Overview of Nesrine87

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Nesrine87
Friday, 14 November 2014 at 9:52am
Monday, 5 November 2018 at 2:16pm
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page 1 of 9 recent posts

Thread: Had confirmation mini viva yesterday... (rant)

posted
09-Feb-16, 12:00
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 3 years ago
Thanks chickpea! I hope so too. I feel a bit better about the whole situation now but it has shaken my confidence. Conversely, I also really just want to kick that examiner's butt in the next mini-viva! I daydream about going into the examination with a flame-coat, a la Katniss Everdeen :P

Thread: Had confirmation mini viva yesterday... (rant)

posted
08-Feb-16, 12:19
edited about 22 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 3 years ago
Hi everyone,

OP here. I just wanted to post an update in case someone in the future who is in the same situation finds this thread. Maybe it can be of some help.

So, despite my immense preparation with the help of my supervisor, the examiners decided not to pass me. I have been asked to submit a different chapter in three months and have another mini-viva roughly a month later. After the horrible viva, I had prepared myself for this outcome, but was still really upset to hear the result. After my supervisor told me in her office, she also let me in on the 'behind-the-scenes' story, which has also made me angry as well as sad.

One examiner, who is very well-known in my field and is in my dept, just did not 'get' my methodology. He thought my approach should be much more conservative, which in my (and my supervisor's) opinion is totally old-fashioned and really boring. The examiner's opinion really annoyed my supervisor and she implied that he is threatened by my approach (which other scholars have successfully adopted!). I get that the thesis is not one's 'life work' but that doesn't mean it should be a dull, paint-by-numbers paperweight...

My sup put a positive spin on it, saying that our 'fight' against his outdated views will make my thesis even stronger. She said that she'll help me submit a chapter that no-one in their right mind can criticise :-) Also, by the time I submit the final thesis, I will have had three mini-vivas and three chapters examined, which can only be an advantage. She urged me not to consider it a 'failure'. I agree in my brain but I still feel sad as I totally expected to sail through the confirmation. I don't think I'm a complacent person but I guess I should take anything for granted. However, the examiners even agreed that the work I submitted was 'excellent' (!?!?). Sigh.

Thread: Had confirmation mini viva yesterday... (rant)

posted
03-Feb-16, 09:42
edited about 1 minute later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From chickpea:
Oh, I do that 'replaying things in my head' too, and give myself a right beating up when I think I haven't done something well - we are our own worst enemies! It sounds like your supervisor is not worried at all about things moving forward, so the main thing just now is for you to recover from your experience - I suggest giving yourself a break (and a big pat on the back for handling a horrible meeting), do something you enjoy and go back to the thesis when you feel a bit better.


Glad to know it's not just me! I mean, I know it's not but still, it's nice to be reminded to stop being so hard on myself. I'm trying to focus on non-thesis work for the time being - I can't even bring myself to look at my outline. Hopefully I can move past it soon so my work doesn't suffer. Thanks for your message :)

Thread: Had confirmation mini viva yesterday... (rant)

posted
02-Feb-16, 14:19
edited about 1 second later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From Zutterfly:
I'm sorry you had this experience, if it helps, I had a bit of a similar experience with my confirmation too! One of the examiners was fairly new to the university, and it was quite clear they wanted to grandstand. Yes, the asked challenging questions which I expected, and when I asked them to rephrase they looked at me like I was really stupid. They were also really patronising and kept asking me really detached questions in order to shift the focus on to their own published work. It knocked my confidence a lot so that, when the second examiner began asking me very straight forward questions, I felt so unsure of my answers that I came across as lacking confidence. I passed though, so try not to fret too much yet!


Thanks for sharing. Well done for passing! It does make me feel a bit better but I can't help but be anxious. I'm trying to distract myself with other things but I keep replaying certain moments from the viva in my head which isn't very helpful to anyone!

Thread: Had confirmation mini viva yesterday... (rant)

posted
02-Feb-16, 10:01
edited about 8 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From Hugh:
Sorry to hear you had a poor experience!

Is this your real viva? What was the outcome?


Thanks, no it wasn't my 'real' viva, just a mini one for a chapter. So, not the end of the world! Don't know the outcome yet.

Thread: Had confirmation mini viva yesterday... (rant)

posted
02-Feb-16, 10:00
edited about 7 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 3 years ago
Quote From AOE26:
You have done amazingly well to get this far, very few people do.

Have you tried your best? If yes, then that's all that matters. Thesis/dissertations are always open to interpretation. I had a semi similar experience on my MSc to this, all looked great, supervisor super happy etc etc got my score back and it was a good 10 points below what was expected, I was VERY disappointed.

I know this is easy to say but worrying about it will not change the mark you get from the examiners. Even if you do have to do some work on your thesis it will be worth it. So relax and restore your energy.


Thanks so much for your message, it really did make me feel better. You're right, worrying doesn't help. I just feel like my best wasn't good enough but who knows, maybe my mark will be okay.

Thread: Had confirmation mini viva yesterday... (rant)

posted
02-Feb-16, 09:41
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 3 years ago
Hey, just need to get this off my chest because I’ve been feeling pretty down since it happened. Went in feeling pretty confident - not overly so, but I felt like I submitted a really great piece of work that I worked really really hard on. My supervisor, who is great, felt the same way.

