I have submitted the PhD thesis for examination more than 2 months ago. I am currently working with full time job as a researcher in industry. While I am still subject to my supervisor as I have yet to undergo viva voce, I am tired with how my supervisor is treating me now. She likes to boss me around with work at university.

She asked me to provide training to new PhD students in the lab. While I don’t really mind do it during my free time (i.e., weekend), she forced me to do it as soon as possible so that she can get the results and publish them in short time. This has led me to ask for leave from company just so I could demonstrate lab techniques to her new students.

Furthermore, she nonchalantly gave my phone number to new grad students to contact me should any problems arise in the lab without my permission. To make things worse, I was the one held responsible to troubleshoot the problems if the experiment was not successful. Also, she just e-mailed me any papers or manuscripts for me to analyze/check the statistics without me being involved in the project. Then I found out that she didn’t even acknowledge me when the paper was published (as co-author/ acknowledgement section).

I am tired of the way she’s been treating me. I know I am still bound to her as I have yet to undergo viva. I am scared to tell her that she needs to back off as this will definitely affect my viva voce. What should I do?

I have been awarded a PhD today with minor corrections (yay!). I am not very relieved yet, because I signed a job contract that says that the deadline to provide a proof of a PhD award is September. I tried to search for the answer in the research regulations of my university but it was not there. I also asked my supervisor and she told me we’re going to try to do that. Do you know roughly how long does it take usually to receive the letter after the viva in the UK? (minor correction that need to be sent to my supervisor).

I am preparing for my PhD oral defense in engineering. It is constituted of two parts: first, a 40-minutes long (public) presentation; then, Q&A with the jury.

Question: Is it advisable to give a handout with presentation slides to the jury?

On such document, there would be 2-3 slides per page plus a large margin so that the jury could take notes, as well as the bibliography with references I cite in the slides. There are about 30 slides, which are very illustrative (i.e. without complex equations, but rather made of diagrams with little text).

The pros would be to make easier for the jury to take notes, to follow the slides (slides are projected above my head in the amphitheater) or to go back if they missed a step. Moreover, most of the jury are not native speaker, when both the slides and the talk will be given in English.

The cons would be that they could be tempted to ‘fast-forward’ and/or get distracted instead of concentrating on my talk. (Even if I do acknowledge it’s hard to be fully concentrated during 40 minutes straight.) They would also not benefit from the explanations (i.e. the step by step construction of diagrams using beamer’s slides).


There are no rules fixed, neither by the University, nor by the common practice in my sub-field. My supervisor has no opinion on the topic.

I submitted my PhD thesis more than a month ago. I was told by the Postgraduate Department that I would have my oral examination in six weeks. It’s been six weeks already and I haven’t heard any news. I heard from former students that in some cases, the viva could take up to three months to be held.

I am so stressful right now. I have been unemployed for more than 6 months now and I am running out of money. Currently, I am living with my parents to cover my expenses. While they welcome my living with them, they seem to be disappointed that I have yet to land a job. Not to mention I have to worry about my viva as well. I have unsuccessfully applied for jobs while waiting for the viva. Most employers didn’t want to hire me because they viewed me as overqualified and they thought I would leave the job once I obtained my Ph.D.

I have reached out to my supervisor to get the information when my viva will be but she said it all depended on examiners. It’s so disappointing to know how unprofessional my examiners are. I know they are busy with their work but to think that I paid a large sum of money to get my thesis examined, it’s just so unacceptable. Does anyone know what should I do?

EDIT: Large sum of money refers to thesis examination fee. My university increased thesis examination fee by two-fold to get faster feedback from examiners. Although my university has changed its policy in viva examination by making it faster hence increment in thesis fee, it still disappointing to find out that it stays the same.

I recently submitted PhD thesis for examination. I have applied to several job positions previously but all of employers turned me down as they deemed I am overqualified for the job. Based on your experiences, what did you do while waiting for PhD viva? It appears that my waiting time will range from 7 weeks to up to a semester. That is a lot of time. I plan to write the research papers but I at the same time I also want to have a job since I am currently not funded.

Is it possible to do postdoc while waiting for PhD verdict?

The evaluation of PhD candidate is done based on his/her thesis, his defence presentation and the oral examination (in some countries). If the examiners do not find so much to argue about, the candidate gets “magna cum laude”. In some cases, he may get “summa cum laude”.

By attending some PhD examinations and reading the theses, I could not find the key factor, which distinguishes between these two academic honours. The publication list was not a criterion as well. Note that I am talking about examinations in the same faculty of the same university.

Since there is no concrete evaluation of the PhD examination, how examiners decide to give “summa cum laude” instead of “magna cum laude”? In other words, what can the candidate do to make this difference?

In my North African country, or at least in my department, one deadline for the master’s thesis submission and one date for the viva apply to all the class (around 20).

I found these standardized dates inconvenient. I expected an individual but reasonable date.

Is this approach common in European (especially British), American, and Australian universities?

(Note: the master’s and PhD programs are separate; one cannot proceed to the PhD without first acquiring a master’s degree.)

Field: Sociology (English)

I am a Ph.D. student, about to finish my thesis draft. My case is a bit special as I didn’t receive any guidance from my supervisors. It is very unlikely that they know details about my work, results or even what I propose in my research.
I have submitted three journal papers but I will receive reviews, not before my thesis submission. As, I don’t have the official approval of my results, so I have second thoughts about my work. Although, I have worked hard enough and was honest in my research.

I request the suggestions about how can I proceed? Is it ok to submit my thesis to reviewers/reporters without my supervisor’s reviews?

Thank you a million in advance