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I have a query to ask about a postdoctoral extension. I got the position for 1 year. During the interview, I was told that it can be extended. Now at the same time another person was also recruited (we are both from the same country, not the US). This other person got the postdoc position for 3 years. My PI has a few grants that are ending next year. So on what conditions can my position be extend? Because I do not think 1 year is enough to get a fruitful result in any postdoctoral project. And I feel like it was not a honest treatment towards me regarding postdoctoral contract. (As a 3 year contract was offered to the other person).

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  • Is the other postdoc hired by the same professor? You put almost everything in the passive voice. How did the recruiting, etc. Are they in the same area? In the same department? Apr 23 at 16:38
  • Yes, we are hired by same PI. Same speciality.
    – Iayz
    Apr 23 at 16:40
  • My PI hired both at the same time. Yes grant may be different but all are ending in 2022. My point is that If any one hiring, be clear,, “you are here for 1 year”. That's it. You are making a promise of 3 year to other and 1 year to me. That's not honest. Even though you know your grant will end next year.
    – Iayz
    Apr 23 at 16:43
  • Do you actually know the details of the other contract? Not hearsay, facts?
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 23 at 18:26
  • Do not care about other contract, I care about transparency during Interview. Any way with respect,I think you are not getting my point.
    – Iayz
    Apr 23 at 18:42

3 Answers 3

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what conditions my position can be extend??

This depends on your contract, there is no one-size-fits all answer. But the general rule of thumb is: it is up to your advisor.

My PI have few grant that has been ending to next year.

Yes, if your PI's grants are expiring, they may not be able to afford you even if they wanted to. It's probably best to ask them: if you need to start a job search, it's better to know now rather than waiting until the last minute.

because I do not think 1 year is enough to get a fruitful result in any postdoctoral project. And I feel like it was not a fair treatment towards me regarding postdoctoral contract.(As 3 yr contract offered to other person).

I would be careful how you formulate these concerns.

  • You may be right that fruitful research takes more than one year, but it sounds very opportunistic to take a 1-year position, not get any good results, and then say "well, of course, such things take longer than a year...." In any case, the key point is that you should be able to provide some basis of confidence that fruitful results are imminent, and that you have spent your year well.
  • It is not inherently unfair to hire two people with different terms. Moreover, you accepted the contract under these terms. Perhaps you could have gotten better terms a year ago if you had negotiated more, but maybe you made the right decision -- if you had tried to negotiate, you might not have been hired at all. In any case, trying to renegotiate a signed contract is fruitless; all you can do is think about what to do with your next contract.
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I think that trying to "force" your PI into extending your contract with quasi-legal arguments is going to be unsuccessful. You weren't forced into your current situation.

Instead, you can ask them for an extension and explore with them the possibilities. If they have funds and are satisfied with your progress then you have a chance of success. Your reasons for wanting an extension are obvious. But you have to try to make a case that an extension is in everyone's interest, not just yourself.

But you should also be exploring other options and making applications elsewhere as necessary and possible.

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"Fair" is not of relevance here. Honesty may be.

If could be that your PI actually at that point did not have funding for more than one year and obtained the funding for the other person later. It could also be that there are circumstances of the financing which do not allow him to give you the permanent funding. It could be a different source, a different project and a different type. It could be that your PI plainly could not promise you - based on your field of research and previous experiences a longer position, but that they honestly hoped or found it plausible that your research develops into something where they can apply for more or another funding. It could be that there are agreements with the other postdoc in place which you don't know about.

We don't know any of this, and it's pointless to speculate. You need to talk to the PI at a suitable time about the future funding.

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  • My PI hired both at the same time. Yes grant may be different but all are ending in 2022. My point is that If any one hiring, be clear,, “you are here for 1 year”. That's it. You are making a promise of 3 year to other and 1 year to me. That's not honest.
    – Iayz
    Apr 23 at 16:39
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    @layz - or it was perfectly honest, just not what you want to hear. People get contracts of different length and different pay for different reasons all the time. Would you prefer a ‘promise’ of 3 years and terminated after 1 when the funding ran out?
    – Jon Custer
    Apr 23 at 18:25
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    as @jon_Custer said: it may be honest. It may be that your PI thaught: hey, I try this, but for the sake of this lab I have to prioritize the other Postdoc due to their skills.
    – Sascha
    Apr 23 at 19:00

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