up project and that I will no longer be involved in this project. To the best of my knowledge, I have not conducted myself in a way that would offend her personally, nor have I done my recent experiments (I am currently handling one other project besides this and we are wrapping up some final tests on it before publishing) in a way that would convey an impression of being truant or insincere. So, this comes as a big blow to me.
Not only will the time and effort I invested into developing this hypothesis be a waste, all the efforts I put into arranging these proposals and collaborations will also be useless. I will find myself in a situation where I will need to spend more time on a fresh hypothesis while my peers are all sorted and moving forward with their original hypotheses and projects while I stand empty handed.
This is quite embarrassing. Please share your thoughts on this. Am I taking this too personally out of sentiment I have for my potential first work? I will be having a talk with my PI to clear the air about this shortly. Should I take the chance to talk about my grievances or will it potentially sever my professional relationship with her? Really confused as this was done suddenly and I am getting the wind of this. Please help.