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    Hi, I'm looking for info and advice on which university to go to for a PhD. I currently have offers w/funding from 2 universities and am required accept one of them in the next couple of weeks. One of them is a new uni that I am totally unfamiliar with and the other is the same place where I did my BA and MA.

    I've been weighing up the pros and cons of each*, and to sum up my head is saying to pick the new one, while my heart is saying to stay where I'm comfortable. One major thing that I'm trying to consider is how important to my future career as an academic it will be for me to go somewhere new. A few people have advised me that it will look better if I go to the new university for things like networking, leaving my comfort zone, showing more range of contacts, among other things, than if I pick the 'safe' option and stay at my old university.

    Then again, I know that several of my uni lecturers studied from beginning to end at one uni. Does it 'hurt' one's prospects to do this, or does it depend entirely on the person?

    I am also incredibly sentimental and have an awful tendency to let my feelings get the better of me, which is making me feel really guilty about the thought of saying no to my old university, where I am known and comfortable and who have been so good to me for 4 years. Not to mention that fact that I feel like I will be 'betraying' my old supervisor by going elsewhere, as she has championed me all through uni and is really enthusiastic about me doing PhD study there. (Let me clarify that she has not actually given the impression that she would be offended and has openly congratulated me on getting another offer, but I do know she would prefer me to study with her.)

    So, how important is it for my career and research prospects to go somewhere new?

    *If it matters, both universities are equally suitable in terms of supervisor/provision for my research topic. There are also other factors including location and the fact that one university is much more highly regarded than the other, but I'm not posting to discuss those factors and I want impartial responses.
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    I think you should make it dependant on your supervisor. Apparently you like your current one which is essential for a good PhD. Have you talked to the one who'll be your supervisor at the other uni? Do you like him as much? The supervisor is the most important person while you're taking your PhD so it's essential that you get along with him.

    One other point is your field of research. Are both unis just as good at it? Is one of your supervisors better equipped in that particular field you're going to do your PhD in?

    But ultimalty, it depends on you. It does indeed look better on your CV if you've done BA, MA and PhD at different universities. But if you do have valid reasons for staying where you are it shouldn't be much of a problem either.
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    For what it's worth, mobility is quite an important aspect for early-stage researchers in the life sciences, to the extent that it is actually compulsory for those wanting to take up a (very prestigious) Marie Curie Fellowship to do so at a different country from where they were based at. My own personal tutor had also strongly encouraged me to move on to a different uni (I'm from KCL) for my PhD, advising that it would 'look much better on the CV' as an indicator that you are able to adapt quickly to the challenges of dealing with new environments - always a desirable trait, I suppose. That being said, I think most importantly is that you decide what is best for YOURSELF, not based on what your current supervisor (or anyone else for that matter) prefers. Any professional academic would completely understand your situation and would wish you all the best regardless of what you choose that you believe is best for yourself. Be open and honest about whichever choice you make and they will respect your decision. All the best.
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    Yep, what they said haha.
    I also know several academics in my field who stayed at their undergrad uni. I don't think it's such a bad thing if it's one of the best places for your research, there are good opportunities for collaboration, and most importantly, your supervisor is good (for you on a personal level as well as being well connected and well known in the field).
    I've applied to my undergrad uni and would seriously consider accepting an offer from there, just because I love it there and the department is one of the best in Europe, never mind the UK!
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    There's no clear answer. There is certainly no point in moving away from the best place for your PhD to somewhere less suitable, just for the sake of moving. On the other hand, I had an opportunity to move, some time ago, and didn't take it. Looking back, that was a mistake because it left me sitting in my comfort zone at a time when I'd probably have been better trying something new.

    Make a carefully considered choice based on facilities, supervisor etc etc and, however it subsequently turns out, don't look back and, if ever you are tempted to do so, remember you made the best decision you could at the time.
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    Personally I’d advise go somewhere new.

    If you stay in the same place for your PhD, there is the worry that you will end up in a trap and never leave. Not that this is necessarily bad, but it depends on the person. I would not want to do my BSc, MSc and PhD at the same university and then also end up working/researching there.

    I’ve seen far too many people do their PhD at a university and end up staying there for the rest of their career.
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    I think the best thing is to go and visit the other uni. Talk to the supervisor, talk to their PhD students and see what the atmosphere is like, does it click with you? Do you like the location? Whats the living cost like?

    Personally I find that when you go somewhere new you either like it or don't. There's no point in moving if it doesn't feel right. Equally, if you are staying because you feel like you owe your supervisor something and its comfortable that's no reason either. Supervisors are there to help you out! Go with your gut
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    Thank you all for your responses; it helps to get another POV. There are other factors impacting on my decision, namely the fact that by boyfriend of 4 years and I want to settle down and move in together, however whichever university I choose would mean I either I would have to study at a distance, or he would have to find a new job - and one city has got more opportunities than the other. I know that I shouldn't necessarily let personal factors get in the way of going to the best place for my research, but that's obviously far easier said than done!

    As I also said in my OP, one university is much more 'respected' than the other, both generally and for my subject. Is the 'prestige' of a uni important at PhD level? We're talking a uni in the top 10 vs my old uni which is about 40th in most league tables - however, my supervisor there is an absolute pro, an expert in the subject area and we get along really well. The supervisor at the other uni is also great, very knowledgeable in the area, but we have only exchanged a couple of emails and a half hour phone interview. But I'm going to meet her in person this week so I'll see how that goes ...
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    Prestige of a uni? No. More likely prestige of the Department. And if you plan on staying in your research field the rest of your life, then even more so, the Department. There are top 10 Departments nestled inside of post-30 noversities. But still, this type of prestige at best would just massage your ego while you are still in the PhD. Above all, I would place a premium on a good supervisor and a Department that is supportive and would help you do your interesting research. Those factors are what will drive you towards publications and help your career more so than prestige of any type (since peer review is blind, they won't know where tou came from).

    Having said that, I sympathize with your predicament with your partner. I think relationships are important, and while ideally people would tell you not to let a person dictate their career.......from what I've seen, there is nothing more destructive for PhDs than when a relationship goes south.
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    I'd go further than WvW- the quality of the individual supervisor matters a lot. There are great, world class supervisors in 'poor' departments or 'poor' universities, and crap supervisors in 'good' ones. It is important to get on with the supervisor and you do have to look at the whole package- a rubbish personal life is unlikely to make for a happy and productive PhD student.
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    From what you've said I'd recommend staying.

    The quality of your outcome will depend SO much on the report between you and you're supervisor. Stuff the prestige of the department/uni. The prestige should be based on the quality of you're research at the end ONLY.

    Thats my advice
 
 
 
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