The Podcast is 3! Plus Ebook Offer

On the 6th of June 2012 I started the podcast, which means that this Saturday is the 3rd birthday! I don’t have cake and ice cream unfortunately, but I am still pretty excited that the podcast is something that resonates with a lot of people. I love hearing from people have found it useful – and from people who want to join me on the podcast to share their experiences.

It’s also around this time of year that I have to pay the hosting bill for the podcast *sad face* I’ve resisted putting a donate button, but am now thinking that might be a good way to cover the various expenses of running the site. What do you think? Good idea?

To help with covering the hosting, and as a way of celebrating the third birthday, I’ve set up some special offer codes for my two books on viva preparation. These codes work for buying the ebooks via Payhip, where you can get them in .mobi and .epub formats.

  • If you click here you can see my books, and by using code PODCAST3 you can get 10% off!
  • And as a special bonus, if you want to buy the Viva Books Bundle, use the code VSPEXTRA to get 20% off!

The codes are good until midnight on Sunday 7th June 2015. And on Monday there will be a brand new episode, where I’m talking to Dr Malcolm Craig about his PhD and viva, and what’s he up to now. If you want to join me on a future episode then just get in touch, I’m always looking for more people who want to share their PhD and viva experiences, and help others with their preparation.

Thanks to everyone who has been on the podcast in the last three years, to everyone who has listened and shared them, and to everyone who has helped me get this far. I’ve got ideas and plans for the future, so let’s see what the next year brings. Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Calling all PhD Graduates!

The Viva Survivors Podcast is almost three years old! I can’t believe it personally, it seems like only yesterday that I was sat on my friend Shaine’s couch, hoping that the app I had downloaded was going to work fine and that his daughter would stay asleep while we chatted about his research and viva.

Forty episodes later and here we are. I’ve had to take time off every now and then, but am really feeling back in the flow again now. Part of this is having a loose schedule to work towards, of releasing two episodes a month, give or take. This has been easier in the last six months because at times I’ve recorded several podcasts in a very short space of time and then released them every few weeks.

I’m writing now because I need YOUR help to make the next few episodes happen. Can you come on the podcast and share your experiences? Or do you know a PhD graduate who would be happy to share their PhD and viva stories? I’m looking for three kinds of interviewees at the moment:

  • PhD Graduates: full time, part time, recent or from years ago, I want to hear from you and hear all about your research and experiences. Many more people want to hear what your viva was like too!
  • Academics: I’ve so far made two Academic Job Specials, and these have been really popular in helping people think through different aspects of pursuing and maintaining academic jobs and careers. Academia is in the mind a lot around viva time for many people – your experience and advice could really help.
  • Examiners: Have you examined PhD theses and conducted vivas? You have really valuable ideas about the other side of the viva, and this could be hugely helpful to those who listen to the podcast. Dr Katy Shaw shared her experience of being an examiner in Episode 32. Your advice could also really help.

I’ve got a few weeks coming up where I will be largely working from home; I’ll be using some of this time to play with my daughter, some of it to start writing my next book and I want to use some of it to record the summer slate of podcasts. It may be that if you were interviewed in the last week of May that your Episode would not debut until the end of August – but if you have the time now it will be hugely helpful in maintaining the podcast this year.

If you want to come on the podcast, for any of the three possibilities mentioned above then please get in touch – either email me, tweet @VivaSurvivors or @DrRyder or leave a comment on this post. If you know someone else who would be great to have on the podcast, or have an idea of a viva-related area that you think would be good to explore then let me know too.

I’ve loved doing this podcast for the last three years, and look forward to doing it for a long time to come. Please help me make that happen.

Thanks for reading!

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

PS: I have a new book out!

Support the Podcast!

Episode 40: Dr Chloe Sharp

In this episode I’m talking to Dr Chloe Sharp, who had her viva in January 2013. Chloe did her PhD at the University of Bedfordshire and her thesis  was titled “Examining the relationships between deceased organ donation, gift exchange theory and religion: a Polish perspective.” Once again, it was fascinating for me to hear about a research topic very different to my PhD! You can find Chloe on Twitter as @formalcuriosity, and check out her website Formalised Curiosity for articles on research and more information about her work. You can find the article about common viva questions that Chloe wrote here.

If you’ve got any questions or comments about this episode, then comment on this post, tweet @VivaSurvivors – or email me! And please get in touch if you’d like to appear on a future episode. I’m always looking for PhD graduates ready to share their research and viva experiences. I’m also looking for academics happy to talk in future specials on Academic Jobs or being an examiner.

Thanks for listening! (and reading!)

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

The Viva: Who? What? How? is out!

"The Viva: Who? What? How?"

The Viva: Who? What? How? is out now!

What is this?