The assessors immediately and aggressively questioned the scope of my study, and I really tried my best to defend myself (as is the point of a viva!) but they were pretty relentless. The most frustrating thing was that they didn’t ask me focused questions concerning their specific problems! They’d give semi-rambling monologues, and then stare at me, at which point I’d lost the thread of the 'question'. Even worse, I kept getting interrupted!! I ended up speaking fast so I could make my points before getting interrupted again.

I had to try hard not to burst into tears because I knew how bad it would look. After this line of questioning was done, the rest was less stressful. After I left, however, I overheard one assessor say that I was trying to write my "life’s work!” which is *really* untrue! I know that a thesis is not meant to be 'discipline-changing'…but I guess that didn't come through in my work/defence.

Sorry, I know there are far worse viva stories out there. I just feel really on-edge now, after having spent years trying to tackle my PhD-related anxiety. I told my supervisor a 'cleaned-up' version of what happened (including the ‘life’s work’ comment). She told me not to worry, and that the worst case scenario was a ‘referral’, which wasn’t unusual in my uni. This actually made me worry more…so today, I’m wondering what work to do because the thought of working on my thesis right now is making feel a little physically sick…

Apologies for being a drama queen, thanks for letting me vent :)

Thread: Can I mention my scholarship on an academic poster?

posted
20-Jan-16, 12:47
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 3 years ago
Okay, thanks for the clarification! I thought that might be the case.

Thread: Can I mention my scholarship on an academic poster?

posted
19-Jan-16, 17:18
edited about 11 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 3 years ago
Hi everyone,

I'm creating an A1 poster for a conference, and I was wondering whether I should/could note my scholarship, or if it sounds weird/pompous. Something like:

Name
The rich-person-who-donated-money scholar
PhD candidate, University
Email address

Is that weird? I'm funded by my uni, not an external body and it seems odd to have a separate section where all I say is "Cheers for the funding, University" since I can't thank the actual donor.

Thread: Can I refer to illustrations in footnotes?

posted
08-Jan-16, 16:23
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 3 years ago
Yeah, I kinda agree with you guys. Thanks for your input.

I'll find some way of mentioning it in the main body.

Thread: Can I refer to illustrations in footnotes?

posted
08-Jan-16, 09:40
edited about 27 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 3 years ago
Hello all,

My thesis includes a lot of images and I refer to these throughout the text as (fig.1), (fig.2) etc.

Do you think it's okay to refer to new images in the footnotes? I have an interesting case that I want to illustrate but for various reasons, I don't think it's appropriate to discuss it in the main body.

I can put figures in the footnotes or is that considered bad form? Sorry, I know this is such a minor, pernickety question but my sup is very unresponsive to these minor quibbles and I don't have anyone else to ask!

Thread: Getting permission/high-res versions for journal article images

posted
10-Nov-15, 15:37
edited about 1 second later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
Ugh, I don't know, there's so much information and it's really confusing. I think I might just find as high-res as I can and see what happens...

Thread: Getting permission/high-res versions for journal article images

posted
10-Nov-15, 14:52
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
Hi all,

Technical question: when submitting a manuscript for publication in a journal, what on earth am I supposed to do about images? I’ve googled so many different options and am getting really frustrated because I can’t seem to find a straight answer.

I am submitting an article (for the first time…eek) and have a short list of four images to accompany the article. I’ve read the journal’s submission guidelines but they are typically incomprehensible and I don’t want to email them because I feel stupid/inexperienced.

Am I supposed to have obtained permissions for images first? I don’t have 300dpi versions yet either. Should I get these first or can I send along low-res (but still legible) images with my manuscript, with the promise of getting high-res ones to the journal later? They might not even accept my paper, and I know there are several stages before it gets published so I have no idea what needs to be done when.

Thanks for your help!

Thread: No response to request for article feedback - what next?

posted
22-Oct-15, 09:11
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
Hi everyone, thanks a lot for your messages.

Dr Jeckyll - Hahaha, that is a fab suggestion. Thanks for making me laugh even before breakfast!

Bewildered - No I didn't, for a few reasons. I asked his student whether I could send it along and she said it would be fine (he's not super sensitive, just very busy and maybe a bit of an ego). It seems from past experience some academics prefer you to send stuff along without the faff of an initial inquiry email but others maybe want the courtesy first. Since I know him a little and our department is small, I didn't think an initial email was necessary...but maybe I should apologise for not asking first? I also thought he might not even respond to that first email thereby prolonging the process even more!

Chococake - I would see him in person like any other faculty member but his office is in a separate building that only he has access to. He's also not in much anyway.

Tree of Life - it's looking like another email is the only solution...I'll wait a bit longer since I don't have time over the next couple of weeks to prepare it for submission anyway. I spoke to my husband about it and he said I should just submit it and hopefully the peer reviewer can give feedback if it's not rejected outright.

Thanks again for all your messages and taking the time to respond.

Thread: No response to request for article feedback - what next?

posted
21-Oct-15, 09:37
edited about 21 seconds later
Avatar for Nesrine87
posted about 4 years ago
That makes complete sense, except it's pretty difficult to orchestrate a face to face meeting as his office is in its own separate building which students don't have access to. And he's hardly ever in anyway. Maybe I should just hope I bump into him soon?
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