What’s The Connection?

It helps to read your examiners’ recent publications before your viva.

Look for connections between your work and your examiners’ research. Look for similar terminology. Check to see if they have done work like you or something a little different.

Finding connections doesn’t make the viva easier: it gives you reference points you can connect to and ideas of how you can relate your research in the discussion.

Noticing that there aren’t many or any connections doesn’t make the viva harder: you may have to explain some ideas in more depth, but also trust your examiners to do their homework to be ready to talk with you.

It’s not good or bad to find connections, it’s not good or bad to realise there are few or none. Checking, noticing and reflecting helps you to think through what you need to do next in your prep and in the viva.