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I want to do some researching ahead of mass producing some items - specifically I want to perform some material research and time efficiency research - however every station I've found with the facility to perform either of these research types always have no slots available, with the next slot being weeks from now.

What methods are available (preferably avoiding visiting every station in the game) to locate available research slots?

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Last I checked (which was a while ago, admittedly), you could use region-wide search in the manufacture/research interface. But that only looks in stations, and more likely than not, every slot's booked weeks in advance, as you've already seen. You could try low security systems with all the dangers it entails, or join a friendly corporation that'll have POS with slots you can use. All that said, unless CCP changed the way research works in the last couple of years, it's definitely not a early-game activity. –  Pvt. Grichmann Feb 5 '13 at 13:41
    
It's pretty much stick something in the queue with the build quantity set to maximum, then wait a month. –  SaintWacko Feb 5 '13 at 14:46

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Pretty much every Research slot in the game is taken, and will be taken, for some amount of time. You can look for slots via the Science and Industry window, by opening up the advanced parameters and adjusting to look at entire regions at a time.

I high suggest that you place a P(layer) o(wned) S(tarbase) in HiSec, or join a corp with one. This will allow you to have access to any facilities that you need for S&I.

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