Every PhD candidate in their viva is, at some point and in some way, going to need to talk about their contribution. Examiners will raise the topic and the candidate will need to talk about why their research is significant and original. No small thing, and so it’s no wonder that it might feel tough to do.
When it’s your turn to get ready, think about the difference your work makes. A research contribution makes a difference. Sharing new ideas or a new perspective; discovering something or making something clearer. Helping someone or maybe helping lots of people. Showing that something is true or proving that something is false. Updating old ideas or revealing something for the first time.
Your research contributions must make a difference in some way. If you’re stuck trying to find the words to express your contribution, consider starting with the difference your work makes.