Examiners and graduates tell me that the viva typically starts with a question like, “Can you tell us about the most important parts of your research?” or “What is your work all about?” It’s a question worth practicing when the opportunity presents.
It is a big question though, so if you’re preparing for the viva, here are five questions that will help unpick it.
When were you most engaged during your PhD?
What do you want people to refer to in your thesis?
What would you most like to build on?
Which of your chapters or results is closest to perfection and why?
What parts of your research are least important? (followed up by “What’s left in your thesis after this?”)
You’re a talented researcher to have the viva in your future. You can think of more questions which will help you unpick this possible viva-opener.