Before I commenced my PhD journey, I researched what I needed to do. Google was my starting point and I came across many websites with excellent tips and guidance for doing a PhD. I found that there were differing views about whether to start with seeking your supervisor or choosing a university.
My starting point was seeking the right person to be my supervisor. I was very particular about who I wanted, in fact, on reflection, I would say I was rigid too, and for good reason. I needed someone who was familiar and preferably had completed research in my area of interest. And the person had to be a black woman.
My topic was somewhat controversial, so it felt, whenever I was accused of betraying black men, or white women because I focused solely on black women. So I need a person who could empathise with what it felt like to be challenged and attacked for studying something of personal importance and someone who was comfortable discussing gender-racial emotive issues.
I found Dr Gail Lewis, I read her book and knew she was the right person. At the time she was working at Lancaster University. So I applied to complete my PhD there. They accepted my application, but then Gail transferred to the Open University. I had the option to stay at Lancaster, I declined and applied to the Open University instead.
Having the right supervisor was more important to me than the university. This may be different for you. So do your research. I have included a couple of links that provide tips and guidance on preparing to do a PhD. I hope you find them useful.
Preparing a PhD Application: 10 Tips
7 PhD Application Tips