- Any one was requested for resubmission and re-examined for PhD
First of all my supervisor was almost away from his students although his office is in the lab :(. He was not supportive at all and the most important for him is to come 9:30am and leave after 5:00pm. I am not a native English, I came from a main language Arabic country. I wrote the whole thesis and was asking different ppl in the dept and from outside the uni for how to do this and explanations. Any way I submitted and the examiners on the viva were asking for microorganisms I did not mention in my thesis (it was about interaction of amoeba with viruses). I said its not in the scope of my thesis or study 2-4 times :(, which I read recently I was not suppose to do so. After they asked me to wait out side for few minutes, they offered me either MPhile with corrections or to resubmit and re-viva within one year. Their report said I defended my work fluently, it complies with the uni regulations, it is worth publication and the abstract is approved.
The draw backs they said (He was less able to discuss relevant, his background was very week in microbiology both in general and specific areas related to my work). The internal agree and adds, student performance in viva was inadequate and he also added that I lacked both breadth and depth to respond to the questions.
I chose resubmission and re-viva (it’s next week) :(, Sorry for the long story. Any advice?
Many thanks for every one in advance.Posted 6 years agonilleMember
It’s a difficult one. Typically a supervisor should only encourage you to submit the thesis if he/she is certain that your work, knowledge and personality is adequate for the award of a PhD. So from that prospective it seems as if your supervisor doesn’t know how to do his job. The fact that the examiners questioned you on something not directly related to your work is nothing I am surprised about. We were always told that examiners can ask you about anything they want to during the viva. You obviously won’t be able to know everything within your field of science (i.e. biology) but you should be able to have an opinion and some thoughts on most of it, even though it might only be very shallow. The next time, don’t tell them it’s not part of your work; pause, answer the question to the best of your abilities andshow them that you can come to a conclusions based on your knowledge. A good examiner will always get you to the edge of your abilities and beyond but will also realised when you are out of your compfort zone and make sure to get you back into it.
Talking about viva preparation in particular: The only thing I would advise is to have a look into the work of your examiners. You should know about everything that they have done in their carrers; people mostly talk about things they are compfortable with so its likely that examiners will draw the discussion to something they have been working in.
Last but not least: don’t stress yourself. It’s difficult but essential as otherwise you won’t be able to get your thoughts together.
Good luck!!Posted 6 years agoOnzadogSubscriber
Is it me or is stw an odd place to create a new account just to ask a question like this? Of course,there’s always at least one sensible answer. Is stw known to the outside world as knowing something about everything? Are we collectively some sort of global think tank?Posted 6 years agozokesMember
I’d agree with Nille here. Whilst doing my post doc, I saw two friends with perhaps mediocre theses go through their vivas. One whose thesis was by far the poorer of the two came out with minor corrections as he did a very good job of defending it, and also impressed the examiners with his broad knowledge of the wider field, and willingness to stand up for his views and interpretations. The second, whose thesis was much better, just meekly sat there and wasn’t willing at all to go outside her comfort zone. Sadly, she got given the choice you’ve already faced.
So in summary, read up not just about your work, but about anything vaguely related, and most of all, don’t be afraid to say “I’m not quite familiar with that work / concept, however…., because….” Then relate that back to your own thesis in some way.
And yes, know what your examiners have done in the past – they will expect you to. It also helps that you know where their expertise really is….Posted 6 years agochewkwMember
Onzadog – Member
Is it me or is stw an odd place to create a new account just to ask a question like this? Of course,there’s always at least one sensible answer. Is stw known to the outside world as knowing something about everything? Are we collectively some sort of global think tank?
I am watching you …Posted 6 years ago
Hang on a minute. If you re-submit without making any significant changes then surely you’ll get the same judgement? Anything else wouldn’t make any logical sense.
I’d take some serious advice on this from your department. If you re-submit and fail again (see above), then I don’t think you’ll be able to submit it a third time, not in its current guise (as far as I understand it). You’d need to change its scope and maybe even try a submission at a different institution.
