Near & Far

An examiner is an examiner. It doesn’t matter if they’re your internal or external, physically close or based overseas; it doesn’t matter if they’re near to your research area or far away. Treat them the same for your preparations. They may have different roles and different perspectives they bring to the viva, that’s fine. You might view them through different lenses, but make sure you cover the basics for both in your preparation:

  • What have they published recently, say in the last two years? You don’t need to become an expert, but check that you’re up to date on their most recent work in case it is relevant. In some ways it will influence their perspectives.
  • What are they most interested in? Look at their staff pages. If any of their interests are alien to you, then find out a little, enough of the basics so that you know the language of that area.
  • What are they known for? Be sure that you know the important stuff about them. What they’ve done, what they’ve achieved and what they’re expert in.

Remember that you too are justifiably an expert now. Whatever their questions and wherever they come from, you have a particular expertise that you can use to take part in the discussions of the viva.