I had submitted a research proposal to a group during Post Doc application in an university. But I did not join the same university for post doc. Now I got to know that they are conducting the same research I had proposed.

How to deal with this? Though I am not working in the same area now, but it is my future plan.

Is it really good to use other person's proposal?

  • 1
    It's unclear what exactly bothers you or why you think there is anything that need to be dealt with. Could you expand a bit?
    – Cape Code
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 9:15
  • Since you applied to the group, they likely were doing research in the area already (or else why would you apply there). If so, it is possible the avenue you wrote up was on their roadmap already, and may be indicated based on their series of publications in the field. Second, in my years of hiring post-docs, in general I would say that their research plans are really pretty generic, and generic ideas are a dime a dozen.
    – Jon Custer
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 13:58

2 Answers 2


Could that topic have been a relatively "generic" topic or a topic that is now fashionable? In which case it is not unlikely that people come up with similar ideas. Fashionable topics are unlikely to be exclusively yours.

However, if it is an exotic idea, you may have been very unlucky. In which case, cut your losses and move on.


I already heard these stories from some colleagues, from time to time. The point is the specificity of the project proposal.

In many cases, the evolution of a current project might be somehow obvious in the scientific direction of the lab. So, for example, if they've been working on A and B, and your project proposal is about C, you should not be surprised if they will take that scientific direction.

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