untimely advice

three weeks ago i asked my PI about applying for two separate travel grants in order to present a poster on my research at a relatively nearby location. he thought that it was a great idea. and so i plowed ahead with the writing of an abstract as well as filling in the grant applications themselves. i’m the only graduate student in the lab, and the PI has the full run-down on what i’ve accomplished to date. its not like i’m hiding any surprise data.

last week i emailed my PI the information regarding reference letters, and verbally confirmed with him that i would need said reference letters because i was planning on going through with the grant applications, and would get him what i hoped to be a final copy of my abstract within the next few days.

i just received an email from him, stating that i should not apply for said travel grants because i do not yet have the data that i need in order to present a successful poster, and that he will not be writing reference letters or signing off on any applications for me, because he feels that i need more substantial data. and while my abstract didn’t overstate its claims, and only gave the data that i have on hand and have already completed – data that my PI felt perfectly satisfied with in terms of progress and presentation – all of a sudden its been nixed.

i’m FINE with my PI’s concern that i do not have substantial enough data in order to present at a conference. what i take issue with is him waiting until after i’ve written the abstract and filled out the proposals and gone to him needing the final signatures in order to tell me that it’s not enough, and that i would not be attending said conference.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “untimely advice

  1. Natalie

    crap, what a douchebag. Sounds like a real piece of work!

    • i think i’ve called him worse over the last three weeks, but no term is more fitting.

      i’m actually working with some friends of mine who went into the corporate world on how to “manage up” my PI… he’s so high maintenance its disgusting.

  2. He sounds totally insecure about his own ability and judgement. He cannot say “no” immediately (looking for your approval) but cannot say yes when it comes to the crunch because he is terrified something will go wrong and he will be held to account by higher authority. I read him as a probably competent researcher pushed into administration too early. Try not to back him into a corner – he could implode!

  3. ha! what i wouldn’t pay to see him implode these days!

    there will be no corner backing… yet. but i’m covering my ass, starting tomorrow. details to follow!

    you hit the nail on the head with the administration comment, too – he will openly acknowledge his ineffectiveness in that area on a regular basis.

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