My PI got me involved in a collaboration with people who want to do something that I know how to do (and my PI doesn’t really). So I’m helping them as much as I can. Not only do I give them advice, I also help them with practical work because that lab currently consists of only the PI and a technician who works hir ass off for the PI. The PI is pretty pushy and often only asks things at the last minute, so this collaboration has been a good exercise in trying to protect my personal boundaries (read: I’ve been annoyed to no end by all the last-minute requests).
What I’m not really sure about in these kinds of situations is when you ask what’s in it for you? I asked my PI and he was like:” Yeah of course you’ll be a co-author on their paper.” But so far, we’re gathering preliminary data for a grant, and with the current size of this PI’s lab it might take a while before this turns into a paper.
So how does one go about this? Do you trust that this PI will remember that I helped hir when ze writes the paper years from now? Or do you just ask (or even email so that you have it in writing):”What’s in it for me?”