Though related to this question on undegrad student affiliation, I am in a somewhat different situation…

I am an undergrad student at the Miskatonic University. For completion of their BSc, students at MU are required to perform a 6-week research project in a research lab, which I did with a professor at another institution: Unseen University. I loved it, extending my stay there for 3 more weeks into my summer break. Now, we will submit a paper with the results of that internship project, but I don't know what affiliation(s) to put.

The specifics are:

  • I am not paid by MU, and did not set foot there during my research project (not using the library, nothing)
  • I was not paid by the research institution (UU), either
  • Though I am keeping an eye on the research project, I did not do any significant work since my internship ended (vacations, then too busy with courses)

I think I should put UU as my affiliation, because I used their resources. But maybe UU being the affiliation of the main authors (grad student and professor on the project) is enough? And should I put MU as affiliation?


2 Answers 2


IMHO being paid or not doesn't matter at all (e.g. a PhD student payed by a scholarship doesn't list the scholarship as affilitation but the university, funding goes into the acknowledgements).

I'd list both adresses

What matters is that there is an official relationship. Official relationships the student has with both universities:

  • MU for the studies (not going there outside lecture time doesn't matter - you are allowed to study at home after all, and noone forces you to use their library). MU is also where you are now while writing up the paper.
  • UU for the internship. Presumably there is some kind of supervision agreement or something.

Possibly an explanation that you were at MU as an internship (summer) student would be good (e.g. acknowledgements: thanking your supervisors - particularly if your MU supervisor is not coauthor of the paper?).

Unlike the situation in the linked question, here it is clear that MU officially wanted you to do the internship (and for the internships I know you usually also have supervisor at MU), and UU officially had you over there to do the internship.

But looking up how we deal with this, I find that all three possibilities are used in practice:

  • giving only MU, as this is the "main" affiliation of the student (I think nowadays I'd give both affiliations - but my UU supervisor entered the affilations, so if he's OK with me being MU only, that's fine with me)
  • giving only UU (I'm at the UU side, but I know the project is also a consulting project for studies at MU. But AFAIK no supervisor from MU was actively involved in the student's work.)
  • giving both affiliations. Having multiple affiliations is increasing in my field as we have more and more interdisciplinary centers, and people give institute adresses rather than the university or the department. Working at a non-university research institute, students here usually have an affiliation with both our insitute and the university.

Update: policies

  • At my institute, the policy is "discuss with the director".

Hovewer, some universities have policies on the net, e.g.

  • University of Adelaide: Authorship Policy :

    This Policy applies to all staff, students and titleholders
    1.5 All individuals and organisations that contributed to the research outcome (e.g. research assistants, technical writers, funding bodies, the University), must be properly acknowledged within the publication.
    2.5 As an acknowledgement of the institutional contribution to the delivery of research outcomes, authors must cite their institutional affiliation or affiliations in any publication.

  • Washington university in St. Louis: Policy for Authorship on Scientific and Scholarly Publications

    Applicability: Faculty, Staff, Postdoctoral Scholars and Associates, Fellows, Trainees, and Students affiliated with Washington University


A paper that I have recently read may be a good reference (or example). As can be seen, one of the co-authors, Xuemei Liu is under Baidu, Inc. Shanghai. The research work was done when she (gender inferred from the name) was done during her internship at HP Lab.

She wrote the affiliation as Baidu, and used a star mark as the footnote indicating the work was carried out during her HP Lab internship period.

Update: Another more relevant example:

This paper here is exactly the case. The first author is a student under Shanghai Jiaotong University (student and thus, unpaid). The work of the paper was performed when he was an internship under Microsoft Research Asia. They adopted the same way: affiliation is still the university and a star footnote indicates the internship connection.

  • That's an interesting example… and yet it doesn't fit exactly my case: I assume that as her affiliation is listed as Baidu, Liu was employed (and thus paid) by Baidu. I am not paid by Miskatonic University, which I think changes things.
    – F'x
    Oct 2, 2013 at 11:07
  • @F'x Oh, I get your point. I remember I have seen another example matching your case. Wait and see if I can find the paper any more. Oct 2, 2013 at 11:09
  • @F'x Please see updated answer. Oct 2, 2013 at 11:24
  • 2
    Yes, that's usually what I do. The affiliation is my base-organization, and a footnote with "this work was (partially) done while the author was at ..." In addition, I thank the internship organization for hosting (paying?) me while part of this work was done in the acknowledgment part.
    – Ran G.
    Oct 22, 2013 at 15:58

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