Signup date: 05 Jan 2010 at 8:45am
Last login: 23 Feb 2015 at 8:32pm
Post count: 410
With such a long time between the submission date and the viva I was ready but really nervous too. I managed to eat a good breakfast and a light lunch even though my stomach was churning!
I'm glad to take this opportunity to talk about my viva experience as I am feeling (at the moment at least) that it was a little bit of an anti-climax. I don't know how this will read but I think I'll put it out there anyhow. I think I had built it up into a type of physical challenge - I had prepared various answers; memorised key texts and articles, thought of criticisms and counter-criticisms in relation to each chapter. I was expecting to be challenged chapter by chapter and theme by theme... but the reality was that we had a very cordial, even pleasant chat about the big themes related to the project. I wasn't challenged on any level regarding any point made in the thesis. I was simply asked for my definition of the key concepts that appear in the thesis at various points. I gave my definitions (some prepared; some ad-libbed), and these were accepted. That really was that. It lasted under an hour and I was sent out of the room for 1 min and called back in and told the good news. The chair was very bubbly but I don't think I really reacted - its a very surreal experience. For my minors they have asked me to change my use of two words in the thesis.
Possibly my issue is that I have heard many people say that we as PhD students should take advantage of the Viva as it may be the only chance we'll ever have to talk in depth about our work. I am just feeling that that didn't happen in my viva experience. I'm not sure exactly why, but I just didn't feel challenged at all.
Hi guys - well here is my story.
I completed my thesis after 2.5 years. It sounds good but the reality is that I found myself between deadlines in terms of winter and summer graduation. If I really pushed myself I could hand in early and make it for winter graduation so thats what I did. The reality was about 4-6 weeks of literally getting up at 8am, working til 3pm, going to the gym, spending time with the fam, and then working from 8pm to 3am. I was going to sleep thinking about the final chapter and redrafts, dreaming about them, and then waking up and getting stuck back into it. Finishing the thesis to the standard I was happy with was the most physically challenging (and rewarding) part of the process. I am in the humanities and my thesis was 90,000+ words - each chapter an individual analysis of a particular issue that related to the overarching theme. I guess that's why it was such an "ambitious" (groan - I heard this from everyone from day one and now hate the word) project.
So I handed in on time but had to wait 8 weeks for confirmation of the date of the viva. This was definitely the worst part of the entire process. I didn't know whether I should forget about the thesis or keep it in my mind. In the end up I start prepping about 3 weeks before the viva - reading the chapters; preparing the big questions; and then rereading the chapters and picking out possible areas of ambiguity or weakness. I then spent about a week taking every opportunity (driving, walking to the gym, on the cross trainer lol!) verbalising my answers to try get comfortable talking about my work.
Yeah Sneaks those are really good points. In fact since the 2nd year of my PhD my sup has been talking about exactly that - looking to post-docs that build upon my PhD research...
We will see what happens. All I can do is apply and if this post doesn't work out then maybe something else will.
======= Date Modified 22 Oct 2012 17:35:10 =======
I am definitely NOT counting any chickens whatsoever.
Yeah, the publications point could be an issue. But at this stage of my early career I have two journal articles and one in press (plus a handful of book reviews). Through a bit of networking a reputable publishing house wants to publish my thesis and start negotiations as soon as I pass (if I pass!) the viva.
I think its my stage of career that is going to go against me. Nothing I can do about that though really... (Yes I am still over-thinking things!!!)
Just wanted to throw this out to the forum...
Basically a permanent lectureship has come up in my department. This is the first time in maybe 10 years or more that a position has become available in the department. I am waiting now for my viva date and I am applying for the job. I meet all of the essential criteria. I currently teach on the module that will be one of the main responsibilities of the position. My specialist area would fill a gap in the department as there are currently no modules or MA courses focusing on this area in the department. My sup simply sent me the cryptic message - "If you don't apply, you'll never know."
