As a prospective PhD student, you are precious. Institutions want you – they gain funding, credibility and profile through your presence. Do not let them treat you like an inconvenient, incompetent fool. Do your research. Ask questions. Use these 10 truths to assist your decision.
The 10 are as follows:
- The key predictor of a supervisor’s ability to guide a postgraduate to completion is a good record of having done so (although with new supervisors you will have a second, experienced supervisor)
- You choose the supervisor. Do not let the institution overrule your choice
- Stars are attractive but may be distant. Pick a well-regarded supervisor who does not spend too much time away
- Bureaucratic immunity is vital. Look for a supervisor who will protect you from ‘the system’
- Byline bandits abound. Study a potential supervisor’s work
- Be wary of co-supervisors
- A supervisor who is active in the area of your doctorate can help to turbocharge your work
- A candidature that involves teaching can help to get a career off the ground
- Weekly supervisory meetings are the best pattern
- Invest your trust only in decent and reliable people who will repay it, not betray it
Mass Communications Academic, @MMUBS. British Home Front Propaganda posters as researched for a PhD completed 2004. In 1997, unwittingly wrote the first history of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, which she now follows with interest.