About a year ago I had an idea to interview people about their viva and share their experiences, so that PhD candidates would have the mysteriousness of the viva demystified a little. I wanted to ask people about how they had prepared, what others had told them, and also ask them about their experience on the day.
When I started to develop the idea and talk to people I realised that it was not going to be enough to just ask people about the viva. It would be important to understand the context that they were in. What was their research about? Why had they done it? What had that been like? Did they enjoy doing it? And what were they doing now? What had their PhD meant to them, and what advice did they have for people who were researching now?
Following the name of some workshops that I deliver, I decided that it would be neat to call these interviewees Viva Survivors. Plus it just sounds cool!
Today the site launches with two interviews:
- Dr Shaine Bushell, a PhD maths graduate from the University of Liverpool
- Dr Anna Tarrant, a PhD social geography graduate from Lancaster University
In the next month there will be at least two more podcasts going up, and I’m looking for more people to interview so that I can maintain a regular update schedule of two or three new podcasts a month. Would you like to be interviewed for the podcast? I’m looking for PhD graduates from all backgrounds, all disciplines, all nationalities – whether you work in academia now or not, whether you were part time or full time, had fun or hated it – I want to hear from YOU! The listeners of the podcast do too.
So get in touch with me, either via my work site or on this site. Please tell people about Viva Survivors, volunteer to be interviewed – or if you have any questions or topics that you think I should cover in future episodes please let me know.
Follow Viva Survivors on Twitter at @VivaSurvivors!