To make the long story short, at the end of my PhD (Just 3 months before my viva), I realized that my PhD supervisor is liar and totally dishonest, probably he has his own reasons, but this is what I realized. I talked to the head of the department to quit my PhD and I was told it is better to finish it, as it is too late. He asked why I did not report the problem sooner and I replied that even I could not imagine this situation one year ago. My supervisor and I are from same country, but he is a professor at a European university.
I decided to talk to my supervisor, but the discussion was too strong and I told him he is not eligible to be a teacher (professor), because he is not an honest person; the most important criterion for being a teacher.
Any way, he did not support me to get a reasonable postdoctoral position and as a result, I ended up finding myself in one of the very well developed East Asian countries. The PI was a young scientist without proper experience (we were his first group members). He assigned me a computational project and when I asked him what we are looking for, he said just do what I have asked you, run the simulation and at the end you will realize. Repeatedly I talked to him and told him there is nothing special in this simulation and we should carefully know what we are looking for before pushing the enter key and running the simulation, but he insisted to running the simulation. I asked him to change the project, but he refused.
I have finished the extremely heavy simulation, which took 1 year, analyzed the data and extracted what I could extract from the simulation. I presented the results and it was clear that there was nothing interesting in the simulation. He said “you are postdoc and you should think about what you are going to do”. I was aware of the fact that in East Asian culture I should not criticize my PI, but I believe in science community we can and we must do that. Science means working with the facts and reality. After a couple of more wrong information and recommendations that he gave me, I eventually told him he was wrong. It triggered a personal war between us and he fired me – after two years of hard work without any publications.
I was lucky enough to a new position in Southern hemisphere. Now whenever I look for a new job, I am asked for 2–3 letters of recommendation and specially some of them asking for letter from my PhD supervisor.
How can I handle this situation? What should I say when I apply for a job? Should I mention the conflicts or does it make the situation worse? Should I say that I only have one letter of recommendation? What should I say about my low number of publications?
I should mention that at each stage I have changed my research field; my PhD and the postdocs all are different topics in physics.