I'm in a tight spot: My advisor gave me an ultimatum of sorts—two projects (A, B), each with its own unique complexities and looming deadlines. My funding does not comes from these two research projects neither my PI. I have another serious project C and I funded by this project C which my PI is not included.
I was told that I should and required to submit at least one paper for the nearest top conference. But I have another serious deliverables for the upcoming milestone for my funded project C.
To complicate matters further, each project has a different publication or deliverable outlet and timeframe. My advisor made it clear that a publication is mandatory, and there's a possibility of extending my RA if I can deliver. (which is unnecessary for now, it's just his thought) We, the project group, already discussed about the plan ahead for the future deliverables for this funded project C.
What makes me frustrating is my PI does not care about the project C deliverables. He subtly implied that I could co-first author with another PhD in the project group for paper A, even if it means taking a backseat. And he said it will make the another PI happy and I would be able to get extended funding. I personally don't understand why he is mentioning this. Even the PI for project C is not interested in the paper, the deliverables are more crucial for him.
I'm at a crossroads. I feel like I can't manage two different directions, definitely the paper publication can't be priority for project-wise. We, the project group C, are crossing red-zone, and I need to fully focus on this project C in order to meet the deadlines for deliverables. But, my PI does not or refused to understand.
Although, My PI is also avoiding this kind of conversation. Since my advisor is not funding me, I feel like I should assign the another co-advisor from the project group in order to just driving an effort fully on project C. Any advice will be appreciated.