This could all unravel very quickly. If you’re PhD standard then you need to do some research on this!Posted 6 years ago
Thank u all very much for ur replies.
reggiegasket: yes I’ve been asked to correct typos and language mistakes, restructure my thesis, add other litrature in the introduction about certain bacteria, write what the results means in the some parts of the discussion, title and the hypothesis, aims and objective should express what I’ve done. I’ve done that all if not 95%. The most important point is the connection between the 2 areas in my thesis I did not point it out clearly in the thesis (it was indirectly) but I can explain it with references from different studies one 1984 and the second 2010.
ac282: I have a postgraduate tutor who was appointed to follow with me after the first follower said I have to send to my supervisor in USA, since my work is not of his major. The postgraduate tutor is nice guy but he only follow up with me on language basis not content basis:(.
Again, thank u for ur participations which expand my thinking.
Brakeswithface: yes they r the same examiners.Posted 6 years ago
okay, so some decent changes then.
I’d just make sure the scope is very clear, early on. And motivated well too. Clearly there are disagreements as to what should and shouldn’t be in the thesis, from the examiners, so you need to be very clear about this.
I’ve seen this happen before. Supervisor+student think one thing, and the examiners have a different perspective on what should be covered, or the overall purpose of the research. This needs to be nailed down well and early.
Your supervisor is the main person here though. You’ve got to get him/her on board and fully behind you.Posted 6 years ago
And the award for the most obscure thread goes to……?
I suspect there are a few (ex)PhDers online trying not to do some research….
If your supervisor is not getting involved then this is a poor show – and I’ve seen it happen a lot. I’d maybe even consider pre-empting the second viva by sending out some emails to various other key academics (HoD, examiners etc.) pointing out that the supervisor has not been there and that you have concerns – if the viva is unsuccessful then the supervisor has a responsibility to this. Just to cover your back if it gets messy.Posted 6 years agotonyg2003Subscriber
This is a very strange post. The USA/UK stuff feels wrong.
If it is true then I wouldn’t be surprised if this is someone self funding their PhD and getting treated badly by a supervisor. Poor supervision happens far too frequently. I’ve supervised a few – hopefully good ones – they all past and are in science still – in the past.Posted 6 years ago
I am in the university in the UK, but my supervisor was searching for a work in USA (I think, or I don’t know how did he found it) in the same field and when he found it, he joined it. So only my supervisor in USA and the all of his students (including) are in the UK, and were appointed different ppl to follow up with. This happened at the month I transferred from full time post-grad. student to a writing-up.
I am funded by my government not by my supervisor.
P.S. Both of my supervisor and the head of the dept. are friends.
I appreciate all your feedback, I already corrected my thesis that I’ve submitted and now it is in the hands of the examiners and reading continuously either related or around my subject.Posted 6 years agoTiRedMember
Congratulations. Looks like poor supervision on behalf of your supervisor with constructive comments from your examiner. Your supervisor should have warned you that a viva is an examination to establish that the work is yours, of suitable quality for publication, and that you have sufficient knowledge in the wider field around your research. Typos and language aside, you fell at the last hurdle – one I suspect you were not expecting.
Anyway congratulations again.Posted 6 years agoolympusMember
I’ve just read this post start to finish, like an enthrawling novel! I was worried that it would end badly but it didnt!
I enjoyed the “What bike do you ride” bit!
I’m a PhD student too and I really feel for you getting a turn of a supervisor! <ine is great, he’s so helpfully if not hard at times but he’s got me published which should help me for my viva.
Congratulations Mohammed, all the hard work paid off, no one can take this from you now.
Three cheers for Dr. Mohammed. Ph.D.Posted 6 years agocoffeekingMember
he is one of the ppl that does not want to do any kind of support to his students even if he is here in UK.
To be honest, from many people I’ve spoken to a supervisor who’s around and helpful is a rarity. You should have a second supervisor (permanent staff, NOT postdoc ideally), though it’s not uncommon to have little contact with them. Part of a PhD is learning to get on without feedback and see if you can find your own way with your own ideas and your ability to see how that may affect unrelated areas, clearly you didn’t demonstrate that in your first viva, yet did in your second, well done on the second chance!
Congratulations Mohammed, all the hard work paid off, no one can take this from you now.
Oh they can, in extreme circumstances 🙂Posted 6 years ago
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