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12 months revise and resubmit finally ended with a pass with minor corrections

I posted on here 14 months ago about my first viva and the issues around that, so thought i'd do the follow up in case anyone in the same situation as me finds it one day. My examination was a bit weird as there were some pretty substantial accusations against my examiner due to a conflict of interest and bias. He was internal so it's possible the uni had a word with him or he just realised he cocked up when he read my 20 page long rebuttal letter highlighting the issue.

The good news is that i passed with minor corrections in a viva so easy it has left me feeling like i didnt achieve anything. it lasted 50 mins and they only asked me questions about the choice of words. At no point did I have to defend the contribution to knowledge, its place in the literature, etc.

It all feels like a massive anti-climax, but hopefully when i get the certificate i will feel the sense of achievement that is so far lacking. I spent a whole year preparing to fight the dragon and take the treasure, only to find the dragon had already died, leaving me feeling like a bit of a fraud walking off with the treasure i'm not sure I deserve.

My first viva was a bit of a joke. 4.5 hours of going through everything asking why a graph was a specific shade of blue rather than a slightly darker shade, and trying to force his own rejected unpublished work into the thesis (which later turned out was based on fake data and fabricated results).

It was a very weird experience, but I hope that anyone else who gets 12 months revise and resubmit can take some encouragement from the fact that my story had a good ending!

The viva had an independent chair so it may be that he wanted to behave himself then, but when i get the examiner's report with the corrections perhaps he will sneak something into there, but seems unlikely.

My viva was awful - need advice

Hi! The same thing happened to me, i'm hoping to resubmit in the coming months.
I think if you have 12 months, then most likely the first months you won't be able to focus on it as it will make you feel bad.
If you are in the UK, your re-viva should have an independent chair, which should help you somewhat. If you think their comments are unreasonable, you can say so. Some examiners are just dicks (mine won't let me graduate unless i use his rejected paper as the foundation for my whole thesis!) and sadly there is no good way aroudn that, but the uni probably won't want you to fail, so you can get advice and they may try to make the re-viva more impartial. I think before you think about quitting it would be worth just taking some time to let it all sink in and die down. For me I was still too annoyed about it even 5 months later and its only very recently that I've been able to sit down and work through it. For me it took realising how bad my examiners paper was and making a big list of all of its flaws, i realised he is a moron and i started to treat it as a comedy rather than a horror story. The uni have assured me that the re-viva will have enough checks and balances in place that he won't be able to do anything corrupt this time hopefully.
Take some time, get some advice from the uni (also students union if you feel the examiner is unfair) and then see how you feel :)

How should I approach a re-viva with a potentially corrupt examiner?

Thanks everyone for all of the comments! the graduate school had admitted to me that if I appeal it, i will win, however they've said the process of them appointing new examiners would likely take longer, so they think resubmitting with the same examiners is the best option and it sounds like the guidance they are going to give the examiner is basically to tell him i've met the criteria already.
The paper of mine in question was also recently shortlisted for manuscript of the year in the journal, so that should hopefully help convince my external examiner that i'm right and the internal examiner who hates it is wrong.

How should I approach a re-viva with a potentially corrupt examiner?

Hi everyone!

I posted a while back about my viva nightmare.

In short, my examiner dislikes one of my published papers that is published in the main journal for my topic, and has already been cited in other papers as he feels another paper is better, which just so happens to be his paper. Its also a really bad paper.
This paper was never published and was submitted to journals for years and was rejected every time.
He then kept insisting that it was at least a conference paper from 2017 and accused me of being academically dishonest for not citing it, making me feel very uncomfortable in my 18 month viva and basically turned what should have been a strong positive (my first published paper) into a strong negative with questions about my academic integrity. Both papers are totally different methods and dont have any similarities other than they are addressing the same question.
I contacted the conference organisers and they have told me they never received this paper, and what they did receive was a presentation abstract. It was also a student conference so there was no attempt at peer-review of the abstracts.

About 40% of my thesis comments are just him talking about his paper, how its better and mine isnt the first to do what it claims etc.

