I'm in a conundrum! Which one should I choose for my PhD in life sciences in the US: a great-fit advisor in a mediocre institution VS an OK (or potentially ill-fit) advisor in a prestigious institution?
I know it sounds obvious ---go with the good match (I also want this at heart)! BUT I also know that pedigree matters A LOT when applying for grants / conferences / publishing during and after PhD (unless you're back into a stellar institution for your post-doc* I guess?).
(*) I assume I can find a good-match advisor in my post-doc in a stellar institution, despite the mediocre PhD institution label on my CV, if I publish a couple high-impact papers with this good-match PhD advisor.
Background: I already have a master's from a super high-prestige institution in the US and I have a very specific research interest and goal** (so, I might be less malleable than a lot of fresh out-of-undergrads who are also applying for these PhD positions). My goal is to become a professor (I think it's an awesome job, you get paid for following your passion!).
(**) the well-match advisor is also on board and excited about this goal in particular, my vision in general. We chat multiple times on this topic; we really click well with her! Also people in her lab seem very happy and she is VERY passionate in her research, which is good because I am too!
Thanks for your help and insights in advance!