Catherine’s Viva

PhD Day: 79
Date: 24 May 2024

It was my first time experiencing someone’s viva. This time it was Catherine who studied dust storms on Mars. Becky and I prepped balloons (we might have gone overbaord with those), Angharad arranged cards and a present, Jake and Louisa sorted drinks, Leah the chef made a Mars sphere-like cake. The viva is an opportunity for people to guess how long this whole presentation lasts. It is usually about 3+ hours. I guess for 3h 00′ 00”. It was 3h 12′ in the end.

What is viva? It is a presentation of your PhD work to a couple of examiners. Once you have written your thesis and submitted it, your supervisor find and schedules a couple of examiners. They read your thesis within about a month or so. On the day of your viva you give a 10 minute presentation. Then the examiners start asking you about your research. Chapter by chapter, question after question. At some point, once they are happy with how much they’ve learnt about your depth of knowledge, you are asked out for a couple of minutes for them to discuss your candidacy for a Doctor. Once you are called back, they announce their decision. It can be accepted without corrections, with minor corrections, with major corrections. The you have some time to make those changes, submit again and then attend the graduation.