Interested in NT PhD – update planned

My most popular post is “Interested in a NT PHD” (see page link above); as it is nearing 4,000 hits, I am thinking of doing a significant revision, update, and expansion.  Hopefully it will also now include how to actually survive the PhD process, to suceed in paper presenting and article writing, and also to navigate through the job application and interview process.

I would, at this stage, be interested in knowing what kinds of questions some of you have about any of these issues including preparation for doing a PhD in Biblical Studies.

Also, thank you to my readers who have followed my ramblings and advice.  I hope I have not led you astray!


6 thoughts on “Interested in NT PhD – update planned

  1. Boy, do I have some things to say about the application process. I was fortunate enough to find acceptance at Baylor (which I see you have, rightly, lauded in a recent post!). But the process was dark and harrowing; I had much to say about it some time ago on my blog–which is now no longer operating. I provided a post on each element of the application process, as it was advice I wish I’d had during the process. I can send you some material to include if you’d like. They were my most popular posts as well!

  2. As one who is very close to taking the plunge, I’d appreciate your thoughts on priorities when it comes to selecting places for doctoral study. So, how would you choose between:

    1) Suitability of Supervisor. How important is it to have a supervisor who is experienced in the particular topic of research (as opposed to, say, a shared interest in the synoptic gospels)? Given that you only see them once or twice a month, and that _you_ are the one doing the PhD (and hence the reading and research), is the supervisor’s experience of supervising a more important characteristic? Does a ‘big name’ supervisor make a difference to employment opportunities?

    2) Institution. To what extent does the name of the institution open doors? Is it better to go to a well known institution (Oxbridge etc.), even though they may not have such a suitable supervisor?

    3) Resources. Given that most of the time will be spent in libraries, should the quality, quantity, and availablity of the research resources be the highest priority?

    I guess another way of saying this is, what is the trade-off between doing a great PhD, and getting a job at the end of it? What are employers most interested in?

    I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts. Thanks.

  3. Hi Nijay,

    I have some similar questions to Student so I’d be interested in hearing what you think too. I’m considering applying for what I think must be a fairly minor studentship (though I’m really not up on ‘who’s who’, and googling madly to try and get up to speed!) The subject area and supervisor’s interests fit very well with what I’ve done so far, and my proposal idea. Denominationally, the institution is not where I’m coming from, though I’m generally ok with that.

    I’ve only had half an eye on doctoral opportunities so far, but relevant areas don’t come up very often, and I’ve not got very long left to get an application together. I’m not quite sure whether to jump at the first thing I see, and I’m wavering between academia and ministry anyway. I’m currently full time mum to two, the youngest not quite 2 yet, so I’ve obviously got some fair old career breaks recently, and anything’s a big commitment. I need all the advice I can get.

    One further question – you mentioned someone doing a PhD in two years, based on previous work. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on building on work from previous degrees. It’s probably my only hope, given that family and other commitments all but rule out proper full time hours. But when does going over the same ground again (albeit in greater depth, and pursuing things you had to leave aside before) make for too narrow a CV?

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