Major Corrections questions! Contacting old supervisor?

18-Jan-19, 08:10
Avatar for Carlucio
posted about 1 year ago
Hi all, first time poster in the UK, wish I'd known about this forum in my first few years! Anyway, looking for some advice now I've had my viva. Basically I've come out with majors and six months to do them :/ Still waiting for the full list too.

Every stage of a PhD is like learning a new set of strange rules and the corrections seem particularly mysterious to me. I have a lot of questions and wondered if anyone can help demystify things for me.

1. Is 6 months traditionally majors in most institutions? (I thought majors was 6-12 months).
2. What kind of relationship am I allowed with the external over the 6 months? I've been led to believe I can email for clarification but can't send written work apart from my final submission?
3. My old supervisor is an absolute expert in my topic and still helped me from time to time even though he left my uni 2 years ago. Am I allowed to share my amendments with him and seek his help or do I have to keep it within my current team. I'd usually not ask but the viva period seems very formal and rule bound, I was concerned I'd break some unwritten rule!
4. Probably shouldn't ask this.. but... Does anyone know anyone who has corrections rejected in the UK? (Asking for a paranoid friend 😉)

Thanks for any help or reassurance, it's been quite a journey as many of you will know!

Addendum - relationship between old and new supervisors is cordial. Think they're in touch 2/3 times a year.
18-Jan-19, 14:20
edited about 1 minute later
Avatar for kenziebob
posted about 1 year ago
I've seen people in my department get 6 months for minor-majors if that makes sense! Basically the lesser end of the major corrections scale but a bit more than fixing typos....

I don't think there would be a problem with talking to your old supervisor if he was on your project at one time. I'm not sure about rules though! And yes, I know a few people who have emailed externals asking for clarification etc. on things but never written work.

Edited to add: I do not know anyone who has had major corrections rejected in the UK. I don't know anyone anywhere really (aside from on this forum).
19-Jan-19, 21:07
by rewt
Avatar for rewt
posted about 1 year ago
1. 6 months sounds right
2. You can usually ask for clarifications and comments but you can't send them any new work
3. Definitely. If your old supervisor is willing to help and it won't offend your current team, do it.
4. Pass, haven't heard about many people get rejected after corrections but maybe they don't want to tell anyone
20-Jan-19, 12:05
by tru
Avatar for tru
posted about 1 year ago
In my uni, minor = 3months, major = 6 months. So you are alright.

If you are unclear about any comment from your external, then you can contact them. But you are not allowed to ask back and forth on your answers to their questions and comments.

Ask you current supervisory team before you contact your old supervisor, just to be sure that they are happy with it.

Most people with major corrections do get through. Revise and resubmit is a more tricky position to be in. I have only heard of one student whose correction got rejected and she ended up with a master but I do not know the details at all as it was way before my time. Not in the UK by the way.
23-Jan-19, 15:25
Avatar for Carlucio
posted about 1 year ago
Hi, thank you for your replies, they have given me a bit more certainty over my direction of travel. I think I expected my viva to be some big reckoning where I would succeed magnificently or fail horribly. Instead it was just kind of 'meh'. You get your PhD but there's a bunch more stuff to do first...

I'm going to ask my old DoS for advice and just work hard on getting them corrections as high quality as I can. Thanks again.


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