What to do after a successful appeal?

posted
27-Mar-17, 15:35
edited about 22 seconds later
by BeHappy
Avatar for BeHappy
posted about 3 months ago
Hi everyone,

I have just won my PhD appeal! It feels like I have got a new lease of life.
I have been allowed to submit my thesis to new examiners as a first submission.

My supervisor seems to have distanced himself from me during this process. I don't know why. He refuses to see me or speak to me, citing being busy.

1) has anyone been in this situation. Is it possible to get a PhD after a successful appeal. It feels like everyone at the Uni has gone suddenly quiet which makes me hesitant to approach or ask anyone for help.

2)as the process of finding new examiners starts would I be allowed to have a say in this. Last time my examiners were chosen for me.

3) The internal examiner will be from the same university. I am fearful that my appeal may have biased everyone at the Uni. Does that leave me any chance of getting a fair go at this second round of submission/ viva.

I am having sleepless nights. Does anyone have any advice.

Thanks,
BG
posted
27-Mar-17, 19:32
edited about 25 seconds later
by Hugh 2 star member
Avatar for Hugh
posted about 3 months ago
Hi, well done on your appeal. On what basis did you win your appeal?

Also, what was the result prior to the appeal? I assume you had a viva, was it a fail or MPhil?
posted
27-Mar-17, 20:43
edited about 7 minutes later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 3 months ago
Quote From Hugh:
Hi, well done on your appeal. On what basis did you win your appeal?

Also, what was the result prior to the appeal? I assume you had a viva, was it a fail or MPhil?


As well as these questions, what are you going to do about your supervisor now he's distancing himself from you? This is the bit that concerns me.

You need supervisory input even with a successful appeal and it might be worth asking if he would prefer it if you proceeded with a new supervisor who may want to proof your script before resubmission.

I personally wouldn't want to continue with an unwilling supervisor, however, finding another member of staff willing to step in may be difficult as you were previously seen as a "failing" student.

My examiners were chosen over a year in advance and I personally had no say. Under the UK and similar models, you don't normally have a definitive say as to who your examiners are although a more enlightened supervisor might discuss examiners with you.

That said, well done and fingers crossed for you.

Ian
posted
30-Mar-17, 18:45
edited about 10 seconds later
by BeHappy
Avatar for BeHappy
posted about 3 months ago
My viva outcome was a no award. The interview panel had suggested corrections which I had followed.... but the panel stated after the viva that it did not merit any award. I think I did a good viva which was confirmed by the supervisor but I was not given any reason or explanation of why this was a no award and a not even an M.Phil.

I won my appeal on the basis of procedural error. The more difficult bit now, is to try and take this result to a successful outcome.

Has anyone been in this position? Please could I have some advise on how to take this forward. What should I be saying to my supervisors. How can I ensure I get a fair trial at my viva.

Could I take my examination to a new University if I do not feel supported here. I really want to try and give a very good shot to my PhD.
Thanks for all your support.

BG
posted
30-Mar-17, 19:00
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 3 months ago
I think you're the first case I've heard of with an outcome of no award...

I doubt you will be able to take your PhD to another uni if it doesn't get awarded. I've never heard of this either.

Did your supervisors think you had done enough for a PhD? Were they shocked at the result?

You should be able to pick your examiners yourself, as long your uni agrees on your choice.
posted
30-Mar-17, 19:21
edited about 17 seconds later
by BeHappy
Avatar for BeHappy
posted about 3 months ago
Thankyou Tree of Life.

My supervisor did not say that my thesis was not upto the mark. I did not get any comments on my overall thesis prior to submission. I had another supervisor who helped with my data analysis who was pleased with the statistical aspect of thesis and my preparation.

My main supervisor was surprised at the outcome but did not offer any support and in fact tried to justify why the panel may have given the award. Till 20 min before the outcome they were telling me what a brilliant viva it was.

If I can't take my PhD outside the University can I ask to change supervisory teams or do you think it would create a backlash. I am not sure if I have already created a backlash by winning my appeal. I am very scared.
posted
30-Mar-17, 19:44
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 3 months ago
I don't think changing supervisory teams will help you now - it's basically between you and the examiners, since you are just presenting the same thesis for reexamination, right? A new set of examiners might approach the thesis and viva totally differently and pass you, which is obviously what you are hoping for.

What I don't understand is why your supervisors are not fighting your corner. Why did they not comment on your thesis prior to submission? Why are they not helping you now?

I think you need to speak to someone else in the department, maybe pastoral care people, or head of the department or graduate school. It is in the interest of the school and university to pass you if your thesis is worthy of a pass.
posted
31-Mar-17, 10:53
edited about 28 seconds later
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 3 months ago
Hi, BeHappy,

I agree with TreeofLife that changing supervisors will not help you now. Since your supervisor did not comment/help you before your submission and actually supported your previous examiners' no award, I do not think he will help you now. Besides, he probably knew the examiners, and that is why he did not really support you challenging their decision.

So, think deeply who your new examiners could be. Do you know of any independent senior researcher who knows your field? Propose to your university and see if they accept them. I would also suggest that you talk to your postgrad coordinator about getting support to go through this and your future corrections. From here on, I think you are going without your supervisor, not that he helped you anyway before this.

Good luck.
posted
31-Mar-17, 20:55
edited about 9 seconds later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 3 months ago
Tree of Life, Tru,

In principle, I'd agree you shouldn't change supervisors and continuity of supervision when properly done is important to a successful PhD. I also agree it's largely between BeHappy and the new examiners and if she can have a say in who they are then all the better.

