Thesis amended, now waiting for the examiner's decision??


Hi guys,

I had my viva in late 2013 and passed it subject to enacting major amendments.

I finally managed to submit my amended thesis to my internal examiner 3 months ago. However, I am still waiting to hear back. The longer time goes on, the more apprehensive I am becoming. I just want this PhD nightmare to end!

I was wondering if anyone knows whether or not there is an upper time limit on how long examiners have to approve thesis amendments?? Or is the wait an indefinite one??

It seems like this information is not available in the public domain.


I think it's an indefinite period of time... but why not chase them up directly, or via your supervisor?


Thank you for your reply TreeofLife.

Oh I see, that's a bit annoying...there should be an upper limit as there is with everything else, as the wait could just get ridiculous (anyway that's a debate for another thread I guess)

Well I spoke to the internal examiner at the start of December, and they assured me it would be done by the start of the new year!...that hasn't happened...I have also spoken to the Post Grad Research Officer at my university who has not exactly been very helpful, by saying that the examiner will do it when they get round to it...citing the xmas break as the reason for the delay

My fear is that by chasing the examiner up again, I may end up annoying them to the point that they may, out of sheer vindictiveness, give me additional amendments to do!!

Anyway, I really wanted to know whether 3 months is a reasonable amount of time to expect a response, or am I being to hasty??


Three months is more than enough, IMO. Did you mark on the text where you had made amendments etc to make it easier for them to check? If so, then the corrections shouldn't take more than a day to check I would think!


Since it was major amendments, my supervisor recommended I compile a separate Word.doc report to submit alongside the amended thesis. This report listed the amendments enacted one-by-one, and detailed where the changes had been made in the updated thesis (including the specific page numbers).

I'm glad you said that, I also think three months is far too long. I will chase up the examiner as per your recommendations as the delay is really starting to affect my job search.

However this examiner I know is very pedantic, and, from what I am aware, I was their first PhD examination, so perhaps this could account for the delay. I just really hope there are not further amendments to make beyond this.

Thank you once again for taking the time to reply/clarify.

Avatar for Mackem_Beefy

I'm going to disagree here.

If you're going to chase this up, ONLY do it via your supervisor and then check by say every six weeks or so at most just to let people know you still exist. The last thing I would want was a candidate coming back every couple of weeks when I have to fit re-reading an entire thesis in with my other work (lecturing, marking undergrad and masters work, research, administration, etc.).

I'm afraid it's submit revised thesis and then get on with your life, find a job, resume whatever activities you did in your private life from before. At some indeterminate period in the future, they'll get back to you when they are good and ready.

Waiting for examiners to read the thesis in the first place (prior to initial viva) and re-read in the case of resubmission can take three months in the first instance and even longer in the second. It's better to be a patience than a pain, especially if he's pedantic like you say.



I agree with all comments. Not helpful I know! As an examiner they are paid to look at the Thesis, it's their job, it's not a hobby or done out of kindness so there should be guidelines in my opinion of when someone can reasonably expect their Thesis reviewed by after amendments. This would also probably limit 'mithering' by students wanting to know when work would be back. However, as this is not the case and the examiner might be picky take the advice from Ian and go through your supervisor.

All the best


It took my examiners ... 8 months in order to get back to me with the results of my R&R, but I did not chase them, as I was very busy. It all went well in the end. Good luck!


Thank you all for your informative feedback!

I wish I had discovered this forum earlier in my postgraduate life!

Best wishes!!


Quote From wowzers:
As an examiner they are paid to look at the Thesis, it's their job, it's not a hobby or done out of kindness so there should be guidelines in my opinion of when someone can reasonably expect their Thesis reviewed by after amendments. This would also probably limit 'mithering' by students wanting to know when work would be back.

All the best

I don't know if examiners are specifically 'paid' to examine a thesis. They don't necessarily have to examine a thesis and it's not actually in their job description. Rather, I think examiners are approached and decide for themselves whether or not they have the capacity at that time to examine a thesis, but unlike publication and research funding requirements, to my knowledge there is no expectation regarding the number of theses someone in academia has to examine. This is why it can sometimes be difficult to line up examiners that have the capacity and are knowledgeable in your subject area. I think my supervisors went through five or six individuals before they were able to secure two examiners, because the others did not have the capacity at the time or had left academia. It's the same for reviewing publications. It's not actually in their immediate job description to review articles, or to edit journals. These are often jobs performed as voluntary to boost the CV/demonstrate expertise, but it's not an essential component of their role.

Wait it out or correspond via your supervisor as Ian has suggested. I know here in Australia you cannot have any contact with your examiners, though I'm not sure if that rule applies to corrections with examiners approval. Your thesis, while high on your list of priorities, will unfortunately not be as high on your examiners. They'll have publications, funding applications etc that will take precedence over examining your thesis. Which really sucks, but tends to be the unfortunate reality.


Yes awsoci UK external examiners are paid and also receive reasonable expenses for travel and accommodation. If they agree to be an examiner they receive a letter of appointment from the examining university. It may not be in their usual everyday job description as you say and it is up to them if they take on external examining duties. Maybe it works differently elsewhere?


Ah that makes sense. Australia there are no vivas so external examiners (to my knowledge) aren't paid.