Waiting for anything can be horrible, especially something as important as this. You have my sympathies.
However, I think it's just as likely that the hold up is some dull administrative thing, rather than anything thesis related. It's probably sat on someone's desk somewhere waiting for them to find time to sign something/send out confirmation.
I think you're well within your rights to chase someone up about it at this stage.
I used to be on here, don’t post as much now but have been following your progress. As an academic who’s examined PhD theses before I thought I’d give some insight about things that can cause delays – hopefully this might alleviate your worries.
Of course I don’t know your specific outcome and cannot make guarantees, but I can provide some context from “the other side”…
I once examined a resubmission and there was a long delay conveying results to the candidate. This was nothing to do with the thesis, but about payment (examiners usually receive a small honorarium for their services). In that particular case I was not a resident of the country where the candidate had completed his doctorate and there was some confusion about how the uni would pay me (tax implications, visa conditions, etc). This took weeks to negotiate and the poor candidate was kept waiting even though here was no problem with the work itself - they just had to sign off my remuneration!
Another time I was examining during my busiest teaching period - very demanding. Examiners can be slow in getting back to you (pre viva and post resubmission) simply becauseof their teaching load (highly likely given the time of year) as well as their other duties. In cases like these, the research department at the uni should contact examiners to see what’s happening. It sounds as if relevant people at your uni have not communicated this to you as effectively as they might have done, so I see no harm in pushing for some answers.
But when you make enquiries, take all the emotion out of it (I know it’s hard as you’re anxious). Just convey the facts about how long you've been waiting, you were expecting results by X and it’s now Y. Perhaps add that you are of applying for jobs and that it would be helpful to state a likely outcome on applications/in interviews. This is perfectly reasonable and may jog relevant people into action (I - guiltily – speak from experience that we become so ensconced in our own work it is easy for us to forget candidates’ circumstances. )
As I said I can make no guarantees, but in my experiences of examining, delays are not usually because the news is bad – if anything I think you’d have heard something sooner if that was the outcome. One final point – I know there are some Ogres out there but they are few and far between. Generally speaking, examiners DO WANT YOU TO PASS - we really don’t like failing people! You've already said your examiners were positive about your work, so whatever is going on right now I would best money that they will be crafting a set of recommendations that will enable you to pass.
You WILL get there, hold tight and screw your courage together for forthcoming interviews etc – you are obviously very capable!
======= Date Modified 09 Nov 2012 12:17:31 =======
Thanks for the comments, feedback and positive encouragement. Massive thank you to Kronkodile for posting views from 'the other side'. Very useful.
Found out today that my main supervisor is not answering emails until the end of November (this is the supervisor who has worked alongside my internal examiner), my other supervisor is unavailable today and on annual leave and the admin department are simply ignoring my requests for updates.
Do supervisors need to sign anything before informing candidates of resubmission outcome?! Do examiners send results to main supervisor first, then inform admin department?
I've got another job interview lined up for Monday and I really don't need this stress on my shoulders. :-(
This is so frustrating! I want to cry! :$
======= Date Modified 09 Nov 2012 12:15:36 =======
Can you ring your supervisor/turn up to see him/her in person? Does s/he have a PA you could pester?
I think under the circumstances you have a right to push for a response from *someone* even if only to tell you when you will get the result.
======= Date Modified 09 Nov 2012 17:24:54 =======
Thanks Kronkodile and HazyJane. Thank you to all the kind souls with lots of positive encouraging words. Judging from the number of views on this thread, seems to be quite a few people following my journey?!?! ;-)
Well it's after 5pm and still no news.
-Main supervisor is not answering her uni emails until end of Nov.
-Other supervisor is on annual leave and he is about to retire.
-Postgraduate researcher officer who controls PhD process for PhD candidates was not in her office and other than the email she sent 2 weeks ago in response to my requests for update (was told to hang in there and she will email me as soon as she receives any news), she is not responding to any of my subsequent requests for updates, although this person has been on annual leave recently (but is back as far as I'm aware).
I've got a job interview on Monday (and possibly Wednesday if I get through the first round of interviews!) so I can't physically go to the department myself and find out what's going on. I've tried to handle this sensitively, remain calm and not annoy them, but my patience is starting to wear thin and affecting my ability to concentrate on other things.
Either way, I'm faced with another weekend of not knowing what's going on! :-(
I suppose I could take this higher and contact the person responsible for overseeing PhD candidates in our department if still not receiving any news or if people continue to ignore me! As well as try and see if I can see my other supervisor in person sometime next week.
Anyway, I'm fed up with this process now. I'm going to try and relax this evening, take a break this weekend, prepare for my job interviews next week and see some friends in London.
Let's hope for good news next week (although I said that this time last week!). (up)
======= Date Modified 13 Nov 2012 12:14:03 =======
No news. Simply told to wait for examiners decision and yet more 'hang in' there comments from supervisor and postgrad department.
Also unsuccessful following yesterdays job interview. Very disappointing as my PhD focused on the population group explored within that research post and I thought the interview went well yesterday! Oh well, over 300 people applied for that post so probably should be grateful to be shortlisted. I lost out to someone with more research experience, so that's fair enough I guess!
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