Advice Required! How long should you wait for your PhD result after submitting with minors?


Oh no, really sorry to hear this is still dragging on for you. It's unbelievable that they can't give you a decision after all this time. There really should be some regulations governing what to do in the case of a disagreement, and for how long the process can be drawn out - not to mention better communication with the candidate who is having to put their life on hold for months or even years and deserves to at least know what's going on!

Can you maybe ask for a time estimate of when there will be a result? Then you can justifiably chase again (and escalate to head of department etc) if that deadline is not met?

I really sympathise with you. I have many of the same issues with my R&R, around poor supervision, lack of communication, one obstacle after another... some days I can't see how it's possible I will ever get my PhD. But we can't give up hope.


Anz, you know we're all rooting for you. This is just ridiculous. I know this has been going on for close to 2 years for you now. It is callous behaviour on the 'examiners' part. I really don't know who these people think they are to leave a fellow human being in limbo like this. I know how fickle and fragile the whole thing is. You know my story. I really wish someone could wave a magic wand and resolve this right now for you.
Bewildered has given some very practical advice about complaints and appeals - if you think even the threat would push things along then do so. I know that I learned from my viva to be a lot more pushy in getting the things I wanted. Maybe that's the right strategy.
Right now I am just wishing for peace and contentment for you. Remember you are so much more than a PhD and that you can and will go on to publish this the way you want to and there is a big world out there and many great days ahead for you.
Best wishes and I am hoping for a speedy and successful outcome for you now.


Hi Anz07, I'm so sorry this has happened, it must be so disheartening after such a prolonged wait and all that has gone before. I hope you have someone trustworthy at your university who can advise you how to best address this and get things moved on. Best wishes for a speedy resolution


Oh Anz, it sounds like your thesis is caught up in some ridiculous battle of the egos (that's the polite version of what I'm thinking, believe me). You have had to hold your nerve for so long with this one. I hope you will have good news soon and in the mean time, please take care of yourself and do some good stuff and as JStanley said, don't let yourself be defined by this experience.


Thank you all for your advice and support. It makes such a difference to have your feedback and gain some insight from fellow PhD'ers.

I'm still feeling pretty numb about it all. I contacted my supervisor yesterday and he just replied with a one sentence email saying he would look into it. I think he must have known as he's been very quiet over the past month and hadn't been very proactive in getting any information for me.

Much as I want to push them in terms of time limits etc, I also don't want to rush them into making a decision which might not be to my advantage. I have to assume (and hope) that the university is fighting for me and, I guess, leave them to their own devices until I hear more.

Having looked at the PhD guidelines, there doesn't seem to be any rule as to what happens in this scenario. They've only included a clause on if examiners disagree over what revisions need to be which case the issue goes to senate in order for it to be resolved. I can't find any information as to what happens if they disagree over whether the revisions are up to PhD standard.

I seriously can't believe that I could lose out on my PhD over 12,000 words of revisions when, according to the paperwork I have so far, the other 150,000 words of my PhD are deemed to have met the standards. I worked really hard on my minor revisions and thought they were the best I could produce - I really tried to think outside of my own mind and tried to embody the mind of my external examiner. Evidently that didn't get me anywhere.

I wish there was something I could do but I guess I just have to be patient. I'm scared this is going to go into 2017 now and I just can't bear that thought...the wait gets harder as more time passes.


I'm so sorry to hear this. It's completely unacceptable behaviour by your examiners. I hope your supervisor is fighting hard for you beind the scenes. Do you have a counsellor or therapist to talk to about this? It sounds so stressful.


Oh no, I am so sorry to hear this. When I saw this thread at the top of the board, I was really rooting for you that it was all resolved. Others have written already with good advice but I just wanted to say, hang in there and we're all thinking of you!


Hi all,

Thanks again for your advice. Gwen86 - I don't have a counsellor at the moment. I'm too busy counselling my undergraduate students to warrant seeking counselling myself (oh dear!) I'm not sure if I'm the counselling type anyway to be honest, although I appreciate it might be a good way to vent.

I still don't have any update on my PhD. My supervisor said he'd try and find out if my internal examiner was now looking at the thesis. That was last Thursday. My internal is in the office next door to my supervisor but it seems that getting the answer to such a simple question is, as always, extremely tedious. I'm yet to have any update from my supervisor.

