August 16, 2019
We now adopted for the second time the approach to run a webinar twice, once on our usual Saturday 12.00 UK time, and repeating it again one and a half week later at a Wednesday at the same time. This turned out to be actually well received and we thus will consider repeating such an approach in subsequent webinars.
As for the subject itself, the Viva seems to get lots of attention and this webinar on ‘Getting major changes in the Viva’was not that different. In the two webinars that we ran on this topic we had a couple of attendants that just went out of the Viva with majors, and while this sure is disappointing, all of them felt that their viva was a fair, the atmosphere was friendly, and the examiners were very supported in detailing the various aspects that they would like to see improved. This in itself should be reassuring to those that still have the viva ahead. Through these two webinars we reflected on personal experiences of the Viva participants, as well as looking into concrete examples of feedback provided by Viva examiners, how to read it, what it means and asks for, and how the corresponding changes might be realized. One crucial question at this point that students might want to ask themselves: do you understand why you got major changes? And if so, do you know how to address these? And if not: what is your strategy to get to this understanding (…and then do the changes)?
The webinar also looked at how to address changes. This question is in so far tricky since chapters are written in a linear way, as much as the examiners’ feedback provided to you on a chapter by chapter base, while your research itself was likely not linear. And consequently, the different points put forward in the Viva Report might thus not to be addressed in a linear way, or in isolation. Therefore, instead of working by the check-list, we discussed on how one could gradually ’mirror out’ on what needs to be address for each of the Examiners’ revision points.
In the closing we also highlighted again, that we at the DoctorateHub are offering a free review of your Viva examination report providing some high level feedback and direction to you. If you like to take advantage of this, just send us in your Viva examination report.
Following is a sample of the slides from the webinar for reference. Those attending the webinar received a full set via email.
The full slide deck is also available at the Peers4Progress class room, which provides you with a meeting place to support ongoing discussions, and collect and share resources. PLEASE NOTE: to access Peers4Progress, you will need to LOG-IN to the training space and then self-enroll at the Peers4Progress board. For newcomers to the training space: you can create an account free of charge – follow this link to create your account.
For those that want to learn more about how to ‘Address Major Changes’, please do consider our advanced course on ‘Rebuilding your Thesis: Addressing Major Changes’,our mentoring or coaching services, or attending one of our workshops or residencies. You are also very much welcome to reach out to us for any further questions that you might have.
The next webinar will be held at 12noon (UK/GMT time) on 24th August 2019, covering ‘How to Identify and Defend your Research Methods and Methodologies’. Register here for this next or one of the upcoming webinars.