Getting Help

Need help for your viva? Here are seven tips:

  1. Know what you need. It’s easier to get help if you can appreciate the gap that help helps with! If you’re not sure, reflect and try to put it into words. Is it a gap in knowledge? Is it a practical gap?
  2. Ask the right person. Supervisors can provide different support to your Graduate School.
  3. Ask early! Most people are happy to help but everyone is busy. If you know you’re going to need something, ask sooner rather than later so you can arrange a good time.
  4. Stay positive. It’s not wrong to be nervous about the viva, but horror stories and bad experiences really are rare. Don’t look for the rare negatives at the expense of the many positive experiences.
  5. Check advice. Most advice shared is done so with good intentions, but it might not feel right for you. Check with another source if you can. If advice seems unhelpful – because it is grounded in a certain research discipline or uses specific equipment – see if you can broaden it out to a deeper point.
  6. Don’t wait! I’ve seen many times over the years where people umm and ahh before they get support. If you need help, ask for help.
  7. Subscribe to Viva Survivors. There is a new post on this site every single day. You can get it sent to your inbox for free, no spam, no pop-ups: this is the blog of daily viva help 🙂

You have to respond to questions in the viva by yourself, but you don’t have to do everything alone when getting ready. Get the help you need.