I’m currently doing research at my University in Spain, and soon I will leave to do an internship in Germany at a company (one among Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google) on a related topic.

Then, the work I’m currently doing will be carried out by others and published once it is finished, when I will be gone (the internship contract says I cannot work for others while working for them). Of course, since I worked for months on the project I should be one of the authors in the paper, but is this against the internship contract? Can it be considered as competition against the company?

  • 1
    Obviously we don’t have your internship contract to read… is the question really “How/who do I inform/ask at the company to make sure my publication doesn’t break any rules?”
    – Dawn
    Jan 29, 2022 at 16:14
  • Well, internship contracts are very similar in FAANG companies when it comes to this kind of stuff, and I think there is probably more people that have faced similar situations, for example phd students, so I though someone might know
    – Belen
    Jan 29, 2022 at 17:28
  • Are you concerned purely about legal aspects, or also whether it might make your employer/boss unhappy beyond legal aspects? - Regarding "contracts are all very similar", this is probably only within a country - also internship contracts have to follow certain legal standards which differ by country.
    – user151413
    Jan 29, 2022 at 19:36

1 Answer 1


As long as you can convincingly argue that the work in the publication was done before the time of your internship, or the amount of work still to be done during the internship was small enough to be done in your spare time, you should be fine. (From a legal point, you should anyway be fine, unless it becomes clear that you spent a lot of time on this during your internship.)

However, you should not put the company as an affiliation on the paper, unless you talk to them and you approve of it. In any case, since the work has been done at the university, the university would be the natural affiliation you put. If you are only on leave from your university for the internship there should be no problem to do so anyway, but just to be safe, I would ask whoever at the university supervised the project.

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