Research Essentials

Perspectives on an academic environment: a collaborative blog by Gill Clough & Rebecca Ferguson

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What happened next: life after the viva

August 29th, 2009 · No Comments

Viva Successes

Congratulations go to Rebecca and Anesa who both successfully defended their theses. It’s good to be all through this nerve-wracking experience successfully. This has to be my favourite photo of the year, (thanks Patrick).

Here’s what happened next for me. It took the research school 4 weeks to send me the letter confirming my changes. By the time I got the letter, I had almost finished putting in my corrections. After the viva, I thought the changes would take me no more than a day. Actually, it took a little longer than that. There were about 4 or 5 general suggestions, like to clarify the definiton of collaboration and move some sections out of the appendices and into the body of a particular chapter. Then there was a table, about a page and a half long, with page refs and specific amendments.

I think, if I’m honest, it took me a total of 2 or maybe 3 days elapsed to put the changes in and check the copy through. I put the easy ones in first – I’d spotted some typos myself and the examiners had identified others. So I checked the whole thesis through carefully. I did the page-ref changes and then started on the more generic suggestions. These took a bit of thinking about. I also kept a careful note of everything I did in a changes document to give to my internal examiner to make it easier for her to check what I’d done. At the end of all the changes I then went through and noted the new page refs – these had changed because of the larger sections I’d shifted around. I then gave the changes to my supervisors to check, just to be sure I’d not missed anything, then I printed it and handed it over.

Overall, I’d recommend allowing a little more time than you think to put the changes in, and plenty of time to reflect and go over them before you have to hand them in. I hadn’t planned to get my supervisors to check through what I’d written, but in the end we thought this would be sensible. It’s good to get a fresh pair of eyes on what you’ve done.

It’s now with the internal examiner. Not sure what happens if it’s not quite right, or if she spots something else.  It feels quite odd not to have it hanging over me – odd but nice 🙂


Tags: by Gill · viva

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