I participated in an poster competition (for undergraduate students) and I won an award with a decent amount of money. My research supervisor was a PhD student at a researcher's lab. Do people usually share the money of the award with their research supervisor, with the PhD student since he helped me a lot with my poster?

  • Just to be clear about the circumstances: Did you create the poster out of your own research or study interests (in which case it is yours), or as a part of your work as an RA or something like that (in which case the poster, as well as the award, might formally belong to the university)? Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 20:49
  • Things are a little unclear here. SHould I assume that in an official sense a faculty member was the advisor (who gave responsibility to the grad student to work with you and be mentor) or was the grad student mentoring you as a totally separate activity that had nothing to do with his/her PhD/research activities in the faculty member's lab?
    – Carol
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 20:58
  • @O.R.Mapper I cannot think of a single scenario where the prize money for a research competition would belong to the university where the research was conducted. The only ownership the university has, if any, is over the intellectual property, not over prize money that doesn't involve transfer of intellectual property.
    – ff524
    Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 23:17
  • 1
    @ff524: The same way in some jurisdictions, bonus miles from flying during a business trip belong to the employer that paid for the trip, prize money might belong to the employer that paid for creating the poster that won the prize. I don't think it's likely, but it's something that needs to be found out before thinking about whether or not to share the money. Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 23:49
  • @O. R. Mapper At my university they offer undergrads the opportunity to work in a research lab where the undergrad is paired with the master's or PhD student working for a researcher to help them with their research. For me, the researcher paired me with a PhD student in his lab. I did most of the lab bench work but it was not my own project- because I am just a summer undergrad student.
    – Victoria
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


I'm a PhD student who often supervises more "junior" students (masters students and undergrads). When I do, they keep any money they win (or if it was a group effort, it is equally divided between all the students, not including myself and faculty supervisors).

  • That is what I thought would be the case thanks.
    – Victoria
    Commented Nov 4, 2016 at 17:05

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