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Author Topic: How to Invite Yourself to Give a Seminar  (Read 998 times)
scampster
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« on: January 07, 2013, 8:35:36 AM »

So I'm starting a new position soon. There are not many people for me to collaborate with at my new uni, but there are people at universities relatively close by. I've met some of these people at conferences, but I don't know them all that well. Essentially, I would like to explore possibilities for collaborating with these people. My new uni would cover travel to these places, so I was thinking of sending them an e-mail and inviting myself up to give a seminar. Would this be uncouth?
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shrek
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 9:03:21 AM »

You could write to introduce yourself (or say hello if you know them) mention that you are starting a new position and have some travel funds and would love to visit. Once they bite, if presenting a seminar is a requirement of your university then mention that. 
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mouseman
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« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 7:20:18 PM »

 Alternatively, you can fish for invitations:  email anybody you know, or met at a conference, and tell them very briefly about your present research.  That is the bait.  If the response is anything along the lines of "that's really interesting", you reel them in with a "I'd love to come to your University and talk about it more extensively".

Another thing to do is to email anybody you know who has a faculty position, especially your advisers and mentors and tell them of your new position.  They'll likely invite you to give a talk wherever they are.  If you are collaborating with people from other institutions, you could drop broad hints about how you would like to visit.  Unless they're clueless, they will try and schedule a seminar talk for you at their university.

From what I've seen with the Mousewoman, engineers are really good about inviting colleagues/former students/mentees to give seminars.  I've also seen that people who organize seminar series always need people to fill in the slots, so they'll often jump on the least hint that you'd be willing to travel to their place to ask you to come and give a talk.
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scampster
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 7:23:23 PM »

Thanks for the suggestions! I e-mailed one person (who I remembered as being very friendly) and just invited myself up there, but didn't ask to give a seminar, and they responded warmly. I should probably check if my travel funding is contingent on giving a seminar though! I didn't even think of that!
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 7:24:40 PM by scampster » Logged

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greyscale
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« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 7:54:34 PM »

I've done this successfully by emailing to say I'd be in town and would be happy to meet their group and give an informal talk. Sometimes, the informal talk turns into a real department seminar, and sometimes it's just for weekly lab meeting in one research group.

It's fun! I'm glad you have a chance to meet people working nearby.
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mleok
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« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 8:20:40 PM »

Unless the university is in a particularly desirable location, it's rare for people to volunteer to pay their own way, and seminar funds tend to be limited, so most people would be more than happy to have you volunteer to give a seminar (at no cost to them).
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bacardiandlime
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« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 10:35:50 PM »

I've done this successfully by emailing to say I'd be in town and would be happy to meet their group and give an informal talk.

I've done this a few times, especially while I was working somewhere I didn't have many colleagues in the same subfield to discuss my work with.

You can also check online if they have a departmental seminar series, and contact whoever organises that. It doesn't matter if you know them or not, they're likely looking for speakers (but will be planning a term or two in advance).
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britprof
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2013, 1:15:36 PM »

You can also check online if they have a departmental seminar series, and contact whoever organises that. It doesn't matter if you know them or not, they're likely looking for speakers (but will be planning a term or two in advance).
A lot depends on the forum. Departmental seminars can often squeeze you in during the present semester, but any forum beyond a department normally has its program laid out for the year.
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