Science private defense
October 8, 2010 9:27 PM Subscribe
If you gave your science PhD defense in the US, tell me all about it!
posted by xm to Work & Money (19 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
1. As a student, how did you survive it? Emotionally, lifestyle changes, preparation, everything! How long before the defense did you start the *preparation*? I am not sure I really know how to *prepare* for it, even though I have talked to a number of people. It just seems so very broad and vague that the prospect of having to go through it is scary.
2. If you are a faculty member, how did you survive yours? If you were on a committee as faculty, what makes the defense a success or failure (in terms of your expectations, not in terms of getting the degree)? And what are your expectations?
(Anecdotes of good/bad experiences are welcome!)
I have also noticed some faculty talk very critically (seemingly unfair to me) about some of the previously "good" students afterward. It's hard enough to navigate this without really knowing the expectations than also having to deal with the gossiping around as well. This makes the prospect of having to go through it even more unsettling.
3. Even though I mostly enjoy presenting, especially when a larger audience is present, I am very shy. Being grilled by six experts in a closed room for two hours is not something I look forward to (but I get excited about presenting to 150 or so strangers in a conference hall!). I also have short attention span/get bored easily. After the presentation, I just cant wait to get out. I know #3 is mostly mental/personality thing but it skews the whole perspective. I'd like to hear from anyone who had these problems and was able to get over it.
Thanks in advance!