Since before I started the Viva Survivors Podcast I’ve been delivering viva preparation workshops, and over the last four-and-a-bit years I’ve been asked a lot of questions in a lot of a seminar rooms. Over the last couple of months a regular series of posts on this blog has been about common questions I get asked about the viva. It’s been great to be able to share these, and hopefully they will help those of you that have the viva in your future; it’s been really helpful to me for in a couple of ways too! I’ve had some more writing practise, and it’s helped me think things through for workshops that I have coming up.
But I get asked a LOT of questions, and as I’ve kept records for most of this year I know what keeps coming up again and again. That’s why I’m using these recent posts as a springboard to my second book, which has the working title of “Frequently Asked Questions About The PhD Viva” – which is a very does-what-it-says-on-the-tin sort of name, so we’ll see if that changes. (I like it though!)
So what can you expect from this book?
In the last eight weeks I’ve shared the following posts:
- Is there a dress code in the viva?
- What if my mind goes blank?
- How do vivas start?
- Does publishing papers before the viva help?
- What if I find mistakes before the viva?
- What are minor corrections?
- What should I know about my examiners?
- What’s the worst question they can ask me?
- Can I make notes?
- How can I avoid nerves?
The ten posts that I have shared on the blog will be part of the book – but writing a book gives me the opportunity to revise and update them. They will not be transferred directly. My current outline has over twenty-five questions that I will be tackling in the book. My goal with the book is for it to be a helpful resource for anyone preparing for their viva. There are some really important questions about the viva that candidates want answers to. Is there a difference between your examiners? Is a mock viva essential before the big day? And just when can you call yourself “Dr”? All these and more will be brand new in the book!
I published my first ebook in late-January 2013, and so it feels right to try to aim this book for a similar release date. I’m not 100% certain that I can meet that deadline right now, but the worst way I’m aiming that by the end of February this book will be in the Kindle Store. It may or may not be called “Frequently Asked Questions About The PhD Viva” but I’ll be sure to update via this blog and the Viva Survivors site with more details as and when I have them.
Until then, let me know what questions you think are commonly asked about the viva! I have my outline and notes that I am writing and editing now; it may be that there is something that I’ve missed though, so feel free to get in touch 🙂 Thanks for reading!