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Your PhD Viva: . The Unofficial Guide. By Daniel Osei-Joehene. Structure. Preparing for the PhD Viva Convention of the PhD Viva Structure of PhD Viva Difficult PhD Viva Questions Useful References. 1. Preparing for the PhD Viva. What is the PhD Viva Exam?.

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your phd viva

Your PhD Viva:

The Unofficial Guide

By Daniel Osei-Joehene

structure
Structure
  • Preparing for the PhD Viva
  • Convention of the PhD Viva
  • Structure of PhD Viva
  • Difficult PhD Viva Questions
  • Useful References
1 preparing for the phd viva
1. Preparing for the PhD Viva
  • What is the PhD Viva Exam?
  • A ritual ceremony as a right of passage
1 preparing for the phd viva4
1. Preparing for the PhD Viva
  • The Examiners?
  • Choose your examiners with your supervisor
    • Who would you like to work with most?
    • Who can help your career (academic/gov/com etc.)?
    • Institutions that have post-doc projects etc.
  • Consider experience & location
    • Inexperienced examiners can be the most demanding
    • Examiners who must travel far
1 preparing for the phd viva5

“Show me the Money”

“Show me the Knowledge”

1. Preparing for the PhD Viva
  • What most examiners expect from an LSE PhD!
1 preparing for the phd viva6
1. Preparing for the PhD Viva
  • Anxiety of Uncertainty !
    • Role playing
      • (with supervisor/friends etc.)
  • Useful Preparation Strategies
    • Write a good dissertation you can defend :-)
    • Familiarise yourself with all aspects of your work
      • What is your contribution - KEY
      • What are the strengths and limitations of your work?
        • you should be able to say something meaningful for both...
2 convention of the phd viva
2. Convention of the PhD Viva
  • The LSE Convention for the PhD Viva?
  • Show respect for the occasion:
    • Dress and behave accordingly
3 structure of phd viva
3. Structure of PhD Viva
  • Introduction
  • Examiners questions/discussion
  • Conclusion
3 structure of phd viva9
3. Structure of PhD Viva
  • Introduction
    • “We want you to know you have passed”
    • The examiners will ask you to introduce your work:
      • “Please can you tell us about your PhD work”?
      • “Please give us an idea of what your thesis is about and the ideas behind it?”
  • Be brief
  • Show interest in your topic
  • Set agenda of the discussion
3 structure of phd viva10

Remember who’s the BOSS

    • You know your work better than anyone
    • You are the expert not your examiners or your supervisor!
3. Structure of PhD Viva
  • Examiners questions/discussion
    • Sequence of questions
      • Sequential or Thematic order
3 structure of phd viva11
3. Structure of PhD Viva
  • Concluding Section
  • What would you have done differently?
  • Plans for future research / publishing?
4 difficult phd viva questions
4. Difficult PhD Viva Questions
  • Types of difficult questions
  • “Why didn’t you do it my way” or “I would have done it differently”…!
  • Given what you’ve done there are some problems:
    • Misunderstanding of work needing clarification
    • A difficult question that must be addressed
4 difficult phd viva questions13
4. Difficult PhD Viva Questions
  • Dealing with difficult questions
    • Hold your ground, but know when to let go!
    • Don’t try to deflect good questions or valid points
    • Be honest - don’t try and hoodwink the examiners
    • Show enthusiasm and interest - especially in defeat
5 useful references
5. Useful References
  • Google “PhD Viva” - caution!
  • Books:
    • “How to Survive Your Viva:”by Rowena Murray (2003)
    • “Authoring a PhD:” by Patrick Dunleavy (2003)