Signup date: 22 Jan 2008 at 4:55pm
Last login: 23 Jul 2011 at 10:39pm
Post count: 12
If this is still bothering you, would you consider discussing it with your PhD supervisor? I am certain that there is a way around it. You could discuss some strategies with your supervisor. I took a list of my corrections and improvements into the viva, the examiners were fine, in fact, they told me that I was very critical of my own work (which they liked). You have some preparation time available, and you want to use the time you have effectively. If you can't see your PhD supervisor in person, sending them an email would be a suggestion. Sometimes, writing it down and the suggestions to fix the problem (and even the implications) throughout the thesis would be a good start. But you also want to prepare and read all of your thesis couple of times, before you go to the viva. Some suggestions to prepare for a viva (which you probably know and there are loads of books and advice on preparing for your viva), but these may help:
1. Read your thesis and underline all the terminologies, principles etc. in your thesis.
2. Write the definitions in your thesis (opposite blank page).
3. If there are any analytical techniques that you have mentioned, know the principle and what are the merits/limitations. (You can adapt this to suit your field).
4. Re-read your thesis again, and as you are going through write out the questions that an examiner may raise.
5. As you are going along, make a list of corrections in another document (so if these are raise in your viva, you could say that you are aware of this and have fixed it/present solutions). Its not a good idea to show your corrections list to your examiner, this is for your records.
6. On a blank piece of paper, write out a list of questions that are likely to come up. Most examiners begin the viva by asking what your thesis is about. The scope of the project and how this research contributes to the field. For most scientific PhD vivas the examiners tend to go through your thesis page by page (this could vary, they might go straight into your results-it depends on the examiner).
8. Check your references in your thesis, and re-read some key publications.
7. Research your examiner. You must know their research interests and if you have discussed anything relevant to their expertise, plan your comments. It is a good idea to read some of their publications (relevant ones), before the viva.
The thesis is presenting your research that you have undertaken for a number of years, so all you have to do is to relax and be confident about your work. A good examiner will try to ease you in the viva, by asking friendly questions. It is a discussion about science/research. My PhD viva lasted for just under one hour. In the first 5 minutes, the examiners hinted that they really enjoyed reading my thesis and I had presented some interesting ideas. I knew instantly that I was going to be ok. I was very calm and I just remember talking about some ideas and it was over. (Before my viva, I was told that my external examiner was known to be rather harsh.)
I would strongly recommend that you discuss the mistake with your supervisor and get some advice. Remember that you can leave a very good impression on your examiner and they will give you a reasonable time for corrections. Most people get minor corrections. Please don't put yourself down, everyone makes mistakes. At least you know about it now, and not in your viva!! (Here's a thought). Look at your mistake objectively and make strategies (draw a flow diagram of your research in your thesis).
Could you ask your supervisor/anybody else to run a mock viva?
I hope that all goes well with you. Good luck
Thanks for your replies. It seems that the conversion course is ok before doing your PhD. It makes sense I suppose. I am having second thoughts about the course. The course is intensive and it seems good, but I think it might not help me so much. I am glad that you have pointed the obvious. I think I will withdraw my application and just carry on with my voluntary research until I hear about the outcome of research funding application. I could probably publish more research in the next 6 months to strengthen my proposal application. I think I have been getting a bit anxious about the research funding cuts in the present climate. In my department, the number of researchers have been halved. I work alone in the lab (apart from my supervisor). I am glad that both of you have confirmed my reservations regarding the course.
Thanks once again.
Interesting question, I would also like to know the answer to this. I don't think there is any harm in applying for several projects and different funding sources. You don't want to limit yourself or miss an opportunity, particularly in this economic gloom. Most academics/potential supervisors understand this, and would hopefully not take it personally.
Personally, I have only applied for one funding project in the EU under my chosen supervisor, and I am certain (knowing my field) that this is my best option. I am also re-applying for some research funding, I was offered some university funding to start off with, but that has run out completely. It really depends on the field that you are in and how well you network. It also depends where you apply as well, I have noticed differences in the UK vs EU funding.
Good luck with your funding proposals!!
Hello Melifluous, I will agree with most replies you have had. This is going to be counted as a "Minor Correction", should the examiners spot it. If it helps for your viva preparation, just run the potential question in your mind relating to your contradictory sentence and prepare your answer. Please do not worry about it. The main purpose of the viva is to establish that the main logical arguments you have presented are strong (in my supervisor's words: "Is the science good?"). Generally, the errors that you are concerned about are classed as minor not major corrections. Good luck with your viva and enjoy it!!
Hello everyone, I would like your comments and any advice you can offer me. I am 38 years old, and I am a research chemist (BSc, MPhil and PhD) from UK. I am unemployed at the moment, been working on my research without funding for 5 months now (I am not in the UK at the moment). I recently finished my post-doctoral project (about a year). Before I went to uni, I worked in the chemical industry for five years. I really enjoy doing research but I feel a bit limited in the chemical industrial roles. My PhD speciality is very niche, only a few universities in the world would be interested in my work. I am not against working in the chemical industry but I have grown tired of laboratory-based roles, its different in a university environment (particularly when its my own project). I am submitting a funding proposal for my own project in EU (not UK). However, I am aware that it might not work out given the cuts in research in EU. I have grown to enjoy the computational aspects of my research over the years, and I have been thinking about doing a MSc(conv) course in Applied Computing in September. I must point out that I don't feel that I should apply for permanent or long-term positions until I know the outcome of my research proposal in May/July. Has anyone been in a similar situation? Would doing a MSc conversion course in computing help me move into other scientific roles with heavier emphasis on computational analysis and maybe application development? Any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks!!:-)
Hi, I am writing up too. I think most people probably, including myself feel as you do. I find that having discussion on my work or writing with my supervisor on a regular basis keeps me focused. I also have a thesis manager (this could be a close friend, a family member or partner)who checks on me on a daily basis. I hope this is helpful and good luck with your writing up.
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