I’ve just this weekend stumbled onto a major issue in my PhD. Annoyingly enough, only 2 months out from my projected submission date. I’m after advice from anybody on the forums who might be a senior academic/researcher who’s maybe come across something similar in the past. The background is that I am doing my PhD research under the auspices of a major national research project. Mid last year I went and visited a govt. lab for about 6 weeks in order to use some of their facilities. While I was primarily there to work with one person, everyone within the lab knew exactly what I was working on (the problem I was working on, the methodology I was using etc.). It was hardly a big secret, since they were all a part of this major national research project as well, they were just working on other bits of it. Fast forward to now…I got an email from someone who was familiar with my work who’d attended a conference last week telling me that someone from the govt. lab in question had presented a talk, which was more or less taken directly from the part of my PhD research that was done at the lab. This Senior Researcher from the lab had taken a significant subset of my problem, employed the exact same methodology I’d used, and effectively reproduced my results and then presented them at this reasonably large conference. Until I’d been to this lab, the methodology that I developed had never been applied to such problems before, and this methodology was (is) a major component of my PhD research. Yet the person I knew at the conference asked this researcher about whether they were familiar with my work, and the response was “oh yeah, I know all about that.” And when asked why they had effectively taken the work of a PhD student without their knowledge (I wasn’t added as a co-author or anything on the conference abstract), the researcher more or less admitted to stealing the ideas and methodology. Anyway, I told my supervisor about it, and his only consolation was that the researcher in question had only barely made a start on the intended journal manuscript, while mine is about 95% done, so I should be able to get my manuscript submitted first. Other than trying to publish my work first, is there any other action I can take against this person? I realize what this person has done is morally corrupt, but is anybody aware of what the legal standpoint on this might be? ps. not sure if this is the right sub-forum for such a topic, admins pls move if necessary.