Issues with my referral

posted
19-Oct-16, 15:22
by Tenzin
Avatar for Tenzin
posted about 3 years ago
Hi everyone - me again!

Now that the initial sting of receiving a referral at my recent Viva has somewhat worn off, I've given the situation some more thought. I don't know if I want to appeal the decision for a referral and continue with the revisions, however the following issues with the process have come to mind:

1. How can two supervisors sign off on my thesis as an excellent piece of work and ready to submit, and then both an external and internal examiner deem the thesis insufficient for a PhD?

2. The internal examiner was approved of by the supervisors as the best choice out of the department, because he has research expertise in a related area but no familiarity with my subject area; however, how can he agree with the conclusions of the external examiner, who is an expert in my field of research, if he is not an expert in my field of research? (He informed me of his agreement).

3. How is it that I am to rely only on the advice of my supervisors in regards to further corrections as assigned by the examiners, if the supervisors have deemed themselves too subjective to be able to judge the quality of my work (this is what I was told by my primary supervisor)?

4. Finally, my primary supervisor is the Department Head. The internal examiner was appointed the Postgraduate Research Tutor after he had agreed to be the internal examiner. The former Postgraduate Research Tutor was appointed the Director of Postgraduate Research, who has now become my point of contact instead of the Postgraduate Research Tutor because of the conflict in interest; however, the Director of Postgraduate Research is a very close friend of my primary supervisor, i.e. the Department Head. So I feel that there is some conflict of interest, so I don't know who to turn to in the department for unbiased advice or even a sounding board.

These administrative changes in the department were very recent, and will last for at least another two years. Thus, should I decide to continue with the resubmission, and should I disagree with the final decision of a resubmitted thesis (downgrade to MPhil or worse, a fail), I think it would be even more difficult to appeal an already complex situation.

Any thoughts?

Tenzin
posted
20-Oct-16, 10:08
Avatar for kikothedog
posted about 3 years ago
The best advice I can give you is to do the corrections exactly as they've been outline for you, resubmit and then move on with your career and life. University politics are hard to win, and decisions are hard to overturn.
posted
20-Oct-16, 10:10
edited about 1 second later
Avatar for kikothedog
posted about 3 years ago
And just to add, if you do the corrections they ask for, you won't fail or be downgraded - I've never heard of that ever happening. So you shouldn't have any problem passing if you make the changes they want.
posted
20-Oct-16, 11:24
edited about 19 seconds later
Avatar for TreeofLife
posted about 3 years ago
1. Supervisors have their opinions and the examiners have theirs and they don't always coincidence. It doesn't necessarily mean one is right and one is wrong either - they are just different opinions.

2. Equally, how can he disagree when he is not the subject expert?

3. Technically, it's out of your supervisors' hands now - your corrections are between you and your examiners.

4. I'm not sure unbiased advice exists in universities - it's a small community so there is always some conflict of interest somewhere.

Just do the corrections as asked and you will pass.
posted
20-Oct-16, 13:58
by Tenzin
Avatar for Tenzin
posted about 3 years ago
Thanks everyone for your thoughts - I'm always curious about different perspectives, so your answers have been very informative.

I really don't want the drama of an appeal, and I'm ready to make the corrections as indicated. I think the only time I'd seriously consider appealing is if I continued to follow directives, and failed. And by then I think I'd be too tired of it all to do anything about it anyway!

Keep correcting and carry on! :)

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