I have a bachelor degree in Computer Engineering. I worked as a Research Engineer in a Research Center. It was a fully paid Engineering position funded by European projects.
However, my contract ended, and because there are not any more projects available at the moment, I can't be re-contracted.
Is it possible for someone to work as a freelance researcher? I have an idea of a platform I would like to work on. The idea, I think, could easily even become a paper. Is it possible that I could continue to work in the research center without being paid, and try to perform some research of my own? Of course I could ask my supervisors about it, but the thing is, I don't know how to ask it.
What I was thinking was they could provide me tools like the computer, mobile devices and a working desk to develop my idea (things that I was provided while working there). In the end it would be something that the university could present, but I would get credit for it for my CV, and it could be especially helpful in getting a good candidate position next year, in a Masters program I am aiming for.
How could I present an idea like this to my supervisor? Is it something that actually happens?
Some notes in response to comments to clear things a bit: The problem is not that I need any kind of equipment to make my idea reality. At work I was provided a simple laptop and some mobile devices, that I can easily have access on my own, so nothing special there.
The reason why I would like to continue work there is as simple as that:
I want to propose an idea of a platform that I would like to create and according to my estimates would be 9-12 months of work. I could do that from my house or by going to work at the research center. However, I need my supervisor to draw public/scientific attention, make a paper with him out of it etc. I want to be able to write in my CV that the last 9-12 months I was working on a project at "that" research center in cooperation with "that" researcher and not that it was a "home" project that I developed.
I haven't made the proposition to my supervisor yet for the following reasons :
I am afraid that my supervisor could simply use my idea with the engineers that still have a contract there.
What I would like is to be the only one working on the project. Like a PhD thesis. I want to get credits of it. Not the research center. I want to get the credit as the main developer/author of this thing, and of course my supervisor be the one that would present it and his name next to mine. Is this even possible? I mean I don't want any other engineers sniffing their nose on it, I don't want my supervisor to demand things on the project. I am thinking of proposing a complete solution of exactly what I have in mind, let me work on it with my time, without any funding, but the supervisor be the one to present it and draw attention on it.
In the end all I am saying is to have this project on my CV to open some doors on the future and my supervisor being the mentor of this thing.