We're a little crazy, about science!

A storm ahead

I’m not sure how to even start. Maybe I’m just being overanxious. I’m an anxious person and this happens! Frankly, I think I’m just overreacting, I mean I have to be. My main-PI wouldn’t do something to hurt my career, it just doesn’t make sense, yet I can’t shake the feeling and the email I got today doesn’t help ease my mind.

My “super secret” technique. I’ve spent years now, quite literally, trying to set the groundwork to get to a point that we could show reasonably that this is possible. Heck, I’ve finally finished the first draft of a grant proposal for funding for this project! Yet, I’m left with the nagging feeling that my main-PI just isn’t interested in it.

Originally when I proposed this project my PI got funding for it and I was excited to explore what I was interested in! Unfortunately, it turns out it was had nothing to do with what I wanted to research, it fit more firmly into what his lab was already doing. It wasn’t that my technique couldn’t have been fit into the protocol, it was just never included.

That was the first hint I think that he just wasn’t interested in having me think for myself. Again, maybe I’m overreacting and all this is just in my head, I’ve never had any reason to believe that it wasn’t just in my head. The funding request my not have been broad enough to include the study I wanted to do into the main experiment, it would make sense not to include it in that case.

There’s just a lot I don’t know and while working on my grant proposal my main-PI emailed me to explain that I needed to collect some data from this previous experiment specifically for the grant proposal to show feasibility. I couldn’t help, but feel like something was wrong. The experiment had nothing to do with what I wanted to do and now I am getting the feeling that I’m being screwed. Nothing a short email asking for clarification wouldn’t clear up… right?

Well the response was less than stellar. I asked how the grant I was writing could be related to the experimental data that he was asking me to get since they were so disparate and literally are two different things. His response was that my question was a good one and that I should brainstorm and come up with the answer myself.

I’m literally feeling like I’m going to have a breakdown at this point. I’m not even joking. It would’ve been super easy for him to put me out of my misery, but that just wasn’t in the cards apparently. Maybe I’m just needy, but it I really am getting the feeling that I’m being punished and I’m not exactly sure why.

Point of today? Communication matters, if I make it to graduation and become a PI one day, I’m going to remember this and put effort into making sure that my students don’t have to go through this, even if everything turns out fine in the end and it was just all in my head, the stress is just overwhelming for me.


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