109

Legally, you can't be made to sign a retrospective, retroactive contract. Professionally, if your supervisor or the university person responsible for the CASE studentships decided to be obnoxious about it, they could make the completion of your PhD uncomfortable. As long as you don't need the CASE money or the on-site experience, this looks like a useless ...


71

Actually, it sounds like it is essential for you to to look for alternatives. It is improper for the PI to hold you in jeopardy and he should be more clear. But your career is at risk if you just "hope for the best". You also need to "plan for the worst". It is more than OK. Whether you let him know or not is a matter of your judgement of ...


66

No. The professor gets to decide if it would be more beneficial for students' learning to provide full solutions, partial solutions, or no solutions to homework problems.


64

Your institution has definitely met the terms laid out in your award letter, which states that there is "possibility of a fourth year based on availability of departmental funding." This does not mean that you are necessarily guaranteed a fourth year of funding. Even if most students get the fourth year, assuming you will is risky. They promised you three ...


63

Is this normal in post doc recruitment? No, this is obviously not normal. There is something going on, and your guess is as good as mine as to what that is exactly. Maybe there is indeed some sort of administrative chaos due to changing regulations. Maybe the professor hired somebody else and is trying to weasel out of his earlier commitment to you. Maybe ...


47

Is this usual behavior Short answer: no. Longer answer: I have heard many stories of bad workplaces, both in academia and beyond. Even at good workplaces one occasionally encounters weird, rude, and borderline exploitative practices and staff/employer attitudes. So perhaps it’s not entirely accurate to say it’s not usual. But by and large, the situation ...


40

It is hard to predict what is "possible". Your contract(s) and policies may stipulate expectations. But to be safe, I would suggest, only do this with everyone's knowledge and permission. I doubt that it would be given, I guess, but you could suffer if you do it "on the sly". If you do a good job in both and no one learns of the deception ...


37

There isn’t an employer in the US who will agree to pay you a salary knowing that you are also getting a salary from another employer for working during the same hours. If we’re talking about moonlighting during the weekend, that would be something else, but what you are proposing? No. The lack of tangible work requirements is irrelevant, it’s just a non-...


36

A postdoc is a transitory position. Looking for your next job and career step is not just okay, it's essentially what those positions are for.


35

I'm doing a postdoc in computer science at Nankai University, Tianjin, China. You've asked about the negatives, but I first want to point out that I love living in China (my friends talk about how they should visit China one day; I live here!). It's not perfect, but it's not nearly as bad as made out on Western media. And I feel physically safer here than ...


35

You can switch her to another project if you have the funding for it. What you cannot do is to have her work paid by one H2020 project to carry out work for some other separate project. If that's what your postdoc says, she is right. However, even in your existing project, there should be sufficient leeway to do work on good publications, research etc. and ...


30

I'm not sure why you are considering this "offer". You've given a lot of downsides that could easily lead to future pain and suffering. But other than a weak endorsement in your first paragraph, you haven't really given any positive aspects to this position. If you have any other offer(s) with better conditions, you should probably consider them ...


29

This is entirely up to the policies of the university or department in question, and is likely to vary between disciplines. In the areas I'm most familiar with (STEM subjects as taught in the UK and, to a lesser extent the US), I'm not aware of any places where professors are obliged to provide solutions, though, in my experience, they usually do in at least ...


28

I'm just guessing, but she probably has the right of it. I would cease arguing with her entirely but suggest that something additional might be done on the original project that might also result in additional publications, etc. Don't be the bad person here. And, especially, don't find some way to punish her for being both competent and ethical.


28

According to these Danish labor union websites, it is correct that you don’t need to sign: https://www.detfagligehus.dk/faa-hjaelp/loenmodtager/i-arbejde/ansaettelse/ansaettelseskontrakt/ “The law doesn’t say that an employment contract has to be signed. The contract is valid without a signature. What matters is that it has been given to you.” https://krifa....


27

I upvoted both of the other answers, but in my heart I agree with xLeitix: academics live and die by their honor in a much more extreme way than is the norm in the contemporary Western world. I should admit that my views on this are more absolute than those of some of my colleagues (with whom I have had occasion to discuss issues of reneging on signed ...


25

Your additional information that you put under the comment section and I think it should be placed in Question also, is that post-doc is paid for by the University, not paid by you/from your grant. So you are not PR, you are an advisor. Nick S, pointed out something that is not specific for mathematics, also physics, material science, applied science, ...


23

Currently, I am in a similar situation (working since 12 months as a postdoc in the U.S. with a scholarship that covers 24 months from the "NIH" of my home country). Similar to what you described, I came expecting to be a regular postdoc based on the prior communication with the PI. Personal situation: Upon my arrival, I quickly realized that my PI ...


22

Unfortunately, we won't be able to provide you with legal information. (And you shouldn't trust random strangers on the internet that claim they can.) That said, it does sound extremely strange for a company to embargo your work done before they ever showed up. I would recommend that you approach your university's legal department. Ask them to specify ...


21

It IS a common situation, although there a two parts here: One is work related, she is employed, you are her supervisor, she is not doing her job, you should act in an appropriate way. The other one is research related, she is producing results (although not together with you), so that might be a criterion to leave her alone. Once again, you shouldn't ...


21

I work at an R&D company that has a pretty similar clause in its contract, and in fact most R&D companies will. The core reason is that things change quickly in R&D, so an area that the company has no interest in today may be a big part of their in business in 5-10 years. Moreover, employees like you are likely to be the ones who create new ...


20

How to turn down a Postdoc scholarship offer that you already signed the contract for? You don't. I am all but a hardliner when it comes to such topics, but signing a contract and then not taking the offer is a major breach of trust. This is not "close" to burning bridges. Unless the other side is the most understanding person in the world, this is going ...


20

It varies. In my experience some of the more prestigious postdoctoral fellowships sponsored by universities might have some amount of moving expenses built into the budget, and more typical postdoc positions funded out of grants probably won't. But it might be possible to get a professor to help you out, perhaps out of startup or some other funds that aren't ...


20

To add to previous answers: if your postdoc includes teaching, you should finish out the academic year, or at the very least finish the current term, and give your department chair as much notice as possible, so that they can find a replacement or adjust teaching assignments.


20

What does "based on availability of departmental funding" actually mean, legally? It means if there are funds available, you may have access to them. You have been told by your department that funding is not available. Why they aren't available isn't particularly relevant. It's possible you can go digging, but no, it's not enough to "ask HR", as they're ...


20

If you are aiming for a fixed date and are still on good terms with your boss, it is quite common to create an "Aufhebungsvertrag", that is a contract in which you both agree to terminate your contract at a certain date, irrespective a of notice period. After all, you want to leave and your boss likely wants to hire someone new on your position. ...


20

As a fixed-term postdoc you should pretty much always be looking for another job, and your PI should expect this. Unless you have more than about 18 months left it is worth keeping an eye out for other plausible postdocs - it takes time to go through the process, if you get it they may be flexible about start date, and even if they aren't you have probably ...


18

I know this question is dated thus likely the OP Artem has finished his/her Postdoc contract long ago. But I will leave some comments as well, as a westerner (from a 3rd world country, engaged to a foreigner) finishing a 2-year-old postdoc contract in South of China. Rebecca's answer above is quite complete and fills most of the points, however some aspects ...


18

If it starts like this already, before you get a real chance, this will likely not end well. Independent of what position it might be. This is not normal for any kind of position. It's disrespectful to cancel an interview at the last minute that was scheduled. Think about the other way around. Would you hire someone, who once accepted an interview and then ...


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