I’m currently a grad student in STEM in the US. I’m currently receiving a very modest stipend for acting as a TA, as well as getting credit for some research this semester. I’m also interested in doing some research not directly related to my degree for a professor in my department who has been publishing papers on another, tangentially-related subject.

Would it be normal/acceptable for me to ask for extra pay in return for working on my advisor’s pet project, if he would benefit from the work of a research assistant? He’s not asking me to anything I’m not getting credit for, I just had the idea that I might ask.

My current stipend isn’t making ends meet, and, if I can’t get a raise, I’m going to take a part-time job doing menial labor to avoid relying on loans. I don’t mind the labor at all but spending the time working on research would be better for my career.

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