Signup date: 19 Nov 2009 at 9:26am
Last login: 08 Feb 2012 at 11:23am
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I didn't have a mock viva - I would've taken it if offered as they are common in my department. The person before me had a mock viva and then I heard that my supervisors did a mock viva for another colleague and I htought that perhaps they just weren't interested in me (cue violin music ;-) Anyway, I'm now glad that I didn't as I think it would've freaked me out too much - I just collected viva questions from this forum and looked them over - I didn't prepare answers for them at all as I wanted my answers to be fresh and conversational.
My top tip would just be to know your thesis and know how it fits into the wider research context - past, present and future. I think that it's also a good idea to summarise your thesis and its individual chapters - but just a brief summary. I had made up a list of about 50 possible viva questions but I didn't prepare any answers to them at all - I just looked them over and thought that if any of these questions came up then I know that I could've answered them - I didn't prepare answers because I wanted my answers to be fresh if you know what I mean.
I was really worried when I went into my viva but I forgot that the questions were going to be about my work and that's what made it okay. I was challenged about a few decisions I made with regard to the methodology and the sources but because it was my work I knew about them.
I am sure that you will be fine and I'm looking forward to hearing about it!
Congratulations Dr. Delta....so pleased for you!
I concur with your viva experience....I can't remember very much about mine either and I didn't prepare much except by reading through my thesis which was enough really....I'd advise anyone just to know their thesis really well too and to relax and go for it!
Very well done!(up):-)
Thank you all so much for your fantastic support, encouragement and words of wisdom! The viva went really well and although the questions were tough and there were a couple of occasions that I felt my stomach melt, I managed to answer them in an articulate and coherent manner! I can't say that I enjoyed the experience as I was too wound up but I loved the feeling afterwards when I went back into the room and the external examiner held out his hand and told me I'd passed and said Congratulations Dr. During the post-viva analysis my supervisor and the examiners all said how well I'd done and how calm and relaxed I was when answering the questions (they obviously couldn't see my knees knocking under the table). I'm just so thrilled and can't quite believe that I've done. Thank you once again for all your encouragement and I'm pleased to hear about other people from the forum getting dates for their vivas (Ady, Sneaks and Catalin) ....I'll be thinking of you when your vivas come!:-)(up)
My viva is tomorrow and I am just so worried about it. Part of me just wants to run away while another just wants to get in and try and get it over with asap! I've looked over threads about vivas in this forum and have shared other in some people's great stories and other people's disappointments! I so want to be one of the one's with the great story but I know all too well that (as someone said in another thread) s**t happens and I could easily end with a big disappointment! Anyway, I suppose I just wanted to ask for advice which will help me not to get tongue-tied or so panicked and over-whelmed with the situation that I can't give coherent answers to the questions I've been asked?:$
Hope everyone else's studies are going well?:-)
Hi Pineapple....I really feel for you! I've been following your experience with interest and really sympathise. My thesis was a bit too long but when I sent the first complete draft to my supervisors they sent it back to me even before they read it to say cut 5000 - 6000 words from the main body. I managed to do that ok - so that cut it down to just under 100,000 words in the main thesis (and around 108,000 including all the appendices, biblio etc.). I'm still waiting on their feedback for the rearranged complete draft and can only hope that they don't want too many changes as I am worried that I'll end up writing more and then having to remove more and more words. I really hope that something gets sorted out soon for you and you get some support while you make the changes that you need. There is no doubt that you deserve your PhD and you have done all the work - it's just a case now of jumping through all the right hoops to make it happen. But I really understand your feelings at the moment. Sometimes I feel so trapped - I've come so far that it is now too difficult just to walk away. On the other hand I really just want my life back and the millstone that is my thesis off my back! Anyway, I hope that you get a new external supervisor soon and your supervisors start giving you lots of good advice and support. In the meantime here are a couple of sprouts - (sprout)(sprout)they may not taste great but they're full of vitamins and iron to boost your immune system to get you to feel positive about the changes you need to make to your thesis! ;-)(up) Thumbs up and good luck!
Hi everyone - I am so in the same boat. I started my PhD in January 2007 so am now in my 5th Year. I have submitted a complete draft to my supervisors and am awaiting their response. My confidence is at zero so I am convinced that they won't like it and I'll have to do several drafts before I can print and submit. I am so fed up and really identify with everyone else. Cath - I appreciate the difficulty you have with your two supervisors having different opinions on what you should do. I also have two supervisors and have similar difficulties and I feel that I can't make a decision just now because I think that whatever I decide it will turn out to be wrong. I think I feel this way because I think that decing to do the PhD was maybe a wrong decision because here I am so many years later less confident, more stressed and financially struggling. Maybe one day I'll look back at this experience and feel that it was worth it but not just now. Like Pam I've also had tons of job rejections - I'm not qualified for any academic jobs because I have no publications - nothing even in the pipeline. And non-academic jobs are not interested because I am too old or over-qualified. I feel for everyone here and am pulling for you all to finish just so that we can all move on with our lives!
