Yesterday Larry Hurtado from down the road posted his annual ‘applying for admission to a doctoral programme in the UK’ guidance. That reminds me, in turn, to post my annual inivtation to come over and study at Glasgow.
Spread the word: I’m settling in here at Glasgow, and have gotten to a point where it would be sensible for me to begin working with PhD students.
If you’d like to go on and begin doctoral study of the New Testament, why not give Glasgow a serious thought? (Why not, also, if you want to study OT or theology or whatever? — but my colleagues can start their own blogs.) Glasgow is a terrific city; the University is a darn good one. The School of Critical Studies within which I work includes many fascinating colleagues from the English Language, English Literature, and Scottish Literature fields — including Kei Miller, whom I just met at the Re-Writing the Bible Conference). And Gifford Lectures!
I am especially well-suited to supervise work on questions specifically involving my work on hermeneutics and theology, or the Gospel of Matthew or the Epistle of James. I could easily enough stretch to cover other synoptics or the Pauline epistles, too.
If you are admitted to Glasgow’s postgraduate research program, you will modulate fairly directly into research and writing for your PhD thesis. I would expect to work closely with you, to ensure the high quality of your work and to ward off any unwelcome surprises when you present your thesis for defence. You would work among a care of very agreeable postgrad neighbours; right now, I believe that most of our students are working with the Centre for Theology, Literature, and the Arts (led by David Jasper). By the way, US students, this means no qualifying exams nor any GREs, and although you will have no required classes in the department (there may be some workshoppy classes to help prepare you for life as a teacher and writer), I will endeavour to make sure that you and your colleagues read well and widely in the course of your preparation. I am not inclined to send you out without confidence that you’re solidly grounded in your field of study.
If your readiness for research study is not immediately clear, you may be admitted for a research masters, during which you would demonstrate your academic mettle to the staff who might then admit you to postgraduate study.
Lovely city, agreeable institutional setting, wonderful colleagues, straight to work on research — what’s the catch? Well, if you’re from outside the UK (or, in a different way, the EU), you’ll probably have to arrange the financing of your program on your own. We have some aid for overseas students, but not much; don’t be hurt if we don’t have any for you. And of course, this is the worst academic job market in human history, for all qualified scholars at all levels from all institutions.
But if you have scholarship aid already, or don’t need to worry about that; if you’d like to study the New Testament (or Literature and the Arts) with me in a nifty locale, give a thought to applying here at Glasgow. And if you’d like to ask me about more details, email me at akm dot adam at gmail dot com.
To Larry’s column and to this invitation, I would only add that you will help your case immeasurably by demonstrating in your communication and application that you know the difference between ‘summarising a lot of previous research’ and ‘constructing a reasoned scholarly argument’. The more clearly you give the impression of someone who knows what she or he is about, who will be working from the start at making a strong case (rather than faltering toward discovering what you might write about), the better your chance of being admitted (and indeed, the better the chance that we can indeed elicit some grant support for you).
The University derives a benefit from admitting PG students, and I derive a benefit from supervising — so this invitation is far from disinterested. But you might want to bear it in mind when you consider applying to universities which have restrictive policies about graduate admissions.
One more thing — I’m working on a grant proposal which, if granted, would involve support for a graduate student in my area of hermeneutics. That’s trebly contingent, notice: I haven’t finished the grant proposal, and even once I submit it there’s no guarantee it’ll be granted, and if it’s granted there’s no guarantee it would be you — but if you’re interested, feel free to keep in touch.