Signup date: 27 Jun 2008 at 9:54pm
Last login: 29 Dec 2008 at 8:57pm
Post count: 364
Try not to be nervous (hard I know as I was especially nervous!). I know this may also sound silly but try to enjoy the experience. As I said everyone here can pass their viva and although I understand that some people have bad experiences, the majority of people do pass. If your supervisor has looked at the thesis and you know your work (which you do as you have done it!!) then you will be fine.
Also, I was very worried about the fact I have not published my work yet. Although paper's do help, I promise that they are not essential to passing your viva. The examiner's were much more interested in my thought processes and why i had taken the approach I had. So don't worry if you have not published.
Anyway, just to say try not too worry and good luck to everyone who has their viva coming up. I'm really looking forward to reading about all the success stories on the forum!!!!!
Good luck and a happy new year!!!!!!
As I said, I'm sure that each viva is different and diffierent people find different ways of preparing which work for them, but all I would say is definitely don't panic and don't over cram!!!!! I think a few hours each night for about 3-4 weeks before the viva would be fine. Of course, it is a bonus to know as much as you can but they really will not expect you to know everything! I had spent an awful lot of time going over the other researcher's in the field but the examiners were much more interested in my work, not other peoples!!!!!!
I would prepare an answer for the question "Could you tell me a bit about the background that has led to your research?"
Also be able to discuss your results (I practised this by describing figures to my boyfriend!)
I would also think about the future experiments you would have done if there was more time.
The only other thing I was say is try to be confident. You are the expert in your field and research and you are just going to have a chat about your work. I know it is hard but try to think of the viva as a chance for you to shine, a chance where you have two researchers who are really interested in your work and they really want to hear what you have to say.
I sat down and there was a jug of water and glasses and they first of all asked me to explain a little bit about the background of my project. After this the viva was very much a discussion. To be honest they did not ask a hugh amount about chapter one (the literature review) but were more interested in the method I had developed and my results chapters. I had four results chapters and they focussed on two in particular. I got asked alot about how my work may contribute to the field and why I had chosen to do my experiements in the way I had done them. I then got asked "What would I have done if I had more time". I really hope I am helping to reassure people and I know that every viva will be different but I just want to say to people to try not too panic about it too much. Also, try not to over cram. I went in with post-it notes and pencil marks throughout my thesis and to be honest I didn't actually open the thesis that much at all. I did all these post-it notes etc to make me feel that I was prepared but please don't think you had to do this as you really will find that you know a lot more than you think, and once you get talking you will be amazed at what you remember!!
I know that a few people have viva's coming up and I just wanted to share my viva experience to try to reassure people. I had my viva back on the 16th December and my PhD was based in the biological sciences. My viva lasted three and a half hours and although I was very very nervous, it really was not as I had expected!!! I was so worried about it and had crammed and crammed for about three weeks before hand and had completely worn myself out! Anyway, I just wanted to say that every single person on this forum can pass their viva and that the whole experience is not as bad as you initally think.
For me, I had two examiners (the internal and external) who were both experts in the field. The viva was held in the internal examiners office and was very informal. I forgot this but really do understand now that they are not out to trick you and they really do want to pass you. They are just interested in your research and want led you to your conclusions.
Just a quick message (it's quite late and I'm going away for Christmas tomorrow) but just to say a hugh thank you for all the support on this forum. Today, I passed my viva!! (hasn't sunk in yet!!) and I am really grateful for all the help/advice during the writing stage etc. Anyway, thanks to everyone especially Armendaf, Rubyw, Celesmai and of course Lara. I will post a message about my viva experience early next year as I hope it will be useful to everyone who has an up-coming viva. However, in the meantime I hope everyone has a lovely Christmas and see you in the new year!!!
Hi, just wanted to say a huge well done to Armendaf and Lara for submitting their thesis. I haven't been able to post for a while and it was wonderful to hear your good news. I hope you are both having a well deserved rest at the moment!!!!!! Well done again, brilliant.
