I work for R&D FMCG co and plan to do my PhD. The company wants me to sign a bond with 3 years of service post completion of my Ph.D. Ph.D. itself takes 3-5 years for completion. Here the company has mentioned that I cannot apply for a job or join any company during my Ph.D. Also post-completion i cannot join any competition for 3 years. I'm paying my fees for Ph.D. I do not want the facility of my company. However, my college wants in writing that co is providing me the facility. There is no monetary compensation mentioned in the agreement. as i plan to leave the co before completion of my Ph.D. My Ph.D. is also in Pharma based and not FMCG thus no confidential information will be stolen. Experts, please advise
From India, Mumbai
Dear Vithal,

You could have written your post with a little more clarity. You have written, "Company wants me to sign a bond with 3 years service post completion of PhD". Why does your company wish you to enter into a bond with you? What is their commercial interest?

What compensation will the company provide you so as to put the restrictions on the completion of your PhD course? Your post is not clear on while pursuing a PhD whether your company will pay you the salary or not. If you are going to pay the fees for the PhD course, then why the company wishes to impose the restrictions?

To pursue your PhD course, will you resign from your job? Will you do PhD through distance learning or it is a full-time course?

Why does your future college want a certificate from your past company that they will allow their facility to be used for your research? Is your admission to the PhD course linked to this certificate? If not your past company, then is there any other company that provide the research facility?

Development feedback: - Well gentleman, if you wish to be a future research scholar, then it is high time for you to improve your written communication skills. Your post is neither compatible with what you aspire to be nor with a student who has cleared the UGC-NET. Please note that research scholars are not exempted from spelling and grammar mistakes.

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Divekarji, I plan to do my off campus PhD. The college wants in writing from co that they will provide required facility. Company In that case wants an agreement with retention clause of 3 yrs post Phd as they will provide facility. Co is not paying any fees. Co is not giving any extra leaves for the college campus visits. Co. In agreement is mentioning not to join competition Co for 3 yrs post Phd. Also not to apply any job during Phd period. My topic of research is pharma related and Co is cosmetic. Hope the matter is clear.

Hence seek advice on this subject.

From India, Mumbai
Dear Vithal,

You have two options now. One is to enter into an agreement with your past company. It appears that this company is opportunistic. They also knew well that for your PhD, their facility will not be used. However, not only they are locking your career to their company, but they will do it without paying a penny. Now whether to accept this proposal or not is your call. However, if accepted, and if the legal agreement is signed, then you will have to honour it. If you enter an agreement with them, then it will be an agreement between an individual and a business entity. Therefore, it will be out of the purview of the labour laws.

By the way, what if the company backs out in providing you with a job after your PhD? What if they provide you with a job but do not pay you as per the market standards? What are their liabilities in this case?

The second option is to approach a Pharma company and obtain permission from them for the use of their laboratory or other research facilities. However, while doing so, you need to be careful and find out whether they have facilities that suffice your research requirements. There should not be a mismatch. Nothing wrong if this company imposes the conditions on you for post-doctoral employment.

Thanks,

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Divekarji, Thanks for taking your time to reply and provide genuine feedback appreciate. I’m already working as HOD R&D for FMCG co from which im seeking permission. Regards.
From India, Mumbai
Dear Vithal,

Qualifications are the feathers in one's career's cap and the PhD is one of the most decorative feathers amongst that. You say that you are working as an HoD in one of the FMCG companies. This means that you are a middle-aged person. I appreciate your zeal to pursue higher education at this age. Kudos to you!

Nevertheless, before pursuing the highest qualification, it is important to clear UGC-NET and then proceed ahead with the PhD. What I am writing is a little unsolicited, but the objective is not to incense you. My daughter is also pursuing her PhD from BHU and the PhD-related topics are often discussed in our home. The UGC-NET examination has a recognition the world over. Since you are going to invest the vital years of your career, it is important to take a degree from a university that has universal validity. PhDs done after clearing NET or JRF have high respect even in India also. Therefore, please be cautious on this count.

All the best!

Dinesh Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Dear Divekarji, The university already offered me provisonal admission is BITS Pilani. Thanks for raising the concern.
From India, Mumbai

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