After finishing my master’s degree, I contacted a principal investigator at another university, who seemed to publish interesting high-quality research. I met with the person, and the interview went well. We agreed a 3-month probationary period, during which I should apply for funding and see what it is like to work with him.

Now, having started, everything seems quite awful. The supervisor came to the office during the first day after I had been there for approximately 5 hours, and did not bother to chat for longer than 10 minutes. Now it seems I am actively discouraged to use the skills I just spent five years learning, and revert to using approaches I know will not perform so well. We have talked for perhaps 30 minutes during the first whole month. I have tried to comply with the group’s practices as well as possible, and be as open-minded as possible.

After reading all the group’s and their competitors recent publications, and suggested some ideas for further work, I have only got comments indicating that they are worth nothing (but they are, since the ideas come partially from suggestions in published work).

It seems the position is not a good match. I was very sad for the first three weeks but thought to see whether it just the emotions related to stress of changing the university, working style, topic, etc.

I would like to know what to do about the situation. Would it be a bad idea to apply to other programs without stating where I currently am (I have been here only 5 weeks now). I don’t think I should ask recommendations from here, since the people at my previous university have known me for years and the people at the new lab for just some weeks.

I kind of fear that my supervisor will know if I apply to other programs, since they would be at the same or neighboring universities. I lost a good deal of money when relocating for this one, so I would like to continue until I find another place. I guess the best thing is to remain working as hard as before. I have to give a 14 day notice before leaving, which further complicates things.

How should I approach this situation? What should I do? I think time is critical here, since if I get stuck for too long then what I do here starts to carry more weight, and complicates leaving the program. I am in a country located in the western Europe if it matters.

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