I am a research scientist and I would like to know if I can do my own research at the institute where I am working? Own research meaning stuff that has to do with science. I have no legal papers signed on it or stuff like that. It’s just trying out new ideas that may lead to a project or a publication.

  • Be careful, most companies have a clause that anything you produce during working hours they have the rights to... If, however, you ONLY work on something at home - always outside of work hours that they won't have the rights to... Needs checking ... – Solar Mike Nov 14 '17 at 6:00
  • Following from the above, some companies might attempt to claim rights over everything you produced. (I don't know whether such claims are legally valid.) – user2768 Nov 14 '17 at 8:59
  • @SolarMike even work at home might not be compatible with one's contract. – user24098 Nov 14 '17 at 9:30
  • @dan111 yes, they may soon charge you for breathing... :) but, it does depend on the contract : are people allowed to be coaches outside of work time?? – Solar Mike Nov 14 '17 at 10:38
  • Does your boss want you to do research? If not, then doing research is presumably a breach of contract – user2768 Dec 14 '17 at 11:03

This really does depend on the institution where you're working. For instance, Google used to grant its employees 20% of their time as time to explore new things that had nothing to do with their actual job duties. (This may or may not still be the case.) On the other hand, one of my previous employers required time be charged to specific projects down to individual quarter-hours. As you might imagine, there wouldn't be a lot of time for individual exploration under such a scheme!

So consult with your supervisors: there may or may not be arrangements available to let you pursue "extracurricular" interests.

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