Update at the end of the page!
A few months back I sent in an application to the archaeology post-graduate program at Stockholm University. If my information is correct the admission process starts tomorrow (15/12), a meeting will be held regarding the applicants, of whom I’m one. At this meeting they will select or at least discuss who the top candidates are and from there on interview a few of the applicants. This time there is one opening, and looking back on previous openings I would guess that there are probably 40-60 applications.
For me it seems applications always are due at the worst time. This time as well as the last time Stockholm University had a spot open I’m working way up here in Norrbotten; miles and miles from my personal library. This is no excuse, there’s been plenty of time between the two applications for rewrites and updates of the research plan etc, but other thing has been a priority. This time around I did some changes in my application, though I’m not sure if I did enough. I have some ideas of what’s been deemed unclear and/or a bit outmoded in my previous applications. Hopefully this time I’ve managed to get it a bit better balanced and focused – well, time will tell won’t it.
A PhD in Archaeology isn’t necessarily a way to get better salary or a steady job within our trade. Therefore it is important that if I get the chance to spend four years (or so) digging in to a subject, it is a subject of importance to me. That I feel that it is something that I personally can gain from, perhaps not economical but personal growth wise. Martin Rundqvist at Aarvarchaeology has pointed out, both on-line and IRL, that it isn’t necessarily the best of career moves to set time aside to get a PhD. I believe he has a point, but his ambitions or reasons for pursuing a PhD and mine aren’t necessarily the same. I wish to work as a civil servant working with questions regarding archaeology, cultural heritage etc or at a county museum. Now this is something that has been working out rather well for me the last few years and it might be questionable whether a break from the labour market is to my advantage. Therefore I believe it’s important to keep in close contact with the labour market during an eventual period of research.
Well to make it clear and easy - me wants a PhD, me wants it bad - I want the possibility and the time to dig deeper into archaeology as a subject and hopefully take another few step in my personal development.
Update 2008-12-15 – Got the answer on the application and it was no again. So it’s back to the drawing table and start over. I think it is time to find another angle and I’ll got at least a few months ´til the next application is due. Thanks for the quick and speedy process and the feedback!