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Success or failure as a PHD

Kathleen Ann Sindt kas4e at galen.med.Virginia.EDU
Wed Aug 7 09:52:41 EST 1996

jcoleman at msvax.mssm.edu writes:

> of an assistant professor, you work really hard but the PI has severe grant
> troubles and the lab goes down hill around you....to the point where all
> tech support is gone and the PI is looking for a new job *sigh* The project

Well, you gotta admit, that stinks.....

> itself has been very successful but its a difficult and long term project
> so no publishable results to this point (I'm starting my fourth year of grad

Frankly, I think this is the demise of many new profs.  They
bite off a project that doesn't have any "quick" results that
are publishable.

> school now), it seems likely now that the PI will eventually leave and the
> lab will go to others and I will still me here trying to finish up. Actually
> this may happen sooner rather than later. How badly is this fiasco going

Is he/she leaving with another job at a research institution?
If the PI lands another job - you can go with and still get a
degree from your original institution.

The department should be providing you advice.  Around here,
when profs. leave for whatever reason, the department usually
"helps" out the grad students.  By that - I mean they either
suggest you switch labs and start over (this is usually for 1st
to 3rd year students) or they find you some lab space and
arrange for you to have some supply money if you can finish up
in a year or two.  Your PI should be going to bat for you if
he/she simply can't take you with them.  If the PI doesn't
really care what happens to you - find a new lab.  Ask your
committee members or the grad. advisor for the department what
you should be doing.  It's not really too late to switch labs.

> to impact on my search for a PostDoc? If the PI fails, does it have 
> implications for the student for a future career. I'd hate to dead in the

I think you have more important things to worry about than
getting a post-doc, sounds like you need to worry about how
you are going to finish your degree!

Kathie Sindt
kas4e at virginia.edu

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