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I'm currently a PhD candidate on leave, working in industry (full-time) tangentially related to research topics (deep learning) I had been working on. I'm planning on submitting a somewhat theoretical result to an academic conference once we're done with the project. There's a statement that I am close to proving, but my coworkers don't have the mathematical prerequisites to understand neither the statement nor the proof, and I would like to collaborate with someone I am certain can provide advice, for example my PhD advisor. There's 2 questions I'd like to know an answer to before asking both sides including my workplace.

  1. If I ask my advisor for collaboration, would I have to secure some funding?
  2. Assuming the first question is resolved and we agree to collaborate, is there any reason against doing so?
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    What field is this? Deep Learning could imply a lot of things.
    – Buffy
    Feb 2 at 15:58
  • I tried providing minimal information to answer the question; is there any reason the field of study would affect tbe answer to the question? If so, I could describe as much on my field of study as necessary.
    – rhdxor
    Feb 3 at 3:59
  • Some things (math, some theoretical work) don't need funding beyond the participants. Other things need field work or equipment. The costs vary and you asked about funding. And you didn't describe what you needed funding for.
    – Buffy
    Feb 3 at 10:42
  • Thanks for elaborating. I am performing all the experiments using my company's resources, and the only collaboration I would be requesting would be in proving theoretical statements and extending theory. The only funding I was referring to was labor, unless there is something I should be considering otherwise.
    – rhdxor
    Feb 3 at 10:47
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  1. Not necessarily. Sometimes researchers take on new projects without additional funds, simply out of intellectual joy (or the prospect of another publication may already be enough of a benefit to them). But if funding is needed, then perhaps your advisor could likewise offer him- or herself to apply for a grant. The allocation of tasks (including the application for funding) is variable, and you need to coordinate it with your advisor first.

  2. No, I do not see anything that speaks against such a collaboration. On the contrary, as another post says: 'Prominent world university rankings give bonus points to "university-industry collaborations", which is generally deemed to be highly valuable for fostering innovation (e.g. see this document from the Times Higher Education, some further evidence here, or this OECD report).'

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