I feel its a huge conflict of interest and he should be removed, but my 2nd supervisor is good friends with him and there seems to be a feeling they dont want to cause any drama, so have suggested i just resubmit, graduate and move on. I do not really feel comfortable with this at all but accepted their suggestions.

I will at least be able to write a strong rebuttal letter and the graduate school will give guidance to the examiners and the independent chair, as they were considering their own investigation into it as I already had several published papers and the university's criteria for a phd appear to have been met. The independent chair should hopefully intervene if they think anything corrupt is going on, but I'm not allowed to tell them my complaints in advance and instead the graduate school will give them "guidance", whatever that means.

My first supervisor is very supportive but I do feel massively unconfident about approaching this re-viva with someone still as my examiner who I believe is corrupt. I am also not allowed to tell the other examiner of my complaints in advance, and i believe he has no knowledge of my examiners involvement in this paper as no one would ever have heard of it.

My corrupt examiner will still be 50% of the decision making process so I am very unsure how I should approach this.

I want to attack him and highlight the issue but he will still have a lot of influence over my fate. What should I do?

I need advice about my thesis revisions

Thanks for the advice! I definitely plan to attack him in the next viva. I've just found out today the "conference paper" presented at a student conference actually isn't even a conference paper, it was never even submitted for a conference. There was a powerpoint presentation that was submitted but the paper never was, actually all that was submitted and considered for the conference was the powerpoint abstract. I have him in writing many times saying i should reference this "conference paper" so I'm thinking maybe I can use that to proove he isn't being fair.

The paper wasn't available on the university repository or on the authors research gate account, when all of their other conference papers are, so I think even they know that this manuscript isnt a conference paper.

I think he has been intentionally lying about it. Very frustrating!

I need advice about my thesis revisions

Thanks very much for your reply, it's very useful!
I plan to do exactly what you say and hopefully it will turn out ok. I've raised the issue with the director of graduate programmes at the university and he has been reading through my complaints but still not got back to me. I think I can address most of their comments with the exception of a few which aren't really about my thesis and just randomly telling me about his paper, but 90% of them are things i can make a good amount of effort to show i've addressed them.
Hopefully it will go well!

PhD viva devastation: Revise and resubmit with another viva.

If it makes you feel any better I also got the same outcome at the start of November, I also felt pretty sick and devastated. I didn't really agree with most of their comments and some I think have been done with very bad intentions, but it does sound like from most people who faced this situation, if they make those changes then eventually graduate.

I think we should both do our best and then graduate successfully! deal? :)

I need advice about my thesis revisions

Hi everyone

I'm currently revising my thesis (revise and resubmit, and re-viva) however there is something I am extremely uncomfortable about and I really want to get some opinions from people who are not involved in the project and are actually impartial. I want to know if I should be upset, or if i'm just taking things too personally. I've asked my university for advice but they are very slow and the issue is eating me away every day. Its been almost 2 months and I still haven't got any word from the university.

In 2020 I published a new methodology in one of the leading journals in my field. Since then it has been cited numerous times and entered the top 10 most viewed papers ever published in that journal. For me I think that's quite good and I think it was the best chapter in my thesis. Its not perfect of course, but i think for a phd student and for my first ever paper its not bad. I then published 2 other journal papers and 2 conference papers, one which was peer-reviewed and one which was not. Only 1 chapter in my thesis is not published somewhere.

My internal examiner however really does not like this new methodology chapter. He has his own methodology which remains unpublished as it was rejected by journals. This paper was written in 2017 and presented at a student conference but not peer-reviewed for that, and later went on to fail peer-review for 3 journals before he and the phd student involved with it gave up on. I have a copy of the paper and its really not very good at all. His later papers on the subject make no reference to that paper either. He gave me the decision of revise and resubmit and re-viva, and my external examiner seemed to favour minor revisions.

