“Where do I go for my PhD?” How to make that important decision.

While many of you blog-followers might already be enrolled in your doctoral studies, some of you may be contemplating a PhD in the near future (and have been reading our posts to evaluate whether it’s a good idea or whether you should totally rethink this option!). Choosing a PhD position is a really big decision; not only would you be dedicating a number of years to yet another degree, but you are also making a series of choices — a program, a university, a city and a supervisor – in one shot. Some of us are careful planners, while others are more impulsive, so it’s fairly certain that we won’t all approach this decision in a similar way. However, I thought I’d share my own thought process and the criteria I carefully considered back when I was deciding which PhD program to join.

I should mention, first, that I am a pretty analytical person, and I do things systematically and methodically. Paradoxically, however, I am also just as impulsive and emotionally-driven as I am analytical! So, you will sometimes find me devising carefully planned pro/con lists and taking 16 days to make a decision, and other times you’ll find me “going with my gut” and arriving at a decision in less than 3.2 seconds. My PhD decision was the fruit of a systematic, rational pro/con list, many conversations with well-informed people, and a few days spent on my own, so that I could honestly listen to the voice inside my head – and, yes, also my gut.

You can create your own pro/con lists or buy a pack of these ones made by Knock Knock.


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