Signup date: 15 Oct 2010 at 1:56pm
Last login: 27 Mar 2015 at 9:12pm
Post count: 1264
Good luck to you Bilbo! Thank you so much for your highly valued input into this forum. I have personally found your comments to be invaluable to my PhD journey. I have so much respect and admiration for what you have achieved, it will be sad to not see you imparting your wisdom on the forum. Thank you so much (gift)
Hi Slowmo, knowing your thesis, the arguments, key papers/authors and the reasons you did what you did is as prepared as you can be. You can never really judge what questions may come up but viva prep such as discussing it in a mock will help hugely. For mine I thought I would be working until the 11th hour but taking others advice I actually did little on it for the last 24 hours. I was much more relaxed for the viva, surprisingly! My tips are to get there early so you can have a quiet sit down with a newspaper/novel in a calm place. Nothing worst than running into your viva!! If you start thinking nervously about what the impending viva, then focus your attention to a later time, ie what you plan to do in the evening/next week etc. This takes the focus and adrenaline rush away so you are calmer for your viva.
Good luck with your viva and I will be checking the forum for news!!
Well done Naturalme, I think most people have had a few MS word formatting and pagination issues certainly worthy of pulling ones hair out lol. Maybe a helpful page on this site would be useful of how to deal with these rather tedious issues as it really isn't that obvious to me :$
Hi Slowmo, I can totally empathise with your feelings. I too went through all of these emotions while waiting for my viva date. It was likened to being in limbo, nothing moving or happening, but I felt unable to be productive if I had no date to aim for. It is very easy for other close friends/family to suggest taking a break, but I found I really could not switch off. I also regularly phoned the academic office and I could imagine the sigh on the receiving end when I announced my name lol. So I hope you get some good news about a viva date very soon. You are on the final road of your PhD (regardless of the viva outcome), so take some comfort from this.
I had three supervisors, one uni and two external, so each had something unique to add. I sent my draft chapters to all three and the draft thesis too. I had comments back from my uni sup and the first external. The second external only commented on particular areas applicable to his expertise. I don't see the problem in gauging three opinions which can make your thesis stronger. You will have to decide the important changes as there will undoubtedly be a difference of opinion!
I have used skype considerably for tutorials with my supervisors and have had no issues with it at all. However, one of my sups has had quite a fun time whenever we skype due to his camera not working properly etc. It would work well if the interviewee has a good set up of microphone and camera. If they are unfamiliar or don't have the facilities you may have to reject potential subjects purely through technological reasons.
During my viva prep I made a list of all of the errors/typos which was more than I thought were present, but fortunately not too many! I kept this list with me during the viva so that I could show the examiners if the issue arose. The typos list never came out of my bag and in the final corrections given, only a few appeared. That said I did correct all of the typos etc for the final post viva copy.
Continue creating the list so that it gives you confidence in the viva in the fact that have covered these already. There will always be some typos/errors found in a thesis long after it has been completed so don't be harsh on yourself. It is the content that really matters.
I think I had a really good supervisory team so was very lucky. I was p/t and had three sups, two external and one uni. My main external liked to have some regular-ish meetings and also attended my lab sessions (due to not being able to work alone with equipment and substances used) so we had good communication (face-to-face and email) about direction of studies, progress etc. My uni sup was also available for regular meetings every 1-2 months and for this I would be more specific in having stuff sent through prior to the meeting and an agenda organised. My other eternal was interested and had some less regular meetings although we worked in the same building so occasional catch ups occurred. That said they facilitated my use of the lab as they had control over its purpose, so really did a lot there. During write-up I became much more organised as reflected by Ady. All my sups were sent thesis structure plans, draft chapters and the draft thesis, but most comments were from main external and uni sups. I used skype tutorials mainly in this phase so evenings could be utilised for supervision. I did submit with agreement from just the two sups.........although I think sup 3 was happy and congratulatory on my viva pass!
I would suggest keeping this organisation from the start. I was advised at the start of my PhD that there was an extra element of managing your supervision :p. I would also add that taking notes and writing up your sup meetings is also very useful so you have a record of the contact.
Ady, I am pleased that your sup is willing to sign off your thesis for end September. Like you I had my own earlier deadline set to my official one (partly for my own sanity and for my family) and I worked hard to achieve that. I think you know when you have done as much as you can. A break for fresh eyes is needed at least to be able to constructively work on it some more. That 'break' time is not really available to you with the official deadline in October. Do what your sup feels necessary and then submit. Assuming there are no major re-writes then really nothing much will change for the viva copy.
Work hard but don't forget to look after yourself (gift)
Out of these two options I would go for Anglia Ruskin. It is a good uni with quite alot of improvements and re-development but is well established. It is located in Cambridge or Chelmsford, with Cambridge being a fabulous city with many historical attributes. I personally feel that Cambridge is far nicer than London areas and easier to get about in town with less crowding. I studied my PhD in Cambridge and was very happy with the facilities and area.
That said, I have no experience of the Uni of East London.
I posted about this a while ago when I submitted my minor corrections as the rules regarding this phase seemed very vague. I understood from other forum members that the examiner would liaise with me should my corrections not meet their criteria. It would be pointless for the uni to fail you following a successful viva as a failure looks bad for the institute. You have passed so negotiating the corrections seems the obvious way forward. In my case there was one correction that involved an extra paragraph although the content of that was not detailed, just a general comment for clarity. It actually ended up being an additional page. I was concerned about this being satisfactory but have just been advised that my corrections have been agreed (after 5-6 weeks). The examiner did liaise with me (via the academic office) about the location of some of the corrections that had moved from their pre-viva locations, so I would imagine the same procedure would occur for unsatisfactory corrections. I had my corrections checked by my supervisor which helped.
Try not to worry (I know this is very hard to do as you just want it done!) and focus on the job hunt while you wait. Congratulations on the minor corrections and good luck in the future.
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