A grad student writes:
How should one choose a supervisor? I'm a graduate student at a PGR rank 15 - 20 school, and starting to think seriously about dissertation topics. One consequence of our relative status is a very mixed placement record: some of our students get amazing jobs, but others struggle to get any interviews. I get the sense that choice of supervisor is a crucial factor in this.
I suppose one shouldn't have as chair someone who is just starting (less than 5 years post-PhD) in the profession. But what about the other end of the scale: would it be a bad call to have someone who is well known and produces great work, but who hasn't produced much in the past few years? What about a very famous philosopher who has become more of a 'public intellectual'? And how should one balance considerations of who would be a good adviser, pedagogically speaking, against who is more well-known in the profession?
I know that, in the end, one should go for the most interesting topic, and try to produce the best work one can - but I suppose that it can't hurt to stack the deck a little by taking such things into account. Thanks very much for any thoughts!
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