My concern was if I was about to resubmit then a further supervisory once over for the thesis might be wise, especially after a bad outcome that had to be appealed against.

A key point in the latter posts not pointed out in the opening post is that the second supervisor is a more helpful person. Using the second supervisor to give the thesis this last once over and to offer any further support and guidance seems to be the obvious thing to do. This should negate the need for a supervisory change.

Ian
posted
01-Apr-17, 15:09
Avatar for Tudor_Queen
posted about 2 months ago
Were there no recommendations from the panel who accepted the appeal?
posted
01-Apr-17, 20:10
edited about 29 seconds later
by BeHappy
Avatar for BeHappy
posted about 2 months ago
Thnakyou for your suggestions.

The Panel who gave the Appeal outcome did not give any specific recommendations other than the fact that the thesis is to be resubmitted to a new Panel and treated as first submission. Do they give any specific recommendations?

Also does this judgement mean that no corrections to the thesis are allowed? Considering its a new Panel of examiners the thesis needs to be written/ should be considerate of this new Panel.

Also what if the University goes ahead and appoints a Panel without including me .....ideally they would discuss this with me.... but what if they don't.

Thanks,
BG
posted
01-Apr-17, 22:39
edited about 1 minute later
by Pjlu 4 star member
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 2 months ago
Quote From BeHappy:
Thnakyou for your suggestions.

The Panel who gave the Appeal outcome did not give any specific recommendations other than the fact that the thesis is to be resubmitted to a new Panel and treated as first submission. Do they give any specific recommendations?

Also does this judgement mean that no corrections to the thesis are allowed? Considering its a new Panel of examiners the thesis needs to be written/ should be considerate of this new Panel.

Also what if the University goes ahead and appoints a Panel without including me .....ideally they would discuss this with me.... but what if they don't.

Thanks,
BG


Hi there BG, my interpretation, based on what you have written above is that they wouldn't provide any recommendations until they have considered your thesis and re-examined it. It reads as if it is a completely new assessment-it is as if your thesis had not already been examined and it is now going into examination.

Thus, I'm thinking that you and your supervisor cannot have anything to do with who is on the panel, and your supervisor may be distancing him/herself from this process so it is seen as a completely new and fair process. They probably know too much to be able to advise you and not be seen to give you an advantage.

It doesn't read as if they expect you to make any alterations before submitting again just to resubmit.

Once the new panel have assessed your thesis, they would provide recommendations, as usual. This isn't a revise and resubmit or a major corrections-this is a completely new assessment. You are not expected to get advice from your supervisor to rewrite before you submit again-I think you are supposed to just submit again and the new panel will assess and provide you with feedback relevant to the grade or level they award.

*By grade or level I mean, accepted with no revisions, accepted with minor revisions, accepted with major revisions, revise and resubmit, MPhil or other.

Once the panel have made a judgement, you then make your changes, etc and no doubt, would be able to talk to the supervisor regarding any advice again. This is my take on this...not saying it correct...just how I interpret it. Good luck with it all BG-sounds like a very tough process to go through.
posted
01-Apr-17, 22:53
edited about 28 seconds later
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 2 months ago
I think you should be allowed to make amendments to your thesis before you resubmit. Check with your postgrad coordinator and appeals panel. You may wish to improve it significantly before resubmitting, to prevent a repeat of your previous situation.

Did you previously sign a form to confirm who your panel of reviewers are? In my uni, usually supervisors select the panel members and then students sign a form saying they agree with the selection. Is this the same for your uni? You should be able to select your panel of reviewers. Perhaps you could put forward a list of 3-5 and the university will then select 2-3 from the list. Choose carefully.
posted
02-Apr-17, 01:31
edited about 19 minutes later
by Pjlu 4 star member
Avatar for Pjlu
posted about 2 months ago
Tru, I am not sure how much universities vary in setting up examiner panels but I know in mine, and several others in Australia, there is no option for the candidate to choose their examiners.

These are set up by the university. There is sometimes consultation with supervisors about who they might be but not with the candidate.

Additionally, the examiners remain anonymous to the candidate until after the examination process is complete and reports have been made, and results set. I think the only option for choice is that you can request certain examiners NOT be appointed.

This would be for example, I might request a certain examiner ( someone who I know openly despises and is scathingly critical of mixed methods research), NOT be appointed to examine my mixed methods research study. That would be the limit of my influence.

I agree with Tru in the value of checking with the appeals panel as to whether you are allowed to make amendments. That is great advice. Did the appeals board give you a timeline for the re-submission?
posted
03-Apr-17, 20:09
edited about 22 minutes later
Avatar for Mackem_Beefy
posted about 2 months ago
BeHappy,

I feel there's a a risk of a little confusion with the above. A couple of extra comments from me.

1) Are you at a UK University or at a University where the examination system is based on the UK model?

If so, you would not normally participate in exam panel selection. The University in consultation with your supervisors will select the two (one external, one internal) or three examiners (a third one may be included in the case of subject specialisation) and it is unusual for the candidate to be consulted. I hope given you have successfully appealed they will talk to you about this.

If you are being examined in the USA, then the student plays a major role in the selection of a larger examination panel. If you are in the USA, then as "tru" suggests, select carefully.

2) "Pjlu", I'm not suggesting major amendments by a further "once over". All I'm saying give it a read through to pick up anything obvious. It is a re-examination following appeal thus reworking is inappropriate until the outcome of the new examination is known. Asking if such a once over is allowable is fair comment.

--------

This is a serious case of sit down in a pub with someone else who's been through the same thing. Didn't Marasp (I think) have to appeal?

The problem is most of us have not been in "appeals" territory.

Ian

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