I started a postdoc in a new lab a few months ago. In my former lab, people worked on a variety of activities all the time. By these I mean activities other than the funded project and teaching, e.g. reviewing papers, grant writing, participation in working groups/editorial boards/societies/etc, (co)authoring papers on other topics, meeting researchers from other departments for informal discussions, and so on. Of course to a reasonable extent that it doesn’t conflict with the main activities for which the researcher is paid.
I was thinking that is the norm in academia, however in my new lab people seem to work only on their project and don’t do anything else. While I am not prohibited to work on these things, I am uneasy and puzzled to continue, but also I am not sure if bringing this topic to my professor is the best idea.
Should I continue working on these without an explicit permission? It is really important for my career to do other work too, e.g. I am currently finishing a paper I have been working on during free time, but it has nothing to do with my current project (which is good for my cv).
Can I have repercussions if I publish a paper on a topic that is not part of my funded job? Can I just say I worked on it in my free time or during weekends?