I passed my viva and was awarded PhD subject to minor changes back in January. The viva was beautiful and I and my work received much praises and very little criticisms (only one).
I was given 3 months to submit the corrections. I took a break after the viva then addressed the required changes which did not take a long time. I submitted the corrected thesis to the internal examiner 30 days ago but still haven't received his approval.
In the letter I received from the head of doctoral studies confirming the outcomes of the viva, it stated that the internal examiner will have 30 days to respond to the corrections but they still have not sent anything.
I consulted my supervisor and he said to me that I should keep waiting and not to hassle the examiners but I have things to do. My supervisor is a wonderful person and care much about my work and I would never go against his advice but I am an international student and need my completion letter so I can progress with my life (prepare to leave the UK and return to my home country to resume my work).
What should I do?
Should I directly contact the internal examiner and ask him nicely to try to respond to the corrections? Or should I contact the head of doctoral studies and ask his help?
My future is still at the hand of the examiner and I don't want to annoy him.
I am lost. Your advice is appreciated.
I was in a similar position. One month was given for the examiner to approve my corrections but he did not commit to that timeline (because of all the workload on academics during the pandemic). So I contacted the doctoral school at my university, they then followed up with the examiner and the corrections were approved approximately two weeks after this email and I received my conferment letter. My advice is not to contact the examiner yourself and let the administrative staff handle it. Don't panic, leaving the UK has nothing to do with your degree now as you will be able to finalise everthing while abroad and even receive your certificate by post if necessary. Congratulations on your PhD and best of luck moving forward.
Yes, it would in the first instance be one for your doctoral school, or academic registry - they will then follow up with a reminder to the internal.
Lockdown has generated a lot of work for academics; teaching needed to be moved online which often requires a change in formats (if not content); and research projects have been massively complicated by the inability to do field work in many circumstances, and forthcoming cuts/renegotiation to many streams of funding.
It's perhaps inevitable that to an academic the lecture or project meeting due tomorrow tends to take precedence over the review of corrections that 'can wait'. It would be likely that they'll 'get to it' once the teaching semester ends (depending on Uni this is in the next 1-3 weeks).
You will need a certain, limited degree of patience. You might be able to formally complain, but the issue then is the internal can technically withdraw which will drag things out much longer as an alternative reviewer is sourced. In general the academic judgment is quite sacrosanct; you needing a letter might prompt registry to in turn prompt the internal, but it won't (shouldn't), mean you're waved through.
You should not contact examiners directly - most UK Unis have very strict rules about this. In the absolute worst case it could be misconstrued as you trying to pressure them towards a certain outcome and could result in a re-viva or disciplinary action.
I'd agree with PhDHere, contact the head of doctoral studies requesting an update. It could be a case that they have emailed a response but it has got lost in someone mails (this happen in my case).
I wouldn't contact the internal examiner - Some are very strict on the no-contact policy.
As Abababa has said academics are busy with online lecture etc - so it could have been pushed to the end of their to-do list so they might just need another email reminding them of that responsibility to respond to your thesis.
I don't want to be too negative but I had a friend with the same problem. Her internal examiner was an emeritus professor that took nearly 3 months to approve them. I think after the graduate school got involved his department head got involved and then after that the student's supervisor physically visited his house to get it approved. Hopefully you aren't as bad as that but you can't directly contact him. Instead you have to get your graduate department or supervisor to do it.
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