Passed the Viva!


I passed the viva with minor corrections!!!

First, a big THANK YOU to everyone on the forum, especially Delta, Sneaks, Ady, Keenbean, Skig, Bilbobaggins, Kezia, DrCorinne, Pjlu, Mog, Lughna, Larrydavid, Catalinbond, Mackem_Beefy, and so many others I haven't named, who have taken the time to respond to questions, and contribute tips and advice.

Personally, passing was a major accomplishment because of the many unexpected setbacks during the last years of my program. To top it off, I was actually supposed to have the viva in February, but it was rescheduled and canceled several times by the examiners and committee members (I'm in the U.S., so all five members must be present for the viva). In spite of it's finished!

In case it's helpful to anyone preparing to defend soon, here's a brief recap: After giving my presentation, each of the members gave me their critique of the manuscript. I got the sense that each of them (except my sup) had only read certain parts, because they sometimes suggested things that had already been included. At these times, I interjected, "That's a great suggestion. Actually, I mentioned such-and-such on page 214..." This confirmed my suspicions that people usually don't read the dissertation in its interity, so it's probably a good idea to reiterate certain details several times throughout the document. Certainly, I repeated the key points, but it probably helps to be repetitive when it comes to secondary and tertiary details, as well. This is contrary to what most of us have been taught concerning good writing, but the dissertation is a different type of document. (I could be wrong on this point, and would be curious to know what others think.)

There was some discussion, and a few questions, but I had the impression that the outcome had already been decided. Still, I'm glad that I read my work several times, and thought through responses to what are considered standard questions. I also recruited a friend to help me by listening to my presentation, and then asking questions. He has no background in my area of research, so it was a great exercise because I had to explain a lot, and verbalize my ideas.

I hope this is helpful!


Ah, congratulations Dr. Dalmation! delighted it went well for you and that your Viva wasn't traumatic. That's interesting that you think they only read parts of it. While I presume they would have to discuss things a lot among themselves in that case, it goes against the whole point of having a coherent and cohesive thesis if they never have to follow the argument from start to finish!

But that is neither here nor there, the main thing is you're through. Enjoy the celebrations (up) 8-)


Fantastic news Dalmation, thanks for sharing. Many congratulations and I'm delighted for you.:-)



Fantastic news! Congrats!!!! :-) (up) (up) I'm sure you feel relieved and many thanks for the hints, very helpful!(up)


Congratulations Dr D! That's great news (up)

Thanks too for the recap of your experience, it's very helpful.

There should be a glass of champagne icon we can add here!!!

Mog :-)


Great news, am really happy for you - good account of your viva as well. Many congrats Dr. Dalmation


Congratulations Dr Dalmation!! I was hoping to hear good news from you this week, well done :-)

Avatar for DrCorinne

Excellent news Dr Dalmation!

You must be very proud of yourself, well done! (gift)