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Your PhD Viva: By Daniel Osei-Joehene The Unofficial Guide.

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Presentation on theme: "Your PhD Viva: By Daniel Osei-Joehene The Unofficial Guide."— Presentation transcript:

1 Your PhD Viva: By Daniel Osei-Joehene The Unofficial Guide

2 Structure 1.Preparing for the PhD Viva 2.Convention of the PhD Viva 3.Structure of PhD Viva 4.Difficult PhD Viva Questions 5.Useful References

3 1.Preparing for the PhD Viva What is the PhD Viva Exam? –A ritual ceremony as a right of passage

4 The Examiners? 1.Preparing for the PhD Viva –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

5 “Show me the Money” 1.Preparing for the PhD Viva What most examiners expect from an LSE PhD!  “Show me the Knowledge” 

6 1.Preparing for the PhD Viva 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... Anxiety of Uncertainty ! –Role playing (with supervisor/friends etc.)

7 The LSE Convention for the PhD Viva? Show respect for the occasion: –Dress and behave accordingly 2. Convention of the PhD Viva

8 3. Structure of PhD Viva Introduction Examiners questions/discussion Conclusion

9 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

10 3. Structure of PhD Viva Examiners questions/discussion –Sequence of questions Sequential or Thematic order Remember who’s the BOSS –You know your work better than anyone – You are the expert not your examiners or your supervisor!

11 3. Structure of PhD Viva Concluding Section –What would you have done differently? –Plans for future research / publishing?

12 4.Difficult PhD Viva Questions Types of difficult questions –Given what you’ve done there are some problems: Misunderstanding of work needing clarification A difficult question that must be addressed –“Why didn’t you do it my way” or “I would have done it differently”…!

13 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

14 5.Useful References Google “PhD Viva” - caution! Books: –“How to Survive Your Viva:”by Rowena Murray (2003) –“Authoring a PhD:” by Patrick Dunleavy (2003)


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