Episode 57: Dr Emmanuel Mogaji

In this episode I’m talking to Dr Emmanuel Mogaji, who completed his PhD at the University of Bedfordshire earlier this year. Emmanuel’s thesis research looks at how the public perceives bank advertising, and it was really fascinating to hear about how his research and how he prepared for his viva. He was a Three Minute Thesis finalist at his university in 2015, and you can find him on Twitter as @e_mogaji.

Would you like to share your viva experience? It would be great to hear from you! Please get in touch if you want to come on the podcast.

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 56: Q&A Special 1

Hello!

A few weeks ago I asked for your questions for a Q&A episode, and here we are! Thanks to those of you who submitted questions; there were only a couple of you, but the questions that were asked are really important to the viva process. I hope that the answers are helpful, I was able to share a mix of some of the research I’ve done in the last few years and also some of my opinions about how to prepare well. One of the questions wanted to know about the comparison between vivas in the UK and in Europe, something I don’t know a lot about: if anyone has any links to resources about this area then do let me know!

I had fun recording this episode, and if it seems like a useful thing then let me know, and maybe it can become a quarterly bonus or special episode. You can find me on Twitter as @DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors, or you can email me. And please get in touch if you want to come on the podcast to share your PhD and viva experiences!

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Q&A Episode Coming Soon

Hello!

One of the few podcasts I regularly listen to is the Tim Ferriss Show: I highly recommend it, Tim interviews people about how they manage to be excellent in their fields. It’s a wild ride sometimes, and he has a huge variety of people on his show. I don’t think that the Viva Survivors Podcast is a “wild ride” but I think it’s great that there is such a variety of PhD graduates who come on here to share their experiences.

A few times now, Tim has had special Q&A episodes and listeners ask him all kinds of things – anything and everything really. It struck me a month or so ago that this might be a useful thing to do on Viva Survivors, at least every now and then. I used the poll function on Twitter to see if this was interesting to followers, and got a couple of positive votes, and also heard from several friends to say that this was a neat idea.

So let’s do it!

Read More

Episode 55: Dr Anna Mackenzie

The Viva Survivors Podcast returns! I needed to take a break to start a few other projects – one or two of which you might hear about on here in due course – but now we’re back.

In this episode I’m talking to Dr Anna Mackenzie, who completed her PhD at the University of Chester in 2015. Anna’s research looked at gender and genre in the works of Shakespeare, and we talked about her PhD, future research plans looking at Shakespeare and Doctor Who, and her new role as a member of the “hidden academic network”. You can find Anna on Twitter as @DrAnnaMack. She’s previously written about her viva experiences here, and you can read her thoughts about post-PhD life here.

You can find me on Twitter as @DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors. Please get in touch if you want to come on the podcast to share your PhD and viva experiences. Come back soon for details on the upcoming Q&A episode!

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Hiatus Ending Soon!

Long time, no see!

This short hiatus wasn’t something that I particularly had planned for the podcast: I underestimated how involved I was going to be with a new project of mine, and the time that I had for doing any work on the podcast seemed to evaporate into thin air. Now that new project is underway (and another one has been done in secret; I’ll tell you about it in a few months’ time) I can switch my attention back to sharing PhD and viva stories.

Episode 55 is coming up on April 11th, one week from today, and features Dr Anna Mackenzie telling me about her PhD research, how she prepared for her viva and what happened on the day. I think this will be the only episode for April, but then I’m planning to do two episodes for May: one regular and one “special” that I’ll need YOUR help with.

A few months back, after listening to a couple of other podcasts that I really like, I thought that it might be fun to do a Q&A episode: what do you want to know about the viva? About the podcast or the work I do? What would help you? Ask me, and I’ll answer! I’m going to start the prep for this in two weeks I think, so will give more details then. I really want this to be a useful episode, so your help is greatly needed and appreciated.

A quick update on my idea of running a Patreon campaign: after a lot of back and forth on this, thinking about pros and cons and so on, I’ve decided not to pursue this. I think Patreon is a neat idea, but I don’t think it is quite right for how I want to develop the podcast. Running and managing it could become a distraction to making the episodes themselves. I am fortunate that I have the kind of business and life that gives me time to do the podcast (and pursue ideas and projects for my own development) and I think for now that it’s best that things stay more or less as they are.

