Doctoral Dissertation Defense

Doctoral Dissertation Defense-88
Authorization for a defense is granted based on the reports, which are communicated to the jury and the candidate before the defense.

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If you need to buy yourself some time, and you know that you have treated the question somewhere in you thesis, you can lend this dry joke from me: “Hmm, let me read what I think about that…”.

If every escape is blocked, and you painted yourself into a corner, you “get a free life” by simply admitting “I don’t know the answer to that question”.

For dissertations managed on the ADUM (Ph D Connect) platform, the process is as follows: Once the defense date is on record, an initial electronic filing must be made within the following time frames: The supervisory team is responsible for ensuring that these deadlines are met and that the documents filed meet the requirements (cover template, abstracts on the back cover, dissertation title, jury members, Cotutelle notice, etc.).

The front and back pages of dissertations must reflect the PSL style guide.

One thing’s for sure; I’ve got respect for the process. Your supervisor has found your thesis worthy to be defended. There will be a few really tough questions, and it can therefore be good to know of a few “life savers”.

I hope the thoughts will be somewhat helpful or comforting for all those shivering Ph D candidates yet to come. No one in the world has recently spent so much time as you on this specific topic. How can you possibly deliver a speech that will reach them all? Tell a story: what was the problem, what did you do, and what did you find that contributes to research and practice (repeat if several papers). In general, talk more if you’re confident, be brief when you’re on thin ice (this is much more tricky than it sounds like! Finally, the Ph D defense is not meant to be a walk in the park.Generic templates are available in the Resources space, to be filled out under the authority of the dissertation service at the institution where the dissertation is prepared.Vigilance is recommended if a confidentiality clause applies to the doctoral dissertation: the confidentiality notice and the end date must appear on the cover of the dissertation.Cases of cotutelles: if specific provisions have been specified in the cotutelle agreement, attach a copy of the agreement when submitting a jury proposal.A defense is public unless a special waiver is granted by the head of the institution, if the dissertation topic is established to be of a confidential nature.But note; this last-resort-option can only be used once, so save it carefully .If there’s one advice that trumps all the others, it has to be this one: Smile, have fun, enjoy YOUR day! A difficult thing during a Ph D defense is to reach your audience. In any case, the most important advice is this one: . Be confident about your choices and results, but agree that it could have be done better or differently. Here’s a few standard openings that might come in useful: “A good point, I’m aware of that debate…”; “Yes, on one hand (…) but on the other hand…”; “I see your point, but I respectfully disagree, because…”; “I’m not an expert in that area, but here’s how I view that…”; “I understand that question as follows… No one knows what you have seen and heard, hence you own the truth and can speak freely and in pictures. After all, it’s a small research community and what goes around comes around. Make sure you get these basic things right: simple slides, flow and timing. But don’t overdo the practice part; if you know it by heart, it will get boring. I recommend about three to five full trials, of which at least one in the actual defense room. I also hope you have already attended a few other defenses and asked professors for advice before you’re up. Write them down as soon as you hear that there are several questions bundled into one.The dissertation supervisor participates on the jury and attends the deliberations but does not take part in the decision. Personalities can participate as guest members (maximum two).A member invites a seat during the defense but does not sign the documents relating to the defense and is not considered as an examiner.


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