Contiguous Highsec may have a large number of stations for research, but they are almost always busy with long wait queues. If you have the mettle to speed around Lowsec or have access to jump capable ships, you might want to consider other areas for your research.
When I could not find an open or low wait slot in Highsec, I usually took a shuttle into a neighboring Lowsec region to find open research slots. Thankfully I never encountered a boosted locking ship or smartbomb camp. After a few months of easy access to ME research slots, my Lowsec area started to get overrun so I started to look elsewhere for my needs.
After looking at Eve maps a few areas stood out to me. The Solitude region in particular contains a Highsec island (non contiguous to normal Highsec) that I have found to be perfectly isolated in terms of researchers.
There are several Highsec stations with (at the time) open or extremely low wait ME slots: Stoure, Vecodie, Octanneve, Maire, Oerse, Gererique, and Niballe.
I flew around between these systems with Capital Part and Ship BPOs with no trouble at all. Every gate between the Highsec island systems was never manned with campers.
I imagine that this type of Highsec island is perfect place to get additional ME/PE levels or copy your Titan/Supercarrier BPO. No POS to get reinforced means no risk from external factors. If I were vested in these type of large research projects, I would home here.