Ruby: Glad you are well and that you are also nearly there. You have done so much since i last checked in and should feel really proud of what you have achieved. You are not far off now so just keep going and i really hope the writing is going well. Are you still watching diagnosis murder when it is on!!!!!!
A massive hello to toykorabbit and the other newer people who have also posted. Good luck to everyone with there writing and hope that you have a good week.
and no worries with filling you in. I'm working for the national blood service. No research lab work but I am training to process blood and blood products to send to hosptials when a patient needs blood. Most of it is checking blood group results on the computer and testing the blood for viruses, I reckon it is about 70 % computer and 30 % handling blood. I know it is not research and I have a lot of respect for people who can have a research career. I just really struggled!! Anyway, I am enjoying this and hopefully it will keep going ok, fingers crossed.
Anyway, I hope you are well and I hope you are going to have a well deserved rest once you submit your thesis.
Anyway, just to say hi. Good luck to everyone and hope everyone meets their aims for the week.
Hi Ruby: When is your birthday, you say it is near halloween and mine is on halloween!!!! Have got my pumpkin ready to carve!!! Just thought I would say a quick message to say hi. Also a massive well done to everyone for working so hard. Lara and Armendaf good luck for tomorrow!! You are almost there which is fantastic! Well done!!!!! I am sure that your thesis is brilliant and you should be really proud. Ruby, you also don't have long too go and have really made in-roads since I last checked in. Good luck with your work this week, and you also are really getting there.
As for me, I am ok, trying to balance work with viva prep and really now understand how hard it is for people to juggle work and the PhD. I am in even more awe for people who have done both throughout the writing phase. Viva prep going quite slowly, but will keep plodding on!!! Need to pick up the pace a little bit so will do this starting tomorrow night.
Work is ok but lots still to learn. Lara, i think you asked me about it last time
I haven't read all the posts as it has been a while but just wanted to say hi and well done to everyone getting so much done. Also a massive congratulations to Celesmai!! Wonderful news, I hope you and baby are well. As for me, though I would give a quick update. I have been at my new job for 2 weeks (this is the third) and although there is loads of stuff to learn I am really enjoying it. It is science based but not acedemic which was a bit strange at first but I am now getting used to it!
On the thesis front I am now starting my viva prep! I am a little worried about the viva at the minute but I am starting a plan of work starting tonight so hopefully I will be as prepared as I can be. I will also be working one full day each weekend and during evenings in the week. The other weekend day I have decided to have off as a break as I don't want to over tire myself what with the new job and viva prep etc.
Anyway, my aims for tonight :
Blood pathogenesis section in chapter 1! This is a big part of the thesis so am going to spend this week in the evenings re-reading this section of chapter 1, making extra notes and on post it notes where i have quoted a paper I am going to just write, the main aim of the research, what they did and what they found. Then I am sticking these post its into the thesis as memory triggers if i need them!! Well that is the theory anyway!!!!!!!!
Anyway, hope everyone is well and good luck with everyone's aims for the rest of this evening and tomorrow!!! xx
Just a quick email to say good luck to everyone for the weekend. I am so impressed by reading everyone's posts and the progress made is just amazing. Well done and hope the weekend is also good. Lara: You are nearly there!!!! Brilliant news, just need to get it printed now so good luck with that and let us know when you have handed in your thesis!!!!!!!! We definitely need to celebrate once everyone has finished!! Armendaf and rubyw: Hope you are both well and good luck with your work. You have both done so much since i last checked in so should be really proud. Hope you both have a great weekend. Pari: the same also to you! Well done for getting so much done and keep going, you are doing really well.
Anyway, hope everyone is ok.
Lara: I have a feeling that when i next check you will have submitted your thesis!! How exciting!!!!!!!!! All your hard work will have paid off. Hope all the printing goes well and good luck with your last busy weekend!!!!