Now I am NOT saying that I am the perfect candidate or should definitely get the job.
My point for this thread is to ask if you guys have had any experience or stories of your uni or departments preferring (or not) to promote from within?? Would it not be strange for a department to help you develop as a scholar and then say actually you're not good enough to continue in this institution??
At least this over-thinking is taking my mind off the upcoming viva!!
I wanted to throw out my situation to everyone to see if anyone has had a similar experience...
Basically a permanent lectureship been posted at my uni for a Sept 2013 start. It's exactly in my area (basically its expanding the department that I am in as a Phd student and a TA). I have just submitted my thesis and will have my viva in late Nov. I have had a written offer from the no.3 publishing house on my list to publish my thesis (I haven't contacted no.1 or 2 yet), I have a number of publications from my thesis, I am a board member of the national association in my area of research, I teach on the courses that this lecturer will teach on, I have numerous conference appearances under my belt etc etc etc.
My point is I'm wondering why my sup hasn't mentioned this job to me? Now let me say that I have been told that it is not normal to jump from phd to a job straight away (at least in my area in the humanities). I have even discussed postdocs and fellowships with my sup. I DO NOT EXPECT TO GET THE JOB. But surely he would have emailed me and said "LD have you heard about this post?" Even for me to practice applications, or even to use it as practice for interviews...
I'm just wondering how to take this? Could it be he might be on the panel? (He's a very senior member of staff? Would it be a conflict of interests? Should I take the hint and realise that they don't want a early career guy (although the other lecturers are all senior and profs)?
Maybe I'm over analysing this? But I don't want to contact him for him to say, in a nice way, "why are you wasting my time?"
Any thoughts? (Apart from "just email him LD FFS!"
======= Date Modified 14 Sep 2012 16:48:37 =======
Well handed in the thesis today. 321 pages or 92000 words plus notes, plus works cited! (Eeek!) Keep having panicky "did I put that in moments" but I'm sure that'll pass in the next few days (or maybe not!). No date for viva yet - prob in November. Good luck to those close to submission.
This might be a noob question but here goes. I'm doing the final formatting for my thesis and I have changed my footnotes so they start at 1 for each chapter. That's fine. When I convert these footnotes to endnotes the numbering resets when I want to have spearate endnotes for each chapter (if that all makes sense!)
======= Date Modified 28 Aug 2012 12:02:37 =======
Well I got an email today from my sup after I submitted the final draft of the thesis to him last week. I'm due to submit mid Sept. He is happy with the changes I've made and thinks I will need, at the most, a couple of days to complete final tidy ups that he's identified. HUGE relief. Meeting him beginning of next week so I will have a couple of weeks to check formatting (although I've already proofread it twice for typos after submitting him the final draft copy - its amazing how many you see each time you read the bloody thing). Then its just getting it bound for submission.
Those 18 hour days for 2 weeks before handing the final draft into him were worth it!
Lets keep going guys!!!!!!
Well I "quit" at the very start of my PhD. Half way through my masters I applied for a fully funded PhD and was offered the place and funding.
However when I was due to commence the PhD my head just wasn't in the right place, so I took a "temporary withdrawal." I got a real job and lived in the real world for a year and a half and realised that academia was where I wanted to be. I was VERY VERY lucky that they took me back. My department was fine about me returning, but the funding body played hard ball and it took me 3 months of meetings and emails for them to agree to restart my funding.
I'm now about to submit my thesis. I have worked harder for this than anything else in my life and will have written the thesis in 2.5 years.
I have almost caught up with the time I missed but it was that time out of academia that made me realise that this is what I should be doing.
Yep I get £800 a year. But as fellow posters have noted you have to supply watertight receipts and stuff. And then it takes at least 3 months for them to "process" it. Bloody nightmare if you ask me. Last July 2011 I bought my flights for a conference to the States and I only got the money back there in June. Thanks.
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