We have a few questions on offering to give a talk at a university. And the general response is that is pretty acceptable. It is basically asking to be invited as a speaker.
What I am wondering about is:
I am asking to be invited to speak and to be given a working space.
My university has a spare office or two in every department for "visiting academics". Is this typical of universities? I believe they are intended for professors on sabbatical. But perhaps not exclusively so, last year an engineer with a well-known company's research group invited himself to use one such space in our university. We also have a few spare spaces in the lab, I've never seen our space used by a visiting student, but friends in other labs tell me they fairly regularly have visiting student's in their labs.
I am going to a conference about a month before my PhD thesis is due. It is in a city where I have a few contacts. I've heard about some of the work their groups are doing, and I'd like to be able to meet with them. I'ld also like to have a place to sit and work on my thesis when I am not. I thought I might talk to my contacts and see if I could arrange to be invited to give a talk about my thesis work, and also be given some space to work. (Whether a desk in a lab, or in an office, is of little consequence.) I thought perhaps a week before the conference would give me plenty of time to meet with people and have deep discussions etc.
Asking for an invitation is of-course a favour, but I'm not sure how big a favor I'd be asking.
- Is asking to be invited to visit a lab for a week a big favor?
- Is asking for space to work on top of that a greater favor? (or is that implied?)