But i feel i need a couple of days to let it "sink in" first!!! The other good news is that on Monday (22nd) i start a new job!!! I'm really pleased as it is something i want to do and i was also starting to think about money and how long i could go without getting a job before paying the rent would be an issue! The answer was not very long!!! The job is not in scientific research at all so i hope i can do the job ok!! It os only 15 min drive from where we live and fingers crossed it is a permanent job with the chance to progress a bit after the first year! Anyway, we will see how it goes, i am not the world's most confident person so am quite nervous about starting it but i just felt i needed a change from research! I really admire all those post-doc's out there but know that is isn't for me! Anyway, fingers crossed it goes alright!
Anyway, enough waffling on, i am now going to treat myself to fish and chips and then get an early night before going up to see my parents tomorrow!!! My mum and dad are quite funny and wanted a soft bound copy of the thesis even though i am sure it will all be changed what with the corrections etc!! But they still wanted a copy, quite sweet really!!
Anyway, hope everyone has a great evening. Keep going, everyone is doing fantastically well and not long now for everyone!!!
Will post again before Monday to say hi and then will post regularly about how the viva prep is going! Will definitely need help with the next phase so hopefully everyone will still be posting after everyone has submitted!!!
Rubyw: I'm really sorry to hear about your flood and the hoover. I hope everything is alright. What timing. It is typical, when ever we all seem to be super busy, extra stuff like this always seems to happen. Hope everything is ok. Don't worry too much about the thesis today as you have lots of time and have done so much. You are doing so well and hope you are not too stressed with everything that has gone on today. Once fixed, you can carry on and before you know it the thesis will be finished.
Armendaf: Hope you are well and having a good week. Hope also the tooth is ok still and that if you are at football tonight that you are enjoying it. Also, i think the progress you have made since i last send a post is great. Good luck and hope section 3.4 is going well.
Pari: Thanks so much for your lovely message!!!!!!! You have so much enthusiasm and that is really helping us all to meet our aims!!!!!!! You have also done so much which is really fantastic!!!!!!!!! Hope your day has gone well.
Lara: You are steaming ahead!!!! Well done, you are almost there!!!!!!!! You are definitely going to meet your deadline and should be really proud by a) how much you have done and b) by your sheer determination!! You really do inspire me not just in the world of the PhD but generally. Well done and hope today is going well!!!
As for me, i submitted my thesis in to the university this morning!!! I got there for half past eight this morning and because i was the first one they had the copies bound within half an hour!!! I then went to the office to hand them in!! It feels kinda strange and when i look at my copy it doesn't feel like i wrote it!!!!! It feels quite surreal that this 265 page document has been the subject of such an intensive 7 months of blood, sweat and tears!!!!!!!! I am going to my home town tomorrow for a few days and then next week i am going to start the preparations for the viva!
Hi. I am so impressed with the amount of work everybody has achieved over the weekend. Well done to everyone and hope that everyone has had a good day today.
Just a quick mail as still printing at the mo, but just to say hi!
Lara: Re the questions about the printing, I am driving down to the uni tomorrow for the binding (about 130 miles away). I need 6 copies (eek!) but lucky they are only £4 per copy. These will all be soft bound. The uni needs 3, my two supervisors one each, and then one for me! The good thing is that if you get them in at 9 am you get them back the same day, later that morning so i can submit them once bound and then not have to travel down again on a different day to hand them in! I would defintely check out the rules etc for your uni as it might be the same which means you don't have to panic about leaving a few days for the binding. If it does take a few days though don't worry because you will still have plenty of time but i would definitely check the uni procedure!
Anyway, hi to everyone, sorry for all the errors in the message only i wanted to post today but am just a bit short on time. I will post a longer message tomorroe night once everything is in (fingers crossed!!)
Just to say well done Swantje!!! Also well done to everyone on the night shift. I have been doing some reading before tomorrow as i still feel i have missed a load of stuff!!! I know i am not thinking straight as the sup say it is ok, i just feel i should be doing more!! Anyway, am definitely signing off now, i just wanted to give anyone still on the night shift some encouragement and to say i hope it is going well. Lara and Armendaf: Well done for getting so much done today and best of luck for tomorrow and the weekend. PS Hope you are not staying up too much longer, and that you get a good nights sleep
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