In your viva your examiners are, essentially, presenting you with a challenge.
- Can you explore what your research (as described in your thesis) means?
- Can you describe how you did this work and what the motivations were for doing the work?
- And can you demonstrate that you are a capable researcher?
Your examiners want to have a conversation about all of these things. Given the level that you work at, given the work that you’ve invested and given the outcome you’re working towards – and what that means – this is a challenge.
But only a challenge.
Just one particular situation that you need to rise to, after a long series of success at responding to challenges throughout your PhD. Your viva might be difficult. You might be nervous. But that only makes the viva a challenge, nothing more.
What can help you be ready for it? Who can you turn to for support? And what have you learned throughout your PhD journey about rising to challenges?