Guest blog post on STEPS

stepsThis week’s blog post is published on STEPS, a University of Manchester PGR blog. In this blog post I discuss the questions asked during my viva which may be of interest to those looking for more examples of viva questions. Please click on this link to read my blog post:

Image by rahego via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

My interview on Viva Survivors

Last week I was interviewed by Nathan Ryder of Viva Survivors and talked briefly about my viva experiences. Please have quick listen by clicking on this link:

If you’re interested in sharing your viva experiences (the good, the bad and everything in-between) do get in touch with Nathan Ryder via Twitter (@DrRyder) or @VivaSurvivors

Image via Colleen AF Venable (CC BY SA 2.0)

Thesis corrections submitted (whew)

I had my viva several weeks ago but since then it’s been full steam ahead! I was so focussed on preparing for my viva that I put off preparing for my lectures until the weekend before teaching started. Basically, I’ve been on catch up mode ever since!

This post is a short one on my experiences completing thesis corrections. In the UK PhDs have different categories based on the number/type of corrections requested by the examiners. The time allocated to carry out the corrections is calculated by the examiners according to how much they think you can do in a certain amount of time. It’s not an exact science so there’s a range of interpretations.

I was given four weeks to complete my corrections. What I found out was that four weeks did NOT mean that I had a full four weeks to work on my corrections. In actual fact I had three weeks, with one week for the external examiners to read and approve my corrections, then send it back so that I can submit the final version of my thesis.

You’d think this would be a huge motivator to get my corrections done asap, but the fact was that I left the bulk of the work to do during the third week. I can’t really pin point why. I could say I was busy with other responsibilities, but I think after my viva I was feeling tired. Like deep-down tired. So I took a week off. Did nothing thesis related. Week two I started on the more straightforward corrections: fix these typos, check this reference, change this word etc.

My third and final week was when the panic settled in, and I went in hard, completing the main bulk of my corrections. I finally submitted the revised version of my thesis to my examiners by 5pm on the day they were due. I know it wasn’t the best use of my time, but strangely don’t feel guilty about putting off doing the work. Anyhow, I should hear the outcome from my examiners sometime next week so, fingers crossed, it’ll be enough.

Image my own. Supervisors notes from viva.