About Me


I love interesting challenges and have been an independent researcher-developer since completing my PhD in 2008. I work exclusively with postgraduate researchers and have a particular interest in the PhD viva.

I created Viva Survivors in 2012: a podcast where I could share viva experiences and also learn more to help more. I self-published two ebooks on the viva in 2013 and 2015. Since April 2017, I’ve published a daily blog post about the viva at the Viva Survivors site, which has lead to my most recent publications, Keep Going – A Viva Survivors Anthology and 101 Steps To A Great Viva.

You can find the sessions I currently offer here. To date I’ve met over 7000 researchers through my Viva Survivor session, in seminar rooms and now online. Get in touch to find out more details if you think I could help researchers at your institution.

I live in the North West of England with my wife and daughter. In my spare time I enjoy reading a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, and am always looking for interesting creative projects: writing, making things, playing and creating for tabletop role-playing games.

Get in touch if you would like me to help your researchers or if you have an interesting challenge. I am always happy to discuss your requirements. If I am not able to offer something you are looking for I am happy to point you in the direction of someone who can help.


Twitter: Follow @DrRyder for me and @VivaSurvivors for the Viva Survivors daily blog!

In a seminar room, long ago!

Photos courtesy of Jen Allanson (top) and Christina Gill (bottom).