Jump to content

  • Log in with Facebook Log in with Twitter Log in with Windows Live Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Submit your paper to J Biol Methods today!
Photo
- - - - -

PhD Viva Freak Out


  • Please log in to reply
16 replies to this topic

#1 Pseudopneumo

Pseudopneumo

    member

  • Active Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
1
Neutral

Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:28 AM

I know this topic has been posted already, and I apologize in advance for the self-absorption of this post, but....

My PhD viva is coming up in about 3 weeks...I am completely freaking out. I have two supervisors. One I could not really depend on as much basically throughout my PhD years (because he had been giving me outright wrong facts and suggestions basically on every aspect from scientific knowledge to administrative paperwork, etc), and he did not read my thesis. The other is a very respected figure in his field and has much experience in PhD students. He single-handedly helped on providing valuable comments on my thesis and is very pleased with the final product and thinks I would have no problem. He also said because I had some publications I have nothing to worry about.

However, I am worried about not bring able to elaborate some of the points in the thesis, mostly introduction chapter where the beginning sections have little to do with my main focus. I freak about examiners asking me specific references that I now find so hard to absorb.

I suppose I just would like some encouragements and guidance as to how to cope during this time. I feel awful and hopeless :(

Thank you so much for listening.

Cheers

#2 gebirgsziege

gebirgsziege

    I like fungi

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 392 posts
25
Excellent

Posted 10 July 2012 - 01:19 AM

everything will turn out fine - and freaking out is normal ;)

you should mainly feel confident about your work, what you did (methods, background, hypothesis), how you did it, your results and most important why you concluded what. Usually you will not be asked details about other peoples papers, so do not worry too much about this :)
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#3 hobglobin

hobglobin

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional...

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,507 posts
94
Excellent

Posted 10 July 2012 - 09:10 AM

and one good supervisor (as far as you described the person as respected and helpful) is enough (and better than two average) and several PhDs don't even have one...a second good is luxury and so you shouldn't complain but accept this.
Good luck and don't panic. Posted Image
One must presume that long and short arguments contribute to the same end. - Epicurus
...except casandra's that belong to the funniest, most interesting and imaginative (or over-imaginative?) ones, I suppose.

#4 Curtis

Curtis

    Metaller Scientist

  • Global Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,112 posts
58
Excellent

Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:10 PM

I added Absolute Vodka to my water bottle and took it to my Viva, and I talked like I could be a candidate to replace Steve Jobs

#5 gebirgsziege

gebirgsziege

    I like fungi

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 392 posts
25
Excellent

Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:54 PM

I added Absolute Vodka to my water bottle and took it to my Viva, and I talked like I could be a candidate to replace Steve Jobs


Posted Image I just had a glass of champagne before the talk - not sure if it helped, but everything went fine, so who cares if it was because or despite the booze Posted Image
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#6 Pseudopneumo

Pseudopneumo

    member

  • Active Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
1
Neutral

Posted 12 July 2012 - 09:36 AM

thanks guy for the comments.....right now I am trying to read the thesis and I found numerous little mistakes here and there..... :(

#7 gebirgsziege

gebirgsziege

    I like fungi

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 392 posts
25
Excellent

Posted 12 July 2012 - 01:11 PM

do not worry, that happened to all of us who already have survived (incl your profs) - and will happen to all of those still writing ;)
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#8 Pseudopneumo

Pseudopneumo

    member

  • Active Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
1
Neutral

Posted 12 July 2012 - 05:22 PM

Sorry for being so nagging about this but

I realized that I might have put in the wrong references in some statements as well...yikes...I hope that those being in the introduction would not be as affecting as if the references were messed up in the results chapters.

Also, would one recommend typing up a list of corrections to the examiners at the beginning of the viva? On one hand it shows examiners that one is thorough, but then it might bring up questions from examiners that they otherwise would not ask or pick up....

Edited by Pseudopneumo, 12 July 2012 - 05:28 PM.


#9 gebirgsziege

gebirgsziege

    I like fungi

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 392 posts
25
Excellent

Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:14 AM

did your supervisor not read your thesis before you submitted it????? If he did not realise this then it is unlikely that he will spot the mistake now.

I would not point out the errors to the examiners - unless they are so serious that they affect the whole meaning of your thesis and one can doubt your results!

Otherwise I doubt that anybody made the effort to check all the referenceces and if they are at the right place - we are all far to busy for this. However I would prepare such a list for your supervisor, and talk to him about this once you have survived your viva - just in case that your thesis gets published.....
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#10 Pseudopneumo

Pseudopneumo

    member

  • Active Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
1
Neutral

Posted 13 July 2012 - 10:39 PM

did your supervisor not read your thesis before you submitted it????? If he did not realise this then it is unlikely that he will spot the mistake now.

I would not point out the errors to the examiners - unless they are so serious that they affect the whole meaning of your thesis and one can doubt your results!

Otherwise I doubt that anybody made the effort to check all the referenceces and if they are at the right place - we are all far to busy for this. However I would prepare such a list for your supervisor, and talk to him about this once you have survived your viva - just in case that your thesis gets published.....


Oh they are just some of the intro references that has nothing to do with my results...thanks for your help as always :)

#11 gebirgsziege

gebirgsziege

    I like fungi

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 392 posts
25
Excellent

Posted 16 July 2012 - 12:08 AM

goog luck for your viva!
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#12 Pseudopneumo

Pseudopneumo

    member

  • Active Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
1
Neutral

Posted 18 July 2012 - 08:48 AM

Thank you Posted Image

I have this one chapter where it is a lot of results but both me and my supervisor are not entirely sure about the significance. Is it alright to ask for examiners' opinion about all the data, since it is a discussion...that particular chapter is more open-ended, and it's a minor topic of my thesis.

Edited by Pseudopneumo, 18 July 2012 - 09:00 AM.


#13 Pseudopneumo

Pseudopneumo

    member

  • Active Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
1
Neutral

Posted 23 July 2012 - 05:10 PM

so it has come to my last day of viva preparation. Istill don't know if I have prepared enough...I feel confident about my work while understanding where the weaknessesof each results chapters are....and ways to carry the research for the next student.

I really feel I have done my best and that I can't really do better....just anxious that I will have a hard time answering questions :(

Tomorrow shall be a chill day where I don't think of my work.....hmm maybe go to an art gallery or something

#14 gebirgsziege

gebirgsziege

    I like fungi

  • Active Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 392 posts
25
Excellent

Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:09 AM

relaxing is a good idea!

good luck for your viva.
A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies. (Oscar Wilde)

#15 Pseudopneumo

Pseudopneumo

    member

  • Active Members
  • Pip
  • 19 posts
1
Neutral

Posted 02 August 2012 - 02:20 PM

So I just had my viva a week back, and PASSED with minor corrections :) It was over 3-hrs long, but I felt it was more of a discussion rather than a Q&A. Towards the end we were running out of time and had to rush a few chapters. I am glad I was freaking out and hence over-prepared, because even the stuff I studied was not asked directly, I was able to expand on my thoughts from reading up things covered in my thesis.

I got my corrections back and one of the most challenging for me was that I used some figures from publications, and, even though I referenced them, my examiners requested that I make sure the copyright issue has been sorted out. They specifically mentioned that ASM has these "copyright-free" figures....and that other journals have the same policy...

Does anyone know about this? Most of my figures were referenced from publications and I do not want to redraw them....I am beginning to feel that asking the authors for permission would be easier, even though I have a large number of contacts I need to request...

[sigh] :(

Thanks




Home - About - Terms of Service - Privacy - Contact Us

©1999-2013 Protocol Online, All rights reserved.