I am an Indian national who holds a US B-1/B-2 visa. I have been interacting with a professor at a US university. Since I have vacation at my institution this coming winter, we agreed that it will be a good idea for me to join him at university and work directly. I am not being paid for the visit.
The B-1 visa allows for "independent research," as long as the visitor is not paid any honoraria. My situation satisfies this clause. Also, the clauses state that the institution should not benefit from the collaboration. The chances of coming up with a research output over just a month of collaboration are borderline zilch. The clauses can be found under the researcher section in this document.
We might come out with something by next summer, and, hence, I'll be joining as a paid intern under a J-1 category, next summer. I have not yet applied for a J-1 visa.
So, in this scenario, is a B-1/B-2 visa indicated? Also, what does the word "benefit" mean in the US government document?