Tomorrow comes doomsday (for my application)

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.

Magnus Reuterdahl

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!


About Magnus Reuterdahl

I am an archaeologist/Osteologist from Sweden. My main intrest lays in north Euorpean archaeology in, preferbly the prehistory of the late iron age and the neolithic periods. I've also got a strong intrest for Chinese archaeology, especially the neolithc Yangshao culture. I also write about cultural heritage and cultural history. Mitt namn är Magnus Reuterdahl, jag är arkeolog och osteolog och arbetar företrädesvis i Sverige även om jag gjort ett par vändor till Kina. På den här bloggen skriver jag om mitt yrke, om fornlämningar, kulturarv och kulturhistoria m m. View all posts by Magnus Reuterdahl

6 responses to “Tomorrow comes doomsday (for my application)

  • ArchAsa

    I know what you mean Magnus, there are times when I am kicking myself that I chose the career of a researcher – and perversely that I was lucky enough to be accepted. But even in the midst of cynicism and despair I know I would have been more despondent if I hadn’t got the chance.

    I do keep my fingers crossed for you – truly. You have the necessary drive, but also the realistic view of what it would entail. And you have a strong background in public archaeology/osteology as well which is sorely needed within the universities.

    I do not envy the people responsible for the decision, and I am selfishly relieved not to be a part of another horrible process that ends in denying at least 10-12 very worthy applicants (and even more unworthy applicants) their dream. It sux almost as much as being the one getting a rejection. Almost.

    Break a femur!
    (Nice new layout)

    • Magnus Reuterdahl

      Thanks for those kind words.

      Regarding the selection; it is what it is and as you say there are several good applicants out there and in the end it’s not the end of the world if one or two are deemed better than me at present.

      But for now I hold my fingers crossed and it’s good to know that more does that too.

      Femur iacta est!

  • Alun

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you too.

  • dlende

    Sorry the PhD spot didn’t work out for you. But you are doing a great job with your blog! I hope you might consider a submission for the Best of Anthropology Blogging 2008. Here are the details:

    Better luck with the next application!

    Happy Holidays, Daniel

  • Magnus Reuterdahl

    Daniel Happy Holidays to you too!

    Thanks for the kind words about my blog; I’ll check out the Best of Anthropology Blogging 2008.

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