An examiner cancels with short notice.

Someone involved gets sick.

Technology fails on the day.

You can’t account for every possible viva emergency in advance or have insurance policies against every worst case scenario, but simple things can really help.

  • Find out who the go-to person is at your Graduate School for helping PhD candidates, and get their name and contact details written on a Post-it Note.
  • Check the regulations for the viva, and requirements for video vivas. Check the technology, have test runs with friends and explore other options.
  • If your viva is over video, find out who you can contact if you do have problems (in case there is no in-person line of communication at the time you have your viva).

A viva Emergency!!! has to be figured out, but some of the work and stress can be reduced with a little early thought. You can do nothing now and choose to panic if something bad happens, or invest a little time now to thwart any unexpected situations later.

(and often the little time and thought now usually helps with non-emergency aspects too!)