Second Careers Forum (December 2016)

Second SMI Careers Forum, University College Dublin 2017

On 10 December 2016, the Society for Musicology in Ireland welcomed students, lecturers, and members of the public to the second SMI Careers Forum. This event was kindly hosted by the Tenth Annual Postgraduate Conference of the Society for Musicology in Ireland, which was jointly organised with the Ireland branch of the International Council for Traditional Music. It took place at the School of Music of University College Dublin. The aim of the Careers Forum was to shed light on thesis completion and publication issues within the broad field of music studies. Key areas included administrative aspects of the thesis completion process, procedures involved in publishing articles during and after the PhD, turning the PhD thesis into a monograph, the significance of publishing experience for further academic career paths and such aspects as funding and postdoc applications after the PhD. Chaired by Stephanie Ford (Maynooth University), the careers forum took the shape of a roundtable discussion. The guest speakers were: Dr Paul Everett (former Head of Department, UCC), Dr Jaime Jones (Head of School, UCD), Dr Áine Mangaoang (Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Oslo), Prof. Christopher Morris (Head of Department, Maynooth University), and Prof. Bennett Zon (Durham University).

From left: Stephanie Ford, Dr Jaime Jones, Dr Áine Mangaoang, Prof. Christopfer Morris, Dr Paul Everett (Photo: Anika Babel)

From left: Dr Áine Mangaoang, Prof. Christopfer Morris, Prof. Bennett Zon, Dr Paul Everett, Dr Lorraine Byrne Bodley (Photo: Anika Babel)

After a brief introduction, all five speakers agreed that most guidelines for the completion of a PhD depend on institutional regulations, which is why a very close collaboration between the PhD candidate, the supervisor and the Department is extremely important during the final stages of a PhD. Issues centring on originality were also addressed. Secondly, certain aspects of peer-review and print vs online journals were discussed. Our experienced guest speakers offered advice on preparing journal articles. Thirdly, the process of turning the PhD into a monograph was explained. Important facets of this process include finding a publisher, writing a proposal, applying for funding, and critical score editions. Fourthly, all speakers agreed that publishing is extremely important for a healthy career within the academic domain. They also raised the point that a PhD is typically followed by a postdoctoral fellowship, which is then followed by an academic position. Finally, all five speakers offered their encouragement by way of specific advice. After that, some questions and statements were taken from the floor. The significance of graduate journals was raised; it was highlighted that careers in editing/publishing are extremely rare. Non-specialist musicological activities were encouraged, and it was also mentioned that a good way to gain publishing experience might be by way of book reviews.

Please find further details of the careers forum, including links to graduate journals and funding sources, the speakers’ biographies, and acknowledgements here