I am still doing my post-viva corrections, and have until November to do them although I reckon they will be done by the end of September. I have to submit them to the internal examiner at the university. However, he seems extremely arrogant and I suspect that he did not approve of the 'minor corrections' outcome from the viva. I have heard rumours from my supervisor that he wants to make things very difficult for me when I return my thesis to him. For instance, he said that I have only 'one shot' at the resubmission, and will fail me if it's not perfect. My question is, if I do everything on the correction list, can he still not be happy with it? (E.g., he might say I didn't cover things in enough detail, etc). Can the external examiner (who is much more realistic) overule his decision if the worst comes to the worst? I'm just a bit nervous about him...
as far as I know, corrections are generally checked by the internal. Sometimes they don't even bother checking and ask the supervisor to check instead :)
I don't know why the internal wants to torture you (just pleasure I assume). Please don't let him terrorize you, and don't pay attention to rumors. If I were you, I would ask him to allocate a couple of hours and meet him in person, so that you can go through the list of the corrections together. Just to be on the safe side. Congratulations, you are already there!
Thanks Dr J, I appreciate your encouragement. The internal is a new broom from a high-brow research institution (coming to ours that certainly isn't, but has the best SU bar on the planet), so I think he may have a point to prove. Even during the 4 hour viva, the external was looking at her watch whilst he split hairs over the most trivial issue. Anyway, I will do the corrections as best I can and hope that it's good enough for him. I have just been appointed a top new supervisor (original retired recently), so am in good hands.
Out of curiosity, can you find out the separate verdicts of the external and internal examiners in any way? It actually sounds as though the internal examiner wanted to fail you. I'm assuming the external examiner had the final say (reflecting back on my own examination a long time ago) hence the minor corrections, however, it seems strange to have left the review of the corrections in the hands of the internal examiner if there was possibly such a big difference of opinions. To say 'one shot' at resubmission seems petty and pedantic to say the least.
Trying to sit and meet him in person is the best course of action to resolve interpretation of corrections and what exactly is expected, but make sure your supervisor has gone over everything with a fine toothcomb also to give the internal as little room for complaint as possible.
((( I know given you nominally have minor corrections that failure is very, very unlikely, but in case he does try to fail you over the tiniest thing familiarise yourself with the appeals process. Be aware though, that the best outcome here is re-examination with different examiners. )))
Best SU bar on the planet? My old place was very well equipped in that respect (multiple bars). However, there were much better bars and pubs in the surrounding town and I could escape the Uni. environment when I wanted. :-)
Thanks for the response Beefy. I think I will be okay with the corrections, as I met with my sup today and she does not share my concerns. I am confident that if the thesis meets her approval then things will be fine. I just need to keep on task. Best bar on campus sells Grolsch at £2.60 per pint btw in a proper Grolsch glass, and has frequent top bands playing there too. Just saying.
I received a resubmission verdict and recently obtained my PhD after a long drawn out process.
- Viva voce (summer 2011)
- Resubmission verdict (extremely positive viva, discussions focused on how to reduce thesis to 100,000 words), no second viva voce.
- Submitted corrected thesis in line with resubmission report and examiners requests. I also submitted a 2 page covering letter summarising the main changes.
- Awarded minor corrections after a five month wait! Three months to address minor corrections.
- Addressed minor corrections within 3 months and submitted yet another draft.
- Internal examiner approved minor corrections in 2/3 days after I submitted
- Submitted hardbound version to university
- Graduated in July 2013.
The resubmitted draft was in many ways a completely different thesis, but I covered almost all of their corrections. It wasn't perfect however, as the references required some corrections and generally required a detailed proofread. Due to long wait, I was terrified and convinced I failed, but the delay had nothing to do with my thesis.
Once I received the minor corrections verdict, I made doubly sure I covered every single minor correction before submitting, I knew there was a possibility of failing if I ignored their requests, so this was my very final attempt to get it right. My internal approved my minor corrections in a few days without any further requests to enable me to graduate in July.
There's also some degree of flexibility with the examiners in that their not out to fail candidates (although I more or less convinced myself my examiners were going to fail me!). In other cases, the internal examiner requested some additional changes after minor corrections submission and this was sorted relatively quickly.
Best of luck :)
Thank you Pineapple, sounds like you really have earned your PhD! I am almost through my corrections, and look forward to resubmitting my thesis in few weeks' time. Supervisor says it looks ok, which is a massive plus coming from her!
I also had an ordeal when it comes to corrections. I had a gruelling 2.5 hour viva and after thinking I'd fail I actually passed with minor corrections. I submitted the minor corrections after a month, but my supervisor then alerted me to the fact that the internal would not have liked my argument (the argument I made in the thesis). I also received their reports prior to starting the corrections and he was critical of my language/tone as I adopt a view that's opposite to his. So that's when my ordeal started: I had to wait 6 months before he actually approved them. At one time, he came back saying he still expected "better tone" (midway through) and did other minor changes, until he finally had to approve it.
Your situation sounds similar as the internal either didn't like your approach in the thesis or your argument. Technically speaking, they can come back to you and say they are not satisfied with your corrections (mine told me I still needed to address language issues). However, the good news is that they are very unlikely (I mean 99.9999999999% unlikely) to fail you. The worst case scenario is you having to do what the examiner tells you if he/she is not happy or trying to just drag things on. It's a horrible situation, and I speak from experience, but I'm certain that if you pass with corrections there is virtually no possibility of you failing then, and that's what my supervisor told me as well. Just do the changes as listed and chase him (though not every day as this would backfire) and wait for the verdict. You'll get it in the end.
Thanks Incognito, it sounds like they really put you through the mill so nice to hear that you made it in the end. I managed to finish my corrections and had them approved this week, therefore I too have got through. I added 61 pages to the thesis along with 3 extra control studies as requested by the examiners. I'm glad I did them as it really has lifted the quality of the writing. I have actually got to know the internal quite well and think most of his attitude was a bit of a ploy to intimidate me a bit to get the work done. He's a nice guy really, first impressions etc. I will graduate in January!
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