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Is it acceptable/advisable to seek to collaborate with a former professor (e.g. from undergrad school) while doing research with ones adviser at grad school (the two schools being different)? Of course, under the assumption that a conflict of interest is avoided (the process being transparent with both professors in agreement with it, the narrow research subjects don't overlap, etc.).

The main benefit of this over-hour endeavor is co-authorship in published papers and an additional recommendation source, along with satisfying ones desire to work on that specific problem.

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    "The main benefit of this over-hour endeavor is co-authorship in published papers and an additional recommendation source, along with satisfying ones desire to work on that specific problem." The latter seems like a good reason to seek collaboration, the first two not so much. – xLeitix Oct 15 '14 at 15:58
  • @xLeitix On the other hand, I've been told numerous times in my field that only working with people at one's PhD university looks pretty bad when applying for postdocs. Sure you shouldn't work on something just because it gets a recommendation letter, but ceteris paribus collaborating outside one's school is better than staying local. – user4512 Oct 15 '14 at 17:50
  • @ChrisWhite We can agree on that. Maybe it's just that the mindset "what's the minimum I need to do to get a good rec and a paper?" gets old really fast. – xLeitix Oct 15 '14 at 18:19
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Do it. It can only be good for you. And it is generally acceptable.

Make sure that your supervisor knows what's going on and approves, though if you are using your own time, there should be no reason not to approve.

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