I am a young post-doc working under an ERC-contract (thus, I do not have my own grant or fellowship). I recently attended a conference where I met some people and we discussed possible collaborations with their company. This is a company who is really making new developments and it is normally difficult to get collaborations with them. Nevertheless, after a nice discussion they showed interest in the project I was presenting to them and in the prospective things we could do together.
When I came back to the lab, I told my PI about this possible collaboration and explained to her that we would need to have a meeting with the person responsible for R&D in the company to fully establish our collaboration. My PI told me that as I was very busy with other stuff, she could prepare the slides for the meeting. We were then going through the presentation together and (substantially) modifying it based on my comments. She suggested that she could introduce the project during the meeting because she is better than me in "selling the project" (what is totally true) and I agreed. Everything went well and we started the collaboration.
My problem is that I know she is now asking other people in the group to work on this project and she is exchanging emails with these people and our collaborators without even including me. I feel that I brought this collaboration to the lab, I made the company get interested in developing their technique in our model system, I presented the technique to my PI and thought about the scientific questions we could answer by applying it, thus, I feel this is my project.
I also have to say that we are a big group of 10 people, but the borders of each one's project are not well delimited and we all work together to answer broad questions. I would then understand that this is my project within the big project of the lab. But I still do not think it is fair that she is now leading this part of the project, leaving me out. Am I wrong?
Thanks all for your comments. I post a common asnwer to all of them because they are related. Yes, my PI is a supernice person and I want to talk to her about the issue. But I come from a totally different PhD experience where talking to the PI was imposible, so I am not used to that and I wanted to know in advance how reasonable are my concerns.
Regarding having discussed the involvement in the project in advance, it is true that I did not clearly stated that I wanted to be involved. I was assuming it was assumed. I will learn for the future.
I did not want to be too long in describing the situation, so I summarized, but the negociation with the company started already during the one-week meeting, going from them not being interested at all to be really interested. The same happend with my PI when I came back and presented her the possibility, I had to encouraged her because I thought it was a wonderful project that would help to answer many of the questions we have. And finally, in the online meeting we had all together, my PI was reintroducing the project, but they were saying that they were already very interested in working together. Thus, I was assuming that if I was putting so much interest in making it to work, it was clear that I wanted to work in the project. But I do not want to be the PI of the project, I do not want to be the one taking the decissions about other people working in the project or not, or what other people will be doing. I can understand is not my role. I just would like to be an active part of the project. I though that was also being a post-doc. Not only doing experiments that someone ask you to do.