Quitting research during application cycle

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Sep 3, 2016
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Well, if you really burned the bridge, I suppose he could contact schools to rescind endorsement. I doubt that would happen though.

Are you working this job full time, or still a student and just working research-for-credits? What you'd start doing instead for the rest of the cycle would be the deciding factor, imo.
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Quit, but don't be a dick about it. Say that you won't be able to come in anymore, that you're grateful for the opportunity and learned a lot, and all that good stuff. If he asks, say you've been working on other projects and they've gotten to a point where you can no longer commit the hours to his lab. Usually good if you're doing something on the side (volunteering, independent research, working) that he knows about, and you can say you took on additional roles/were promoted/whatever.

Definitely don't be a queen of drama.

Do have other things going on on the side.
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Quit. As far as the schools are concerned, you are doing research atm. Bounce outta there and wait for the interviews to roll in.
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So...my PI totally hates me and frankly, I don't like him very much either. He totally disregards anything I have to say/contribute and it's extremely frustrating. I'm tired of him bitching at me/giving me faces for following HIS OWN directions. Not to mention, he's an insulting prick who is extremely temperamental and sassy towards me. I've been in the lab for almost a year now and have already obtained a LOR from him (yes - hard to believe now but he actually did like me before).

The relationship wasn't always terrible - it was actually quite good at first - but after certain comments/confrontations I just can't see any reason for staying besides the fact that in my AMCAS/secondaries (as well as in his LOR) there are mentions of me participating in XY & Z projects. It's still early in the application cycle and I haven't received any IIs/acceptances - but I am so unhappy working for this guy that I am still leaning towards quitting at the end of this fall semester. Besides, he actively tells other lab mates that "I can go at anytime" indicating that he can fire me whenever he wants (and he obviously can because well...he's the boss). The lab's atmosphere also makes me feel like I'm back in high school...there's a lot of petty drama going on 24/7 and I just hate being in there lately.

I feel like doing the emotional/irrational thing - I want to walk into his office and say "I quit". I obviously won't do this but when you feel like behaving this way, isn't it time to move on? I honestly don't know what to do. Should I stick it out until I get an acceptance? Or just give my two weeks notice and update schools with a change of activities (hospice volunteering+more shadowing instead of the research). I'm not applying to any top 20/heavy research schools and could frankly use the volunteering more than the research.

Would anyone advise against doing this because of the fact this research experience is all over my application/one of my LORs? What would I say in an interview if asked about my current research? Is there any way he can rescind his LOR? I have recently picked up a hospice volunteering gig and would much rather occupy my time with that instead of working for this PI. I just don't feel like I'm getting anything out of it anymore and it's really burning me out.

Sorry for the long post/vent - but I don't know what to do. It's been bumming me out for weeks.
As another year of research isn't critical to the success of your application, it's fine to leave the position. Give proper notice, express appreciation for the opportunity, and move forward with your other plans. You'll have enough angst to deal with this application year without having to deal with lab issues as well. Update schools about your plans as able. Do not speak negatively of the lab elsewhere, particularly not at interviews.
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Is there even a single repercussion that you'd suffer from quitting? Why don't you just do it?

Do you even need this bridge in the future? If not, I'd fully douse it in gasoline and light it up if I were you.
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