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For the past several months I have been working with a faculty member on his fascinating research project. Unfortunately, due to financial and other circumstances, I had to relocate to another state and find a new job.

I am still interested to continue working with the faculty member for several reasons:

  1. The urge to continue the work that I have already started.
  2. The possibility to publish our work.
  3. The project's successes promising, where other collaborators might be involved.

I am puzzling what are the possible way to think about so I remain involved with the project while being away physically.

My Questions:

Can I work with the group remotely? How can I start discussing this with my supervisor? and What are the elements that I should consider to discuss with him in this regard?

Any idea is appreciated!

  • 4
    I wonder if this would be a better fit on Academia.se? Your question seems to be distinctly about academic research, not remote working in general. – user45590 Nov 28 '16 at 16:00
  • Definitely go to academia.se. This happens all the time, PhD students or postdocs finishing and leaving a group, but leaving unfinished projects and publications behind that then will be finished remotely. – skymningen Nov 29 '16 at 9:54
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Go to your boss with a plan. A plan for how you will remotely connect to the network or share files. A plan for how you will communicate with people who are on site. Let him or her know you are aware of the possible issues and have a way to mitigate them. Talk to your IT department about what they woudl need to hook you up remotely, if it snot common where you work. Don't forget to consider time-zones. Itis a lot more difficult to collaborate across timezones, but I do it every day with people halfway around the world, so it can be done, it just needs planning.

Communication is the hardest, you need to have IM, email, phone access and hopefully something like Skype where you can do video conferencing. The peopel you call will need that access as well. Your IT department will need to set you up to VPN into the network so you can see files, run applications, etc and possibly, you would need a web-based client for your email.

Have a plan for how you will handle things if you lose connectivity and how you will ensure that your boss is aware that you are working and not just lost in space somewhere. You will need to make sure to communicate multiple times a day if you are not in the office and to respond to emails, IMS and phone calls in a timely manner. IN the office, you can afford to not respond for hours, they can see that you are there. Remote, you need to answer quickly or people will assume you are not actually working. Of course the answer can be, "I am deep into doing... and will not be available to talk until 2:00 PM your time." But no leaving things unanswered for hours.

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