Am I good enough?


======= Date Modified 11 Jul 2011 10:08:28 =======
============= Edited by a Moderator =============
Here's my story: the last four years were just a f-ing nightmare. My "mentor" was completely useless and had no money or any scientific knowledge. Basically, he could not give two $&*%$ whether I succeeded or not, he's tenured. I had no guidance. He spent at least two months out of each year on vacation. Given that environment, I did the best that I could, but I just feel that my project is not up to snuff. I mean, I don't really have that much data and there are a lot of holes/unanswered questions in my thesis project. A lot more experiments are warranted. None-the-less, I was granted sufficiency and through some personal circumstances had to move away from the University to another state. I am now on a leave of absence trying to publish my work and write up my thesis. My issue now is that I am dreading my defense due to the fact that my work is not air tight (more like swiss cheese). I can't exactly get up there and start making excuses. Any advise out there for me?


Do you get the chance to get a feedback prior to your defense?
Do you just submit and then go for the defense, or do you get a chance to revise if your sup thinks you're not ready for the defense yet?


======= Date Modified 10 Jul 2011 23:31:52 =======
As I said, my committee deemed me sufficient. They already know what my work entails and what I submit to them as the dissertation should be fine. It is the DEFENSE in front of the whole department that is worrisome. I don't think that rewriting/revising will not make a difference at this point. Whatever I have accomplished so far in terms of experiments is all that I have to work with because I am no longer in proximity to the university.


Your defense is exactly that. No examiner is going to expect an airtight thesis yet. They know the aim of the game. Your thesis will have strong and weak parts, so naturally they will ask you about the weak bits. If you prepare enough and give as good as you get, you may well surprise yourself. Just don't give up before the battle has begun!

Remember: research should raise further questions, areas for further investigation. It appears this is what your thesis has given rise to.