Five Questions About Your Examiners

When you’re certain of who your examiners will be for your viva, ask five questions about them.

  1. Have you cited either of them in your thesis?
  2. What do you know of your internal’s recent publications?
  3. What do you know of your external’s recent publications?
  4. How well do you know them by reputation?
  5. Given their interests and research, what do you think they might want to explore from your thesis in the viva?

Of course, these questions invite other questions. If you’ve cited them, how have you cited them? What connections exist between your work and theirs? If you read their recent papers, what is familiar to you? What might you need to know more of?

And so on, and so on – but you don’t need to exhaustively check your examiners. Knowing a little about them helps you to engage with them in the viva.

Ask yourself a few questions about who they are, what they do and what all that means. That’s enough.