Make A Timeline

Go back through your calendars, diaries, lab books, log books and records for the last few years of your PhD. Your memory can trick you sometimes. Sometimes you can forget what you did when – or even what you did at all.

Map out the years of your research. When did you ask that question? When did you complete that project? When did you give that great presentation? When did you find yourself becoming talented at something?

Mark it all down. By doing it you’ll help yourself in two ways. First, you’ll have explored more detail that you can share with your examiners in the viva. This will help you answer questions and engage in discussion.

Second, and in my opinion, more importantly, you’ll see just how far you’ve come. You’ll see the story of your talent: this is you. This didn’t just happen. You did this. You made all of this happen. You’ve had success. And you can continue that success in your viva.