I also wrote to a senior academic who seems to have taken over the role of the admin team (she's the one who sent me the email explaining that there is a disagreement). I sent her a calm and short email thanking her for looking into this for me and asked the following:

"I appreciate that the university is looking into the best way to resolve this disagreement. Do you know how long this issue has been under discussion? I assume that, in keeping with Senate Regulations, a Designated Officer has been appointed to resolve this issue? If so, are you able to give me any indication of a time frame in which this matter is likely to be resolved?"

That was last Friday - it's now Tuesday and I've had no response. I'll have to give it until the end of the week but I fail to understand why answering such basic questions is so difficult for everyone involved in my PhD.

I know it's not over yet and there's still a chance but I just feel so exhausted after waiting nearly 5 months (+ everything that's gone before that). I can't sleep at night and my job is so demanding (with a 6 hour commute)...I think I'm going to have a burnout.


(1/2) Hello all,

Thought I'd update you on my situation. The title of my journey is "Just when you think it can't get any worse, it always does".

Still no news regarding the disagreement between my examiners. Polite e-mails that I sent last week asking if my thesis had gone to Senate etc have been ignored and, as per usual, the university aren't at all bothered about leaving me in the dark. It's been a five month wait now since I submitted and no one can give me an expected turnaround time for when (or if) this dispute will be resolved.

Anyway, the way in which it got much worse is....

I received an official letter from the university this week from student complaints saying I was being investigating for fraudulently using my PhD when I haven't been awarded it yet. Long story short: someone (who clearly despises me) found my staff profile on the university where I work which (through admin error) had 'Dr' in front of my name. This was something I had not written myself and, as my colleagues can verify, I never during my application or employment at the institution stated that I had been awarded my PhD. Everyone knew that I had submitted with minors and was awaiting my result.

As a result of this complaint, my employer has been contacted by my PhD university and is being investigated. This is absolutely degrading and humiliating for me as I've only been in my new job for 3 months. I've had to have meetings with my HoD and explain everything that's been happening over the past couple of weeks.

I now have 10 days to write a personal statement defending myself (when I've done absolutely nothing wrong). Fortunately my employer is as shocked as me and is being incredibly supportive, with all my colleagues coming forward to give statements to ensure I never lied about my credentials.


(2/2) It seems quite obvious that this complaint is connected to the dispute over whether my PhD should pass. I'll never know who it is that raised this complaint but I assume it is someone involved in the process (potentially my external).

I guess they think that I got my lecturing job fraudulently and are trying to ensure an instant dismissal. Fortunately, they can dream on.

My staff profile was changed immediately and all my students have had to be informed that, if they saw a 'Dr' next to my name at any point, this was incorrect. Talk about humiliating.

I continue to be in immense shock that my PhD institution has no regard for my life or career. They keep me waiting for as long as they want with no information, lose important documents, issue me with wrong results and now dare to raise a serious complaint against me which could seriously damage both myself and my employer's reputation.

I've always tried to distance myself from the emotions of this process and tell myself that it's nothing personal. But now, it really fucking is.

Sorry for the vent, I'm just at the end of my tether her. And yes, I'm sure it will get worse.

As per usual, any advice or comments greatly appreciated. Thank you all.


That's awful, especially on top of everything else you've had to deal with. I don't even know what to advise, other than look after yourself as best you can (you mentioned not sleeping etc). Your physical and mental health are more important than any PhD.


So ridiculous Anz07, the levels some people stoop to.


I'm so sorry. I'm glad to hear that your employer and colleagues are at least responding to this in a sensible and professional way and are supporting you. I think it's vital at this time that you look after yourself and don't let this defeat you.

Avatar for DarkDragon86

I can't imagine how stressful that would be for you :( I have no advice but can only offer support. It's disgusting how your university has treated you. I hope you get it all resolved positively as soon as possible :(


Jeez, mate. To echo others, I am just glad that your current employer is on your side. I have no advice to give, faded07. I do believe that everyone has to answer for their conduct in the end though and whoever did this will get no luck for this. You stay being you. This case just shows how the UK system needs to be overhauled. A more moderated system like you have in US and mainland Europe would surely prevent this kind of thing. Placing all this power in the hands of a stranger is crazy in this day and age. I just wish for strength and support for you, faded. I look forward to you getting your PhD (which you should have been awarded 2 years ago) and publishing works and going on to be successful at whatever you do. And remember you are so strong to keep going through this. You can get through anything now, faded.