possible viva decision overturned?

posted
29-Mar-18, 18:58
by anamy
Avatar for anamy
posted about 6 months ago
Hi, looking for some advice. I recently had a viva where the informal recommendation was resubmit for a second viva. I have not seen any of the reports yet. From what I can tell, the decision was based on my performance in the viva (not answering questions well, gaps in knowledge...) and not based on my thesis. I was suffering from a particular acute medical condition at the time which has affected my concentration, energy level, and memory. Basically, I couldn't think straight during the viva and could not prepare properly beforehand. The apparent gaps in my knowledge were not due to actual gaps in my knowledge, but because I was not myself. I would not have been given this decision if it weren't for my condition, I am quite confident of this. I can provide medical documentation of this, and have gotten in touch with my supervisor who seems sympathetic.

Would this be grounds to overturn the examiners decision to resubmit for a second viva? I understand that different institutions will have different regulations on this, but I am curious if anybody has some inside knowledge or experience with something similar. It seems very harsh to judge years of work based on a few hours when I was not myself, and a second viva would be personally very difficult to handle. Thank you!
posted
10-Apr-18, 11:57
edited about 14 seconds later
by nvl92
Avatar for nvl92
posted about 5 months ago
I can't say anything specific, but I would suggest moving as fast as possible. Most universities have a deadline for submitting mitigating circumstances. Is this something you can discuss with your internal examiner?
posted
11-Apr-18, 07:46
edited about 14 seconds later
Avatar for alphaacademicappeals
posted about 5 months ago
Hi Anamy, this is a potential ground of appeal but it needs to be negotiated very carefully. I suggest going to your Student Union for advice immediately. In the meantime, refrain from discussing this with anyone else in the university. A key discussion point with the adviser will probably be the nature - and content - of the necessary medical evidence in support.

Good luck!

Daniel
Founder, Alpha Academic Appeals
posted
11-Apr-18, 15:05
Avatar for Thesisfun
posted about 5 months ago
Quote From anamy:
Hi, looking for some advice. I recently had a viva where the informal recommendation was resubmit for a second viva. I have not seen any of the reports yet. From what I can tell, the decision was based on my performance in the viva (not answering questions well, gaps in knowledge...) and not based on my thesis. I was suffering from a particular acute medical condition at the time which has affected my concentration, energy level, and memory. Basically, I couldn't think straight during the viva and could not prepare properly beforehand. The apparent gaps in my knowledge were not due to actual gaps in my knowledge, but because I was not myself. I would not have been given this decision if it weren't for my condition, I am quite confident of this. I can provide medical documentation of this, and have gotten in touch with my supervisor who seems sympathetic.

Would this be grounds to overturn the examiners decision to resubmit for a second viva? I understand that different institutions will have different regulations on this, but I am curious if anybody has some inside knowledge or experience with something similar. It seems very harsh to judge years of work based on a few hours when I was not myself, and a second viva would be personally very difficult to handle. Thank you!



At present, you have not achieved the standard required of a PhD, so it is quite right that you should not pass. You would have been aware from the start that the assessment process comprised both a written and verbal element.

Whilst the university should make allowances for a medical condition, these allowances should be around the format/ process (e.g. extra time) rather than the standard.

You describe this as an acute condition (not chronic), so I fail to understand why a second chance should be a problem following recovery!

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