Required sign a Nondisclosure Agreement before resignation

Dear All,
I have a problem with my employment.
Actually, I graduated Ph.D. and then stayed working as a Postdoctoral Fellow at NCTU. My contract is one year. Normally, from Jan. 1st to Dec. 31st.
I got an offer from another company and want to resign.
However, my boss (my professor) requires me to sign an NDA.
Is it legal or illegal? Must I sign the NDA? Because it is written in Chinese, so I am not sure it will limit or affect my future job/career. Should I hire someone to check NDA carefully? or that is the general situation in Taiwan.
Thank you!


(1) Get a lawyer to advise you
(2) Remove that document (NOW)
(3) Any advise here is for entertainment purposes only

You need real, actionable advise


I guess you have a right to request an English version of the document.

If you are working at a research institute, it sounds a normal practice, though. Iiuc, your research works belong to your employer.

Thank you for your advice, I have removed all personal or private information from the documents before posting. (I think it is ok,) I will find someone familiar with the law or this kind of system for advice.
Thank again.

(1) These are standard documents (disclaimer: I did not read them; I only skimmed). Probably no need to get a lawyer, but you should ask for an English version so you know what you’re signing. If the university hires foreigners on a regular basis then they should really have an English version.

(2) The university screwed up. You should be signing these when you get hired, not when you leave. If you refuse now, you probably burn bridges but they can’t make it a condition of your resignation. It should have been a condition for your employment. Edit: if your contract ends in December and you want out now, then yes, they can force you into signing something to amend the contract.


I am working as a Postdoctoral Research at an university. I totally understand and agree that my research works and experiment results should belong to my employer, but I wonder that some ideas (by me) can be transfer or continue at other Fab? Actually, I move to one of competitors, as i am worrying, the DNA will limit my future job or not?
I have asked secretary, she said it was normal for anyone, who is leaving, just asking a colleague explain to me.

He already has a work contract…this is something new they want him to sign (my understanding).

NDA should have been a part of the original agreement. Some companies (banks for example) also don’t allow the ex employee to take a job with a competitor for x months after leaving. It’s in the original contract as a condition of employment.

He should be very clear on what’s there.

but, the Chinese version is the “real” contract. It’s up to OP to make sure they’re the same docs.

Way too much personal information, IMO.

A non-compete clause is unenforceable without consideration and without limiting the scope (geography, industry, etc.). They’d basically have to pay him the economic value of not being able to work for a competitor. I didn’t read his documents but I doubt it’s in there.

Not necessarily. You could enter into English language contract. But it would need to be translated if litigated in a Taiwanese court.

1 Like

OP, delete those pictures.

Hire someone to check the NDA, or just leave but by doing so you may not be able to use that company as a reference in the future.

Very true. Just wanted to say the same. And unless you can only resign by mutual agreement which seems highly unlikely you do not need to sign anything.

All employers, at least all competent ones, make you sign agreements with (1) confidentiality obligations and (2) assignment of IP. Basically if you used university resources to invent something, the university has a property interest in the invention. This is a standard procedure; if you worked at a larger corporation you would be getting more extensive training on what you can (or more so what you cannot) bring to the job when you join / take away with you when you leave.

1 Like

Actually, a Postdoc at University is not a permanent job and as the rule of the university, I have submitted a resignation request letter to my employer one month before. So my problem is I don’t want to break the relationship with my boss. However, I must concern much about the NDA because I am going to work in the same area. I think it should be normal when someone moves from academic to the industry for a better career but my boss plan to establish a company.

If you are not fully understanding what the document says, you should ask it to your university, and your university should make you understand what it is.

If you google 研究室研究人員保密同意書, you will find the template is commonly used at universities. Some school might have an English version.

Yes, I did. There are a lot of similar templates and the content is quite similar; however, there isn’t any English version. I wonder if it is the only common document needed to sign for those who work at a research institute/university in Taiwan.



Perfectly, thank you very much for your time.

After I have read other Confidentiality Agreements from different Universities (both Chinese and English version), basically they are very similar and including 16 articles. However, in the Agreement, which I have to be signed there is one extra article 17: “第十七條 至相關行業、公司就業時,需事先告知指導教授。”
It seems that I must tell my boss which company I am going to be employed. But it seems very private and illegal, I think. Can you help to explain the article 17 clearly?
Thank you

Is this an official university document, or something your advisor came up with to protect his future billions?