I am in my third year of funding of an F32 NRSA postdoc fellowship (one month into my final year). My project is nearly complete and ready for publication, however, my sponsor/PI wanted another postdoc in the lab to conduct a few biochem assays for the project.
Over time, I have been cut out of my own project. My PI now feels that the paper is not near submission, and would like my project to be a "co-project" with this favored postdoc. My relationship with this mentor has started to deteriorate since that point. Favorite postdoc complains constantly about me to the PI, even though I remain positive and productive.
Recently at a meeting with PI and favorite postdoc, I was accused by the other postdoc of not properly analyzing a certain data set. In my defense I explained how I analyzed the data and why I employed the method I did. My mentor then cut me off and fired me from my position, citing that I had a bad attitude. I felt set up.
She asked me in a follow up email to give over all stocks, reagents, notebooks, and data files so the other postdoc can finish the project. I am to look for work, and I do not need to report to lab anymore.
What I don't understand is that this project is funded by an NIH fellowship in which I am the PI listed on the grant, can she give this project to someone else and take my three years of data away from me? Also, I had a year of salary/work coming to me, I was going to use this year to publish my work and apply for jobs but now I'm screwed. I was a free employee to the PI since my salary was covered, so I don't understand her actions. Any advice?