Hiatus

What happened?

It’s been some time since I’ve posted a new episode, and I’m sorry to say that there might not be another before the end of 2016. Episode 63 came out a few days before we went on a family holiday. When we came back we had the convergence of a busy work period and our daughter started nursery, which has added a new adjustment to the flow of our daily lives here at Casa Ryder.

It dawned on me recently that I had forgotten to follow up with a few people who had volunteered to come on the podcast – and then it dawned on me that I had forgotten to even promote the podcast through the Twitter feed. Recently, I’ve been working on a few new projects and a few old ideas, and the podcast has slipped through the cracks as a result.

So what now?

  • I need to spend time to shake up the design of the site and get the Other Resources page up to date;
  • I need to follow up with people who have volunteered to come on the podcast and share their experiences;
  • I need to book a window in my diary to start a new research project and I want to ask both for your help to promote it, and for question ideas;
  • And I need to do another Q&A episode, because I enjoyed the challenge of making the first one.

If I spend a bit of time now and think it through, make a proper plan, then I can get 2017 off to a good start!

In the mean time…

…if you’ve been in touch before about coming on the podcast, expect an email in the near future. If you’d like to come on and share your research and viva experiences, then please get in touch. If you’re looking for viva experiences from a wide range of PhD graduates then check out the Archive. And if you’re looking for a bit of extra support then check out my ebooks and print offerings – including the ultra-concentrated Viva Prep Handbook!

Thanks for reading, thanks for your support and thanks for listening to the podcast.

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 63: Dr Daniel Soule

Well hello there!

In this episode I’m talking to Dr Daniel Soule, who completed his PhD in 2007 at the University of Glasgow. Dan’s thesis was on nationalism and post-devolution elections in Scotland, and we talked about how he did his research, how he prepared for his viva, and what happened on the day.

We also talked about research writing: through his training business, Grammatology, Dan’s worked with thousands of researchers to help them write better. We chatted about some of his experiences and advice for researchers at all stages. Check out his website, and you can find him on Twitter as @grammatologer.

Would you like to come on a future episode of the podcast? Email me, tweet at me or leave a comment on the site and I’ll reply! Similarly, if you’ve got comments or questions about this episode or the viva in general then please drop me a line. If you’re looking for more help with viva preparation, you could also check out my books and ebooks.

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 62: Dr Richard Leahy

Aloha!

In this episode I’m talking to Dr Richard Leahy, who completed his PhD at the University of Chester earlier this year. Richard’s PhD is in 19th Century Literature and Culture, and his research explored the evolution of artificial light in the literature of that period. We talked about how he did his research, how he prepared for his viva and what happened on the day. You can find him on Twitter as RichardLeahyLit.

Get in touch if you want to come on a future episode! If you have any questions, comments or suggestions then email me, tweet at me or leave a comment on this post. And if you’re looking for more help with viva preparation, check out my books and ebooks – you can find details on this site about them!

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 61: Dr Tom Mitchell

Hello!

In this episode I’m talking to Dr Tom Mitchell, who had his viva in February this year. Tom’s research is in sport psychology, and he looked at the concept of identity in English professional football. He did his PhD part time at Liverpool John Moores University, and is now a Senior Lecturer in Sport Coaching at Leeds Beckett University.

Get in touch if you’d like to join me on a future episode, it’s always great to hear from people who want to share their PhD and viva experiences. If you have any questions or ideas then email me, tweet at me or comment on this post. And check out my ebooks and books on viva preparation, like The Viva Prep Handbook which came out last month!

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 60: Dr Ania Gruszczynska

Sixty episodes! Sixty!

In Episode 60 I’m chatting to Dr Ania Gruszczynska, who completed her PhD at Aston University in 2010. Ania’s research is in sociology and gender studies, and her thesis was titled Queer enough? Contested terrains of identity deployment in the context of gay and lesbian public activism in Poland.

We explore how she came to look at this area of research, how she prepared for the viva and what happened on the day. We also talk about how her role as an IT Project Manager, and Ania tells me about her PhD Career Coach service, something that’s well worth checking out. You can find Ania on Twitter here.

As ever, drop me a line if you’d like to be a part of a future episode, and if you have any questions, comments or suggestion then feel free to email or tweet at me. Also, check out my ebooks and books on viva preparation – including The Viva Prep Handbook, which I launched this month.

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

The Viva Prep Handbook

Hi!

Last week I delivered my independent Viva Survivor workshop. I’ve been excited about the possibility for a long time, and to finally do something in this way was great. I’ll try to write something about it soon, but wanted instead today to share something that I made for the workshop: The Viva Prep Handbook.

The Viva Prep Handbook_AIt started life as wanting to do a nice two-page handout for participants. It grew into a small zine, a 12-page booklet dense with practical viva preparation. It’s concise, around 3000 words, and I really like how it turned out. Here’s how it begins:

It may be that you have a luxury of time available to you between submission and the viva. It is more likely that you may have no choice but to prepare in your spare time because of work or life circumstances. This is not a problem. Why? Because this is how many PhD graduates have prepared for the viva. You can do it too.

Through the rest of this concise book I will be presenting tools and processes that you can break down into small, manageable tasks and activities. Viva preparation is not a full time job: follow these tips, tools and processes to manage your time and energy well.

You can see more about it over on the Books page, along with the print edition of my first book Fail Your Viva. It costs £3.49 to have one delivered to your door (and there are options if you want to buy it in bulk too, or buy it with Fail Your Viva). Sales help to support the podcast’s overheads and my business. I like the short but useful format of the zine, and I think I will make a few more guides like this before the end of the year.

If The Viva Prep Handbook sounds useful to you, go ahead and order a copy from the Books page – or via the Paypal button at the bottom of this post – I’ll get it in the post to you as soon as possible! And if you want to know more, just drop me an email.

Thanks for reading.

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)


The Viva Prep Handbook