I need some input for my viva/defence...

  1. as it will take place very shortly.

    fellow tPFers that you have gone through this:

    please tell me whether it will be ok (haha.....).

    no seriously, did you have the dreaded question:

    sum up your PhD in one sentence (like WTF?)

    what was the main focus of questioning?

    also, those of you who have been examiners - is there like a standard thing you consider?

    what do you find necessary / impressive?

    i cant believe that it comes down to these couple of hours after 3.5 years of hard work.

    what if it all goes wrong??? ah..... my immediate future would seriously be under jeopardy bec I would lose some vital opportunities..
  2. Hi Lara,

    Sorry, that I do not have answers to your questions, but I do wish you the very, very best!!! :tup:

    Keep us posted on how it goes!
  3. I didn't have the 'sum up your phd in one sentence' question for any of my oral exams. If I'd been asked that I'd have really stupidly said "It's in Atomic Physics..."

    These are from my experience in my Masters oral exam:

    Anybody who could pick holes in my presentation, did.

    Anybody who thought my research was remotely related to their research always asked me the question "How does your research relate to {what their research was}"

    Once you get to the point of having a Ph.D defense remember that you know more about yout thesis topic than your adviser.

    Questions can be about anything that anyone feels like asking at the time - unfortunately in my university Ph.D defenses are open to the public, unlike Masters or proposal defenses which are not.
  4. I always thought that if things go south during the defense it was part the student's fault and part the commitee's fault. I thought it was going to be real confrontive but it really was not, and essentially I was asked to explain the dissertation but my chair had gone over this stuff with me.
    When it was over they asked me to step out, then about 20 minutes later my chair called me back in and there was my commitee, all holding glasses of champagne, and at the same time said: Congratulations Dr! Traditionally, this is supposed to be the first time you are addressed as Dr.
  5. hm, in UK defence meetings are technically open to the public but not attended by anyone in reality other than your supervisor and the internal and external examiner. so really, what the external asks goes - there are only these 2 questioning you as your supervisor is only sitting in.

    in a way that is good but at the same time you just dont know - if that person has a bad day....

    yep I agree, if it goes really bad, surely the student doesn't know their stuff. i feel confident about my analysis but still, you just never know.

    anyways, we will see.

    thanks a lot for your input, I do feel a little bit less stressed, as it seems that in the end it is down to me as much as the external.
  6. I am sure it will be fine! I've never met anyone who "flunked" their defense before! You have poured your heart and soul into your research for 3.5 years so you obviously know it inside out, including your research limitations. You will rock it!
  7. I'm preparing for my Masters defense right now too!!! In my department the defense meetings are really just a formality to make sure you did everything right, etc. Sure, you get hard questions....but I feel like the proposal is where they really beat up on you so that you don't go out there and mess up the research!

    I'm sure you'll do fine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sleep well the night before...dress fabulously...and be confident!!!
  8. Wow! Good luck! Sum up your Ph.D. in one sentence? How about "Thank F-ing God it's almost done?!?!"