He keeps insisting that his paper is better, that his paper made the contribution to knowledge my chapter is claiming and that I should have used it in my work. It was a big issue during my 18 month and again during my viva. I am worried that I can make all of the changes he asked for but it will be impossible to get him to give me a pass as I think this is not an academic issue and has become a personal issue. He has accused me of being academically dishonest for not using his work at my 18 month viva (even though I'd never heard of it as it was unpublished). A lot of his comments on my thesis just feel like they have been done in bad faith, some even taking things out of context quite deliberately.

I had a whole page in my final thesis about his paper saying how good it is but that it wasnt suitable for my work just to placate him, but it resulted in over 1 hour of conversation in the viva (which was only 2.5 hours in total) and about 40% of the thesis comments are also about this issue.

I feel he has a conflict of interest and I do not trust him to judge the work fairly, but I don't know if this is normal, or if its a serious issue.

Can anyone give me advice?

Revise and resubmit - but i don't trust my internal examiner.

Today I received the examiners report. its 6 pages and 1 whole page is about his former students unpublished paper. I just feel this is excessive and inappropriate. No one in the discipline would even know that paper.

Revise and resubmit - but i don't trust my internal examiner.

I did my Viva and was given the verdict of revise and resubmit in 12 months. This was a shock as I have 4 peer-reviewed papers in my thesis, and my supervisors had told me it met the criteria, however of course it didnt and i was devastated for a few days. The internal examiner in parrticular was unhappy with it, despite having less issues with it the year before at the 18 month review, and despite it not being in his area of expertise at all.

A lot of the comments they gave me make sense. My supervisors encouraged me to follow the phd by publication format, so i had an intro, methods section, then 6 papers, then a conclusion. However my examiners said this format is not acceptable and want a traditional intro, lit review, methods, results chapters, discussion and conclusion.


He had a student some years ago, who tried to publish a paper which created a new methodology. It was not very good, and remains to this day unpublished. It was presented at a postgraduate forum, however the document is not available online. I met with this student after that and he told me he had given up on his ideas, but we discussed how I may go about creating a better approach. Which I did. It then got published and has been quite widely cited in the short time it has been online.

However when i submitted my 18 month report, the examiner really had a problem with this paper as I had not cited the unpublished manuscript of his student. Maybe I should have but it was my first paper, I didn't know. I only addressed the methodologies widely used in the literature and the journal had a limit of 30 references, so there was hardly space for any more, especially an unpublished manuscript. However the examiner accused me of being dishonest, basically said it was academic dishonesty. However, he permitted me to pass to the final stage. He also didn't comment on the structure of my thesis (phd by publication), which he has recently taken such a dislike to.

In my final viva as soon as my external examiner mentioned this chapter, i could see a sly look come across his face. When the external was talking about it, he kept shaking his head. Then he went through the chapter line by line disagreeing with it, saying his students one is better and how i should have used it. I really can't believe he is suggesting i structure my entire thesis around an unpublished and rejected manuscript, which just happens to have him as a co-author. He kept refering to it by its citation, rather than ever saying he was involved or it was his student. Im not sure if the external knows who the author of that paper is.

I am not sure if this chapter was a large part of the decision to give me revise and resubmit, and maybe it would be justified regardless. But I really feel uncomfortable about this and feel that maybe its a conflict of interest.

I was wondering if anyone has any advice. Is this acceptable or should i raise it as an issue?

PhD Reserve lists

Hi everyone

I applied to 8 PhDs in total. I was nominated by the supervisors for 4 but was only offered an interview for 1 project that I didn't apply for and another that I did. The interview for the project I actually applied for felt like it went very badly, it was my first interview but I was sure that I wouldn't get any offers. The 2nd interview felt absolutely perfect, couldn't have gone better.

However, I was rejected from the 2nd University and I am on the reserve list for the 1st University.
I don't know my exact position on the list due to an overlap in projects in the offer list and reserve list.
Overall they make 15 offers. Does anyone have any idea roughly how large a reserve list may be?

The university told me they expect about 40% of the initial offers to be rejected, so people on the reserve list shouldn't worry, but of course that depends on the length of the list.

Any ideas?