Supervisor conflict

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Sun

Gender: Non-binary / Current Role: Research Assistant

WHO WAS INVOLVED?

PI and Head of Department.

WHAT HAPPENED?

I became seriously ill (life-threatening) during the second year of a two-year research contract. After three months full-time salary and three months part-time salary, I had to return to work. Sick leave could not be extended I was told. And I would have no money coming in either. I was still experiencing side effects from the treatment. The hospital said it'd probably be a year before I was back to 'normal'. The funder had agreed to pause the work and resumed paying my salary when I returned to work. I had ten months of my contract remaining. I didn't feel properly like myself until something around four months prior to the end of my contract. I requested the PI request a short three-month extension to my contract to allow for my rehab. This was denied. The PI refused to request an extension because the university didn't have any money. The Head of Department supported that decision and said the department didn't have any money either. Near the very end of the contract, the PI said a three-month extension would have been a "nightmare" for them in terms of their own workload. I think the following detail should be recorded as well: I received my redundancy notice from the university whilst I was in hospital having treatment.

HOW DID YOU FEEL AT THE TIME?

Worthless. Useless. Utterly dispensable.

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID YOU DO TO TRY TO RESOLVE IT?

Union rep involved. Meetings with HR and Head of Department.

WHO, IF ANYONE, DID YOU GO TO FOR HELP? (INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL TO YOUR ORGANISATION)

UCU rep at the university and the regional organiser.

WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE TO THIS?

Nothing anyone could do. HR very sympathetic. They spoke to the HoD to try and persuade them to find some money but the PI had made up their mind.

I was made redundant at the end of February 2020.

HOW LONG AGO DID THIS HAPPEN?

Three weeks before lockdown.

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Liliet

Gender: Female / Current Role: PhD Student

WHO WAS INVOLVED?

My professor.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Due to COVID 19 the lab was closed and the university too. Some students got a letter to go back and resume their work. However I wasn’t informed and later that I emailed my tutor asking for a letter she ignored me, later she delete me from laboratory group so I won’t find the schedule about laboratory.

HOW DID YOU FEEL AT THE TIME?

Ignored and alone.

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, DID YOU DO TO TRY TO RESOLVE IT?

I emailed my tutor and later messaged the group admin asking why I was deleted from the group.

WHO, IF ANYONE, DID YOU GO TO FOR HELP? (INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL TO YOUR ORGANISATION)

I was alone and am alone.

WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE TO THIS?

I carried on with my work and tried to not think about it but it made me feel very sad.

HOW LONG AGO DID THIS HAPPEN?

Last month.

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