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I have been involved in a postodoctoral program for 7 months and I progressively discovered that my advisor is really bad from a scientific standpoint. By working hard, I got to submit two papers which relate to his area of research but now it looks like he is unable to go on and to suggest me new meaningful directions to work on. Luckily I do have my reserch network and I keep working with other people and producing publications and I was also offered another position to which I will transit in a few months. However, my current advisor, who knows I'll be leaving soon, keeps pushing me to work on something with him without proposing anything worth. So my question is, how can I deal with that during the time left here? Thanks!

1 Answer 1

It sounds like you are having a hard time making the transition from knowledge consumer to knowledge producer. While it is nice to get additional training as a post-doc, by this time you are the expert and you should be driving your research efforts, not your post-doc supervisor. In fact, you may be on the post-doc precisely because your area of expertise is different than that of your supervisor, and he may be looking at you wondering why you aren't proposing research.

The fix is simple but not easy:

  1. Change your mindset to that of an independent researcher. You are an expert and a professional now, and your research is your responsibility.
  2. Take the work from your dissertation, and develop a plan to expand on and/or publish that research.
  3. Discuss integrating your research into the remaining post-doc.

Like I said, simple but not easy. There are many people who may be able to help you in this, including your PhD advisor and your post-doc supervisor. The process is going to be highly individualized, but is critical to your progress as an independent scholar, so do not delay.