So to recap: new episode on April 11th, more episodes in May, including plans for a Q&A epsiode, and no plans for Patreon. Email me if you want to know more about any of this, or if you’d like to come on a future episode – I’m always looking for people who are happy to share their PhD and viva experiences, or who are interested in coming on a future special.

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 54: Dr Fiona Noble

We’re back with the first episode of 2016! In this episode I’m talking to Dr Fiona Noble about her PhD experiences and viva. Fiona’s research was on Post-Franco Spanish Cinema, and it was great to talk to her about this, and also chat with her about her viva preparations and what happened on the day.

Fiona has a blog here and has written three posts dissecting her viva preparation and experience, which you can find on her blog in the following places:

I’m exploring the last few details for the Patreon campaign for supporting the podcast – get in touch if you’d like advance notice about this. You can find me on Twitter as @DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors. Please get in touch as well if you want to come on the podcast to share your PhD and viva experiences. I’m planning for 2016 to be a big year on the podcast – I hope you’ll join me on the journey!

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 53: Dr Michael Munnik

In this episode I’m talking to Dr Michael Munnik, who had his viva at the University of Edinburgh just over a year ago. Michael’s PhD research looked at the relationships between journalist and Muslim sources in Glasgow; it was really fascinating to hear about his research, how he prepared for his viva and what happened on the day. Michael is now a lecturer in social science theories and methods at Cardiff University, and you can find out more about him here.

In the summer of this year Michael wrote three posts for the Pubs and Publications blog, check them out here:

This is the last episode for 2015, but we’ll be back again in January 2016. Soon after that I’ll be launching the Patreon campaign for supporting the podcast – get in touch if you’d like advance notice about this. You can find me on Twitter too as @DrRyder or @VivaSurvivors. I love hearing from people who want to come on the podcast to share their PhD and viva experiences – and we’ll be hearing a lot more of them on the podcast in 2016!

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 52: Dr Emma Cole

In this episode I’m talking to Dr Emma Cole, creator of the PhD Vlog YouTube channel, and recent viva survivor! Emma’s PhD research looked at modern performances of Greek tragedies, and we had an interesting chat about her research and viva. This isn’t the first time we’ve talked, as I appeared on Emma’s vlog earlier this year in an episode all about viva preparation. It was great to catch up with Emma and to hear about how her viva had turned out.

Episode 53 is coming up on Monday 14th December, and that will be the last episode for 2015. After the holidays we’ll be back for a new episode in mid-January, and soon after that I plan to launch the Patreon campaign to help support the podcast. I’m really excited to be able to share this with you!

If you want to hear more about this before any official announcements then get in touch. Email me here or find me on Twitter as @DrRyder or @VivaSurvivors. I love hearing from people who want to come on the podcast to share their PhD and viva experiences and if you can, please consider supporting the podcast by buying one of my ebooks on viva preparation.

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 51: Dr Wendy Ligon Smith

In this episode I’m chatting to Dr Wendy Ligon Smith, who completed her PhD at the University of Manchester earlier this year. She shares her fascinating research in to the work of Mariano Fortuny, which involved several research trips abroad. We talk about how Wendy prepared for her viva and what happened on the day, as well as her plans for the future.

If you want to get in touch please email me! I’m on Twitter a fair bit, so you can catch me there as @DrRyder or @VivaSurvivors. I love hearing from people who want to come on the podcast to share their PhD and viva experiences and if you can, please consider supporting the podcast by buying one of my ebooks on viva preparation – if you’re reading this in November 2015 then code FIFTY will get you 50% off all of my ebooks!

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Shout-Out: The PhD Vlog Video

Today seems like a good day to do a shout-out for the video that I made with Emma Cole earlier this year. Emma produces the PhD Vlog YouTube channel and has made lots of great videos to highlight what the PhD is like. I think that it’s particularly valuable for candidates approaching the final year; it gives good ideas of the kinds of pressure and work that can affect postgraduate researchers.

We chatted over Twitter when Emma was doing a series on the final 30 days of her PhD, and thought that it might be fun to do a video on preparing for the viva for her channel. As I prepare this post it’s had almost a thousand views, which is amazing. If you’ve not seen the video check it out (below). It’s just under 9 minutes, and we talk through common viva topics, as well as ideas for preparing for the viva.

Oh, and why is today a good day to re-share the video? Because today, unless something technical goes wrong, I’ll be interviewing Emma – now Dr Emma Cole – about her viva for a forthcoming episode of the podcast! Stay tuned to Twitter or subscribe to the blog for alerts.

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)