Soon, I'll be meeting a professor_A base at a University in my home country to discuss about my plans and projects that may be of interest to me(us) during my time back home.

Ideally, I am looking to be involved in industry for 12 months to 18 months before returning to my alma mater for an honours program with a prominent professor_B who has extended this offer to me despite me not meeting the formal prerequisite for this program but which is predicated on a strong statement of purpose to clear the bureaucratic hurdle.

During this time, I am looking to be actively committed with professor_A outside of standard industry hours to which I will be upholding strictly.

I have two questions:

1) In this context, is the practice of collaboration(unpaid) in the field of academia outside of industry office hours ever frowned upon? The research field is applied math so much of the work revolves around "pen and paper". Given that professor_A is aware of my plans yet extends an in-person meeting may suggests he is at least open to negotiations.

2) How long should a collaboration be? Would 12 to 18 months be a healthy period? I'm looking to develop mathematical insights/ modelling and computational technique while gaining research experiences.

  • I do not know about applied maths, but in my field planning a collaboration with a set "finishing date" is near impossible. You collaborate on projects/topics. If you are not willing to put the time in until it is done, I wouldn't recommend getting into it. Of course, you can estimate if a project is more in the 3 months or 3 years scale, but the difference between a project taking 12 or 18 months can be hard to predict before starting it. – skymningen Jan 23 '18 at 14:16
  • @skymningen I am committed to getting it done but my industry commitments means that I am only available to work on the research project outside of standard industry hours. Further, let's just say there is no imposed "finishing date". Since the field of interests is applied mathematics, I am led to think that much of the thinking and discussion may be communicated via some electronic communication. How would professor view such collaboration? – Academia.jpg Jan 23 '18 at 14:22
  • That is not answerable, as it depends completely on the professor's preferences. If they prefer to meet their collaborators personally at least once a week, on some morning when they are free of other duties that is a different situation than a person liking to work late hours, communicating mainly over email and so on. – skymningen Jan 23 '18 at 14:25

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