Signup date: 06 Sep 2008 at 1:33pm
Last login: 09 Aug 2010 at 12:30pm
Post count: 214
I don't have much useful to say apart from that it might not be as bad as you think! Many people go into the viva thinking the worst and come out pleasantly surprised.
Firstly, think how you would discuss the thesis as a whole - without sounding pessimistic. Then go through the bits of thesis that you are proud of and create some sort of aide memoir of those key areas.
Also, in terms of practicalities I guess I'd be trying to identify the areas of weakness and, taking each one in turn, make a list of bulletpoints of what the problems are and how you would address them - even compiling this will help you get your thoughts in order which will make it easier if they start questionning in that area.
The very best of luck.
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I think you'd be more at risk of undermining your phd position by doing as he has asked. Your findings are your findings, if someone else finds something different then so be it. That's the nature of knowledge generation.
This guy is obviously trying to pull a fast one of some sort....in short, if you don't need him then tell him to bugger right off (only mentally) and ignore him. If you do need him then try and keep it civil but politely and firmly stick to your guns.
I agree with the others, let your supervisors know and ask for an extension. This might help relieve some of the pressure for you and will enable you to put a better chapter together. After all, if you hand in something that isn't great then they only have to spend more of their time reading / making suggestions etc.
Best wishes in all of this, life really sucks sometimes.
Thanks for taking the time to reply, it really helps to know that others go through tough times and emerge at the other end (logically, you know this but the phd is a very lonely and isolating process at times).
I feel desperately miserable about the whole situation and don't really talk to my friends and family about it anymore, I am bored of it myself and I don't want to inflict it on others!
I have all the documents relating to my annual progress reviews, all my notes from supervisory meetings, feedback etc following the viva. But, part of the issue is that I really feel like I've had the stuffing knocked out of me and don't know if I could even 'fight' them.
I'm glad to hear that you've got your mojo back and hopefully I will have too (sometime soon)
I had an ESRC studentship to do my phd and was recruited to 'do' a research question. It wasn't really my area of interest but I knew it was my best bet of doing a funded phd.
I submitted and had my viva nearly 18 months ago - I was utterly annihilated, it was a vicious, humiliating experience that left me in emotional distress. I had not been happy about the choice of external, she was the third of a list of three and I had concerns that she simply would not like my approach. As it transpired, I was right. She started the viva by telling me she 'hated' my work...... three hours of total humiliation later I left the room having been given 12 months to re-submit. She did tell me, however, as I was leaving the room that if it had been left to her she would have failed me......she also insisted that I must re-viva. :( She also criticised one of my supervisors and told me that I should not have taken a job whilst writing up (I had no choice if I wanted to keep a roof over my head). The internal examiner just sat there like a plonker.
I should say that I had flown through the internal annual progressions and that this is a red-brick, respected university and a research institute of some reknown. There was significant fall-out over this situation - 'my' research institute pretty much fell out with 'hers' and a seminar she was going to give was cancelled by one of my supervisors (who was director of the unit at the time). It became very vicious.
I had a year but, because of this and other issues, I developed significant anxiety issues and started experiencing full-blown panic attacks. I did very little in the first six months and then when I started, I went into 'melt-down' every time I had to engage with the feedback (which is pretty brutal although I do agree with many of the key points). I finally started work on the thesis then was made redundant from my job, unexpectedly. This knocked my confidence again. I applied for a six month extension, which was granted, I am now to re-submit in March.
I have massive issues with the thesis, I loathe the whole thing and begrudge every second I spend on it. I have no interest in working in this field, do not want to pursue an academic career and generally just don't feel it's of importance to me - all I want to do right now is go and find a job (I am in terrible debt) . However, pragmatically, I know I may as well just try and finish it and re-submit. I am *terrified* of the re-viva though.
After that tail of woe I have some queries:
a) Is there anything I can do to avoid the re-viva?
b) feel I have been let down by my institution (for a variety of reasons), if I am 'failed' (which I suspect I will be), is the first recourse to appeal?
c) Do I need a solicitor to appeal?
d) If I was to be offered a masters, instead of the phd, do I have to accept it or is there still recourse?
e) If I was offered a masters do I then have to get it down to masters 'size'
Thanks for reading. Any advice
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