Doing educational research in contemporary times increasingly means operating with complex funding models. This paper explores the generation and management of tensions in a research project that was funded as an ARC Linkage (APAI only) grant where the industry partner was an informal group of schools. The context for the research was the development and implementation of teacher ICT professional development that achieve multiliterate student outcomes. The paper explores the tensions generated through three stages of the research characterised as conceptualization, building bridges, and pillars of strength. Data are drawn from the researcher's reflective journal as well as from communications with the industry partner participants. Findings suggest that the most effective way to manage tensions was through building mutually respectful relationships in face-to-face environments, and that the competing but complementary roles of the researcher as PhD student, professional developer, and project administrator strengthened these relationships.