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



Episode 59: Dr Helen Kara

Hello! 🙂

In this episode we’re not looking at viva experiences, but catching up with a previous guest on the podcast. Dr Helen Kara shared her experiences in Episode 33, and told us about how she completed her PhD part time and what happened in her viva. For Episode 59 she’s sharing her experiences as an alternative academic, and telling me a little about what it means to be an independent researcher. Helen shares some great advice for anyone who is thinking about this as a career path – plus we make time to talk about our recently self-published book Self-Publishing For Academics!

Self-Publishing For Academics - 625sideYou can find Helen on Twitter as @DrHelenKara and I recommend checking out her Amazon author page for a full listing of all of the books she has written for researchers. If you’re just starting out on your PhD, or know someone who is, then check out her book Starting Your PhD: What You Need To Know, it’s 100% free and 100% helpful.

Get in touch if you’d like to be a part of 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, comments or suggestion then email me, tweet at me or leave a comment on this post. And if you’ve found the podcast useful then please pass it on! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 58: Dr Hamish Cox

In this episode I’m talking to Dr Hamish Cox, who had his viva earlier this year at Cardiff Metropolitan University. Hamish’s research looked at creating an intervention for positive youth development through sport. His PhD was part of the KESS programme, and we talk about that as well as how he prepared for his viva and what happened on the day. You can find Hamish on Twitter as @PhD_Sport_Psy.

As ever, it was great to create this episode and I’d love to do more. Please get in touch if you want to come on the podcast to share your PhD and viva experiences: you can find me on Twitter as @DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors, or you can email me. If you’re looking for more information on viva prep then check the Other Resources page, the Archive and my ebooks on viva preparation.

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)