I'm a postdoc in Europe on a one year contract, where the renewal is not necessarily guaranteed. When I was interviewed, I was told that the his grant was for a year, and whether it'd renew would depend on the results of his next grant application. After my mentor hired me and things were confirmed, I noticed at least two other advertisements posted by him looking for postdocs, even with slightly increased salary. When I eventually talked to him about renewal, his response was: "I'd first like to work with you and see how you do". When I was hired by him, I was already in my third year of postdoc, and indeed in a top school in the US. Several times he had reminded me that the time is limited-one year, and pushed me to work fast.
Based on the above, I suspect that it's not the case that he doesn't have funding. Questions: Is he telling me lies? Is what he's doing a standard thing to do? I ask this, because I find this rather sketchy and selfish-the mentor wants to divide the money in more than one postdocs to maximize the publications as quickly as possible, but it really doesn't give the postdoc a stability. As you see, I cannot ask him directly about the follow-up advertisements, because obviously he'd say it's none of my business. I think I understand his view-he doesn't want to take a risk, but given that I was already a senior postdoc at a top 20 US school, was productive, switched to something very related and was the first choice for this postdoc position, I don't find a basis for his hesitation.
I'd very much appreciate your opinion and reflection on this topic. I bolded the questions so that there's no confusion of what I want the answer to.