I wonder if anyone out there can help me access an article. I've been trying to access via Athens but I can't as once I click on the Athens link it tells me that the system hasn't been authenticated yet and you have to enter via Shibboleth and there is a small list of institutions in the UK that would have access that way. The article is from Politics and the Life Sciences 29(1):2-23. 2010 and is by Erhard Geissler and Jeanne Guillemin. The title is German flooding of the Pontine Marshes in World War II.
I am hoping to submit my completed thesis by this weekend to my supervisors for a final check before I submit for real (at the moment I am 4 years and 1 month into this journey and I so want it to end) and I think that this article has some crucial information for me that I can't pass up. I would be so grateful if someone could download it and e-mail it to me at daibhidhf AT waitrose DOT come. Thank you so much(gift)
Uhoh...I really feel for you but try not too panic and think about the big picture too much or you will be so terrified that you will be unable to do anything at all. The fact is that you need to sumit in 16 days but all you can do is what you can do...so for the moment don't think of the bigger picture as that is only going to freak you out. Take a deep breath and take one day at a time. Use the pomodoro technique which you can use through www.mytomatoes.com...don't worry about registering...it's quick and easy...only a user name and a password to register. This technique will break work into manageable 25 minute chunks with a 5 minute break after each chunk. Get your 6 pages revisions in front of you and begin to work through them one by one using a big pen to tick each off as you go so you see progress. If any particular revision causes you major problems and is holding up a decent level of progress then stop there, circle that revision and MOVE On to the next one. You can always go back to it later. Aim at the moment to get through half a page of revisions per day...that will take you up to 12 days. Then condense and put together all the revisions you were unable to do earlier and work through them again. Good luck!
Hi Kikuka....my situation isn't exactly the same as yours. I have 2 months to go until I submit but I'm not working full-time. I'd like to be working part-time....so need the money but can't seem to get taken on for even the most menial jobs....and believe me I've not been fussy! So that brings its own stresses. However, I am a Mum to 5 which believe me is a full-time job with mega responsibilities too (only 4 still at home tho)! I've also had similar problems to you with ill family members....Mum has had two major operations within the past two years and suffered two heart attacks. Then my eldest daughter decided to get married this summer (she's still pretty young so that brought its own worries, then her husband-to-be became critically ill just before the wedding so they both needed a lot of support....fortunately, husband-to-be recovered and wedding went well and was extra special). However, as you can imagine life has been tough and the PhD work has never really been able to take first place at any point. I frequently wish I'd never started...my funding ran out this January so I have been months with no money and relying on my not well-paid husband to support us all. At the moment I am writing my final empirical chapter, then I'll do my appendices and write my conclusion. I am determined to do it as I just want it out of the way now so I can get my life back. I am sure that you will be able to do it too...it's just a case of two months of hard slog. Just keep writing...aim to do a certain amount every day and go for it. The best of luck!:p(up)
PeteManic....I am new here but felt compelled to reply to your post. I hope you follow everyone's advice here and go to your doctor and explain the situation to him or her. Depression is very difficult to deal with and it's very easy to hide yourself away and as someone else said...that is a major symptom of the illness. For many people it is very, very difficult to talk about feelings...but you've made the effort here (albeit in an online forum where most of us can sympathise and understand) so you can do it again. Just take the bull by the horns and speak to your GP...if he or she is any good then she will understand too and be helpful.
On to more practical matters...like others have said...don't produce a false note or that will just cause you more problems later. However, GPs can issue back-dated medical certificates. It happens if they haven't seen you during your illness or if you saw another doctor who didn't write you up for one at the time. I've had two back-dated certificates in my lifetime...it is usually green instead of white and the doctor signs it with the date and time that you saw him/her and writes that you should have stayed off because you were ill with...and then he puts in the diagnosis. It sounds to me as if you would be a candidate for this but you need to go and talk to your doctor. I don't know the time involved with your leave of absence and I don't know if there's a time limit on back-dated medical certificates but your doctor can guide you, and he can also issue you with a 'fit to return to work' certificate that others have mentioned....that would show the funding body that the doctor is saying that your were ill with depression but now you are fit to return and that is a validation in itself. I wish you loads of luck and I bet that once you've spoken to your doctor and got all this sorted out then you will feel loads better. :-)
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