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)

Viva Survivor Workshop Update 1!

A week ago I announced my viva preparation workshop, Viva Survivor, which is taking place on June 29th in Manchester. I’ve been delivering these workshops in universities for six years, but this is the first time that I’ll be offering it directly to PhD candidates – and I want to make it extra special for people who are coming. Over the next four weeks I’ll be blogging here and over on my work blog about the behind the scenes things as I prepare for this workshop; this is my first update over here, so let’s recap:

I’m writing a blog post soon for my main work blog about books, but here is a sneak peek: I’ve created a paperback print run for my first book Fail Your Viva!

PrintRun1

Participants at the workshop will receive a copy as part of their participant pack, and I made a print run of 100 copies to be able to offer the book directly. I’ve created a books page where you can order them from me, and have a stack of padded envelopes ready and waiting to send them on their way. I love reading books on my Kindle, but there’s something awesome about a print book. If print is more your thing, then maybe this is what you’ve been looking for! Check here for more details.

I have some more great things to share about the workshop over the coming weeks – and plus next week the podcast is four years old, so I’ll do something fun over the week to celebrate that 🙂

Thanks for reading – check out the Eventbrite page for more details, and if you know someone who might be interested then feel free to share this with them!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

New Viva Preparation Workshop!

Two posts in one week! 🙂

Eagle-eyed visitors to the site might have spotted a new addition to the pages; that’s a link to a description of the Viva Survivor workshop that I’ve been delivering at universities since 2010. I thought it would be useful to make that connection on here – some people know me for the podcast, some people know me for the workshop, now everyone will connect me to both.

I love doing Viva Survivor, and I’ve delivered it to almost 2000 PGRs around the UK. For the longest time I’ve wanted to deliver an independent workshop to PGRs. I plan to keep delivering the session in universities for a long time to come, but I’ve been thinking about new challenges for a while. An independent viva prep workshop that was open to PGRs from any university seemed impossible for a long time until I visited Ziferblat, a really great meeting space in Manchester.

As a result of finding that venue, I present Viva Survivor, a three hour viva preparation workshop in Manchester on the afternoon of June 29th 2016. Full details are at the Eventbrite booking page, but here’s the short version: Viva Survivor is a workshop designed to help PGRs effectively prepare for the viva. If you come then by the end of the session you will have

  • identified what examiners are looking for when they examine your thesis;
  • discussed the many ways that others can support your preparation;
  • explored valuable viva preparation methods;
  • established realistic expectations for your viva;
  • discussed common questions about the PhD viva.

I want to make this an amazing experience: I want people to leave knowing that they are set for the viva, that they know what to expect and what to do. I’m going to be providing excellent supporting materials, including ebooks, print books, handouts and more, maybe a few surprises to make people smile! And Ziferblat is going to be providing an excellent venue and refreshments for the day.

Sound good? I hope so. Please come! More details and booking is on the Eventbrite page; places are limited and while I want to run more of these in the future I have no dates or plans at the moment. Please share this with others, let them know that there is an independent workshop happening to help PhD students prepare for the viva. Come along and meet PGRs from other institutions, find out how to prepare and what to expect.

If you want to know more, then get in touch: drop me an email, tweet at me or leave a comment here! I’ll be posting details about the workshop over the coming weeks, announcing things that I’m excited about. If you want to know more now then please contact me.

Thanks for reading, and if you can, please help me share this exciting new opportunity with others.

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

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Episode 57: Dr Emmanuel Mogaji

In this episode I’m talking to Dr Emmanuel Mogaji, who completed his PhD at the University of Bedfordshire earlier this year. Emmanuel’s thesis research looks at how the public perceives bank advertising, and it was really fascinating to hear about how his research and how he prepared for his viva. He was a Three Minute Thesis finalist at his university in 2015, and you can find him on Twitter as @e_mogaji.

Would you like to share your viva experience? It would be great to hear from you! Please get in touch if you want to come on the podcast.

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 56: Q&A Special 1

Hello!

A few weeks ago I asked for your questions for a Q&A episode, and here we are! Thanks to those of you who submitted questions; there were only a couple of you, but the questions that were asked are really important to the viva process. I hope that the answers are helpful, I was able to share a mix of some of the research I’ve done in the last few years and also some of my opinions about how to prepare well. One of the questions wanted to know about the comparison between vivas in the UK and in Europe, something I don’t know a lot about: if anyone has any links to resources about this area then do let me know!

I had fun recording this episode, and if it seems like a useful thing then let me know, and maybe it can become a quarterly bonus or special episode. You can find me on Twitter as @DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors, or you can email me. And please get in touch if you want to come on the podcast to share your PhD and viva experiences!

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)