Quitting academia - Extricating oneself from grants and projects(6 Posts)
I'm currently considering my options outside of academia and may have a decision to make on a job offer in a couple of months. My question is how do people manage leaving a job while grants and projects are ongoing? One grant is yet to start, one is in year 1 of 4 (staff to start in year 2), and I am due to give various talks and symposia throughout 2017. The latter should be easy to withdraw from, but the grants I'm less sure about. Papers I can probably finish before I go. This sort of thing must come up now and again - the long lead-in to projects means that researchers can't always wind things down before moving on, but established academics still jump from time to time. Everything’s still under wraps, quite sensitive, and far from decided, so I can't take advice from mentors. How to manage it? I’ve accepted I’m going to piss off a few people, but would rather not get blacklisted by RCUK if possible..
RCUK must have seen it before so might be worth seeing what they say. Are you staying in the same area of work? If so it might be worth seeing if your new employer would release you say half a day a week to supervise the grants and then use the salaries that would have gone to you (bar the half day) to pay someone to carry out the grant work.
If tou can't transfer the grant with you then for an RCUK grant you should find a suitable and willing colleague within your institution to take over as PI on the grant. You then raise a grant maintenance request through JeS justifying the suitability of your replacement, their experience and why they are perfect for leading the project going forward.
Your research support team should be well versed in this process and you may need to get them involved soon.
If you are leaving academia, why do you care what RCUK think?
It's far from unusual for PIs on grants to leave their positions (not least because many academics move to new positions in other countries, staying in academia). As pp says, it might be an option for the grants to be transferred to somebody else in your own institution. In my own area, it is rare for such a request to be granted unless PDRAs funded by the grant have already signed contracts - it is more normal for the grant to be returned to RCUK. RCUK probably don't have particularly hard feelings about the latter happening.
Useful to have these options ahead of a discussion with the RC and/or my research office. I'm in a v. small department so chances of a colleague having the expertise or the interest to take on the grant(s) are low. There might be options among my collaborators at other Universities though. The potential new role is still in research (hence not wanting to burn bridges with the RC) but not in a University, so it wouldn't be straightforward for the new employer to release me . Plus I'd probably want a clean break. As user pointed out though, it'd be no drama just to give the money back. God, if my grantwriting former self could hear me considering such a thing
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