An ebook. Twenty-seven chapters, nearly 20,000 words, and answers to the most frequently asked questions about the PhD viva in the UK. I deliver viva preparation workshops, and over the last five years I’ve got a great understanding about the questions that distract PhD candidates. This book helps eliminate those distractions.

There are more details below, but if all you want are the purchase links, here they are!

  • In the UK, The Viva: Who? What? How? is in the Kindle Store here.
  • In the UK and around the world, The Viva: Who? What? How? is available from Payhip here.

Read More

Episode 39: Dr Denise Proudfoot

In this episode I talk with Dr Denise Proudfoot, who completed a Professional Doctorate in Health in 2014. Her research was a narrative exploration of the experiences of mothers living with HIV in Ireland, and she completed her doctorate over seven years while working as a nurse lecturer in Dublin City University. It was great to hear about Denise’s research and experiences, and you can find her on Twitter as @Denproud.

If you’ve got any questions or comments about this episode, then comment on this post, tweet @VivaSurvivors – or email me! And please get in touch if you’d like to appear on a future episode. I’m always looking for PhD graduates ready to share their research and viva experiences. I’m also looking for academics happy to talk in future specials on Academic Jobs or being an examiner.

Thanks for listening! (and reading!)

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 38: Dr Robin Wilson

In this episode I’m chatting with Dr Robin Wilson, who had his viva in January. Robin’s PhD at the University of Southampton was in remote sensing, and it was really interesting to hear about how he got interested in that area, as well as the results and applications of his research. Robin also shared some of his experiences of doing his PhD in a Doctoral Training Centre – something that is becoming more and more common. You can find Robin on Twitter as @sciremotesense.

If you’ve got any questions or comments about this episode, then comment on this post, tweet @VivaSurvivors – or email me! And please get in touch if you’d like to appear on a future episode. I’m always looking for more PhD graduates who are happy to share their research and viva experiences. I’m also looking for academics happy to talk about Academic Jobs or what it is like being an Examiner for future specials.

Thanks for listening! (and reading!)

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 37: Dr Jennifer Ferreira

In this episode I’m talking to Dr Jennifer Perreira, who completed her PhD in Economic Geography at the University of Manchester in 2012. Jennifer is a Senior Research Assistant at Coventry University, and you can find her on Twitter as @jennywrenwatts. It was great to hear about the research experience of someone whose research was very different to mine, and also to hear of another great viva experience.

If you’ve got any questions or comments about this episode, then comment on this post, tweet @VivaSurvivors – or email me! And please get in touch if you’d like to appear on a future episode. I’m always looking for more PhD graduates who are happy to share their research and viva experiences. I’m also looking for academics happy to talk about Academic Jobs or what it is like being an Examiner for future specials.

Thanks for listening! (and reading!)

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 36: Dr Anna McFarlane

In this episode I talk to Dr Anna McFarlane, who recently completed her PhD in English Literature at the University of St Andrews. Anna’s thesis is on one of my favourite authors, William Gibson, and so it was great to have this opportunity to interview her about her research, and of course, her viva. Anna is the co-editor of Vector: The British Science Fiction Association’s Critical Journal, and you can find her on Twitter as @mariettarosetta.

If you’ve got any questions or comments about this episode, then comment on this post, tweet @VivaSurvivors – or email me! And please get in touch if you’d like to appear on a future episode – either to talk about your viva, or if you have the experience, to talk about Academic Jobs or being an Examiner.

Thanks for listening! (and reading!)

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 35: Dr Eljee Javier

In Episode 35 I talk to Dr Eljee Javier, who recently completed her PhD at the University of Manchester. Eljee’s research explored the experiences of visible ethnic minorities who were native English speakers and teaching English to non-native speakers. It was fascinating to hear about how she did her research, and to then hear about her viva preparations and her experience on the day.

Eljee’s blog is great, and she’s recently posted both on her preparations and on the big day as well. She has blogged a lot about her PhD journey, and you can find her on Twitter as @eljeejavier.

Let me know what you think of this episode, leave comments on this post, tweet @VivaSurvivors or email me – particularly if you want to appear in an episode of the podcast this year. And if you’re viewing this on a computer, look to the right and subscribe to get notifications when new episodes go live!

Thanks for listening! (and reading!)

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)

Episode 34: Dr Grant Aitken

In Episode 34 I talk to Dr Grant Aitken, who had his viva in December 2014 at the University of Southampton; Grant’s research explored the social epidemiology of chronic kidney disease in England, and we chatted about how he did his research, what the outcomes were and what happened in his viva. Grant (who is on Twitter here) is currently a postdoctoral researcher at Southampton.

Let me know what you think of this episode, leave comments on this post, tweet @VivaSurvivors or email me – particularly if you want to appear in an episode of the podcast this year.

Thanks for listening! (and reading!)

Nathan (@DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors)