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Wednesday, 20 March 2019 at 10:59am
Wednesday, 20 March 2019 at 11:00am
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Thread: Making all the wrong moves when changing PhD

20-Mar-19, 11:12
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posted about 1 year ago
I'll try to keep it as brief as possible:
1. Join a relatively new lab (~3 years) I was really interested in even after two students left and told me it was a bad idea.
2. Three months in, discovered they were right - PI abusive, doesn't have clear direction, we don't get along personally or professionally.
3. I'm in a really bad place psychologically and mentally, and after discussing with the program coordinator and director, I let the PI know I want to leave the group - before having any other viable options.
4. PI gives me a month to find another position, during that time they expects me to continue my work - I did not. I was mostly depressed and frantically trying to find other options, as my visa depends on my employment.
5. Eventually aforementioned director gives me a three month grace period in their lab to try and sort things out. Had a couple of interviews, though nothing is concrete yet (The director is really interested in having me as a PhD student - however, I have literally heard only bad things about them from all of the current and previous students and am not willing to take another risk).

My main issue - how screwed I am? I feel there is bad blood between me and my previous PI which affects my prospects, as I have made a rash decision, and have made promises to keep up the work even though I did not. In hindsight the better option would be to suggest staying at their lab until I find a different position while continuing work, but at the time all I wanted was to get out of there. I specifically feel screwed as I have contacted multiple PIs and either got a direct "no" or no response; the only PI that may be a possibility has interviewed me four times and is "still undecided".
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