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I work in a computational research lab as a graduate research assistant. We're all funded under various grants to do research in our field and we are also working on a thesis, which may or may not be directly related to the funding source (it is if we are lucky!)

Our lab is also licensing the software we write to outside companies for their own in-house use. As a result, there are many "niceties" that should be added to the code to make it more user-friendly, but these have no bearing on our research, either the sponsor-funded or thesis-related.

Is it okay that we are expected to implement these things in addition to our funded/thesis related work? Is it acceptable to ask for additional money (assuming work done on this is in addition to funded/thesis work)?

Our advisor is considering hiring an outside company to come in and put in these features, but we would be expected to help them through the process of learning and understanding our code so it would be nice to cut out the middle man since we certainly won't get any extra money from advising the consultants.

1 Answer 1

Our lab is also licensing the software we write to outside companies for their own in-house use.

Are those companies paying you? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds to me like you have a product. Instead of asking for funding to implement the features that these companies want, why don't you ask the companies themselves for money? I don't claim to know the hoops about using a research facility to work on parts of software that aren't research related, so if you decide to go this route you should definitely clear it with the lab.