I am one of PhD students under Marie Curie-ITN Action. I have been studying on my project for three months. I have health problems because of high levels of stress. I have psychosomatic symptoms. I feel I am exhausted physically and mentally. Also, I have difficulty falling asleep. I have had nausea and vomiting attacks and stomach pain. I have started to use some medicine to eliminate them. Because of this reason, I want to quit my position.

Should I pay back my salary when I quit the position? Should I show a reasonable reason to resign from the contract and prove it? (because of my health problem, I will quit the position. Which kind of document is needed to show my current problem? Or is it not needed?)

My contract states;

If, during the course of the research activity, there are conditions of incompatibility or violation of the obligations deriving from the code of conduct for public employees, issued with Presidential Decree no. 62 of 16 April 2013, the contract is terminated by law.

The contract is also terminated at the motivated request of the Research Manager and by resolution of the Board of the structure, pursuant to articles 1453 and following of the Civil Code, if Dr. CB does not continue the activity foreseen in the research program without justified reason or is responsible for serious or repeated failures.

Termination measures are ordered by the Director of the Department.

The holder of the allowance has the right to withdraw from the relationship by giving notice at least fifteen days before.

Failure to communicate will result in the deduction of the fee related to the period of lack of notice.

The University may also withdraw from this contract in the event of early termination of the Grant Agreement by decision of the REA.

The contract will also be terminated if the research fellow renounces or is excluded from the PhD course. The termination will take effect from the date of renunciation or exclusion from the doctorate. In this case, the grant holder will be entitled to the consideration accrued until the date of termination.

The research activity may be suspended, at the request of the interested party, due to serious illness or serious family reasons. In such cases, the suspension periods can be recovered at the end of the natural expiry of the contract, subject to agreement with the Research Manager and in compliance with the limits imposed by the Grant Agreement.

  • 3
    You need to ask them. I suspect you can do so with no penalty, but I don't make the rules.
    – Buffy
    Commented Feb 20 at 21:03
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    It would extremely bizarre, unusual, and unheard of at least in the Anglo-European world if you had to pay back your salary (perhaps excepting actual willful fraud on your part). So, contrary to the technically correct but overly legalistic spirit of the previous comments, I think you can take it for granted that you will not have to pay back your salary and I do not recommend that you waste your time looking through MSCA documentation on this particular issue and your mental energy on worrying about a far-fetched hypothetical scenario. Commented Feb 21 at 12:42
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    @AdamPřenosil Some non-Anglo-European countries don't refer to academic pay for PhD students as a salary, but as a stipend. In fact, these countries often have reimbursement rules. For instance, in Portugal, if you choose to withdraw from your PhD studies after the first year, you are required to reimburse the funding agency. So OP's concern is not entirely unfounded.
    – The Doctor
    Commented Feb 28 at 8:56
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    @AdamPřenosil Hi, they changed their website recently and it's hard to find this kind of things right now, but I have a friend who has it stated on his contract. A few years a go they decided to audit scholarships that were awarded more than 10 years ago to check if people concluded their studies or not and then ask reimbursements if the reasons for stopping were not reasonable for them. Check this article (in Portuguese): rum.pt/news/…
    – The Doctor
    Commented Feb 28 at 13:21
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    @AdamPřenosil I found the official document, Article 18 (Artigo 18 in Portuguese).
    – The Doctor
    Commented Feb 28 at 21:33


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