Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hello everyone, this is my first thread, and thank you for reading.

    It is highly likely that I'll be doing a PhD degree on Musicology this September. I'm really lucky, my research proposal received some good responses, several good Universities responded with an offer.

    Now I'm down to three different choices:
    1 a really high ranking university plus a big-name supervisor in our field
    2 lower ranking university but a very like-minded supervisors and exciting campus vibe
    3 and the last one with nice ranking, and a very good city to live in (plus a chance to learn a third language)

    I'm a university lecturer, so after my PhD there's a good chance that I will go back and work in a university.

    So how would you choose and why?
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    When it comes to ranking you have to consider where the ranking comes from and there is associations and networks with the rankings so Oxford if ever has anything to do with London met and it is easier to go down than up and so I know of people that went to Cambridge but in the early stages of their career have lectured at low ranked universities to get their career going and it is likely that later on they will be teaching at higher ranked universities.

    So it's as if there is some natural law that unless the lower ranked university with the like-minded supervisors are really calling out to you and drawing you in that it just feels right to make that choice then go for it.

    Sounds fascinating and I wish you the best of luck.
    • TSR Support Team
    • Very Important Poster
    • PS Reviewer
    • Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    TSR Support Team
    Very Important Poster
    PS Reviewer
    Clearing and Applications Advisor
    Uni ranking doesn't mean much unless it's a research based ranking in your field. I'd go with the like minded supervisor and the most interesting project because that's what can make your career not the uni ranking. Also The_Lonely_Goatherd is in a similar field so may have some more advice?
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by guitar_player)
    Hello everyone, this is my first thread, and thank you for reading.

    It is highly likely that I'll be doing a PhD degree on Musicology this September. I'm really lucky, my research proposal received some good responses, several good Universities responded with an offer.

    Now I'm down to three different choices:
    1 a really high ranking university plus a big-name supervisor in our field
    2 lower ranking university but a very like-minded supervisors and exciting campus vibe
    3 and the last one with nice ranking, and a very good city to live in (plus a chance to learn a third language)

    I'm a university lecturer, so after my PhD there's a good chance that I will go back and work in a university.

    So how would you choose and why?
    :wavey:

    I'm guessing from the way that you've written the post that you don't want to disclose the unis in question? Are all three of these offers funded offers?

    It's a bit hard to fully advise with a cryptic post, but I'm intrigued by how you've differentiated between "big-name supervisor" and "like-minded supervisor". It's all very well having a big-name supervisor and it's of course useful in some respects, but if they are too busy or too important to give you and your project proper attention, then it's actually far less useful than it sounds! Like-minded, on the other hand, indicates that they are more 'in tune' (if you'll pardon the pun!) with you and your proposed research project. I think it's really important to have someone who is not only better placed to advise about your project, but who is enthusiastic and can think creatively about it.

    Depending on what your project within musicology actually is, I'd be inclined to say go for the second option out of the three. Like-minded is better than big-name imho (at least in terms of the PhD itself) and if you are already working as a university lecturer, perhaps the whole big scramble for postdoc funding post-PhD completion is less applicable to you?

    Of course the best thing to do to REALLY differentiate between the three is to meet with the three supervisors (if you haven't already), BUT ALSO to try and meet informally with at least one of their students, to find out what these supervisors are REALLY like. Some of the biggest names can be the worst teachers and supervisors, in which case it's worth forgoing a "big-name" in order to have someone who will actually help with your project...

    Hope this helps a bit! :musicus:
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thank you all so much for the responses. I actually would love to work with like-minded supervisors myself, but just a bit worried that I'll regret in the future. Now I have better confidence in making my choice. And to The_Lonely_Goatherd, the big name is Simon Frith, Sociomusicologist in University of Edinburgh. But he'll be retiring in a year so I have to change supervisor midway. So I'm going to Goldsmiths instead.
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by guitar_player)
    Thank you all so much for the responses. I actually would love to work with like-minded supervisors myself, but just a bit worried that I'll regret in the future. Now I have better confidence in making my choice. And to The_Lonely_Goatherd, the big name is Simon Frith, Sociomusicologist in University of Edinburgh. But he'll be retiring in a year so I have to change supervisor midway. So I'm going to Goldsmiths instead.
    Good luck. And Congratulations.
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by guitar_player)
    Thank you all so much for the responses. I actually would love to work with like-minded supervisors myself, but just a bit worried that I'll regret in the future. Now I have better confidence in making my choice. And to The_Lonely_Goatherd, the big name is Simon Frith, Sociomusicologist in University of Edinburgh. But he'll be retiring in a year so I have to change supervisor midway. So I'm going to Goldsmiths instead.
    Don't get me wrong, I would absolutely LOVE to work with SF myself but if he's retiring in a year, then it's probs better to go with Goldsmiths. Also, SF is def someone who is far too busy for his own good, sadly :sadnod: (I totally didn't send him a fangirl/networking-type email, only to be disappointed with the one-line reply, haha )

    Who will you be working with at Goldsmiths? I did my MA in Ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths and had an awesome time
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Don't get me wrong, I would absolutely LOVE to work with SF myself but if he's retiring in a year, then it's probs better to go with Goldsmiths. Also, SF is def someone who is far too busy for his own good, sadly :sadnod: (I totally didn't send him a fangirl/networking-type email, only to be disappointed with the one-line reply, haha )

    Who will you be working with at Goldsmiths? I did my MA in Ethnomusicology at Goldsmiths and had an awesome time
    Barley Norton and Keith Negus!
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by guitar_player)
    Barley Norton and Keith Negus!
    Both were my MA dissertation supervisors :king1: :yep: Can highly recommend both as supervisors. Nice guys, both of them, though KN can be rather quite and mysterious - he's a guy of few words.

    Good luck, I'm sure you'll have an absolutely fantastic time. Sounds like potentially we work in similar areas (I'm ethnomusicology meets popular music), so maybe see you at a conference or two once you start :ahee:
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The_Lonely_Goatherd)
    Both were my MA dissertation supervisors :king1: :yep: Can highly recommend both as supervisors. Nice guys, both of them, though KN can be rather quite and mysterious - he's a guy of few words.

    Good luck, I'm sure you'll have an absolutely fantastic time. Sounds like potentially we work in similar areas (I'm ethnomusicology meets popular music), so maybe see you at a conference or two once you start :ahee:
    wooowow, small world. Yes I did a little campus visit, they are really nice, and I love the campus' energy. I'll be working of Ethnomusicology on Hang/Handpan and street music. Yup, definitely might bump into each other.

    Thank you for your reply.
    • PS Reviewer
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    PS Reviewer
    (Original post by guitar_player)
    wooowow, small world. Yes I did a little campus visit, they are really nice, and I love the campus' energy. I'll be working of Ethnomusicology on Hang/Handpan and street music. Yup, definitely might bump into each other.

    Thank you for your reply.
    Yeah it's a buzzing place, haha! I wish I'd got more involved with stuff there - I just went in and out of lectures, coz I was commuting from home. Great library too, in case you haven't seen it - lots of handy books for us ethnomusicologists

    No worries, always happy to help out a fellow ethno student
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Brussels sprouts
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.