PhD Confirmation happens about 1.5 years into your research. It is a major milestone to check you are on track before you go out for data collection. Essentially, it is a pass or fail milestone – but they don’t actually say it like that, they call it ‘recommend to continue’ (pass) or ‘recommend to revise’ (fail).
After the candidate gives their 30-mins presentation, there is an open Q & A. Then everyone (including the candidate) is asked to leave and the panel (your supervisors, the HDR Convenor and your independent assessor) discuss the work in private. Then only the candidate is invited back in. Then, in private the panel give immediate feedback on the study and the presentation and let the candidate know if they are recommending for continuation or not.
On Friday I had my PhD Confirmation Seminar
PhD Confirmation is a big deal as it is the first time you show your research to anyone outside of your supervisory team. It is where you have to submit you first 4 dissertation chapters (Intro, Lit Review Theoretical Perspectives and Methodology). My first 4 chapters comes to 191 pages and 50,718 words. Two weeks after you submit your Confirmation paper, you present your work.
So on Friday, I presented my PhD Confirmation seminar to explain, justify and defend my bicycle NGO research study.
Here’s my PhD Confirmation flyer.
I’ve been recommended to proceed with my study!
It was a very stressful and interesting process putting the seminar together. Big decisions had to be made about what to leave in and what to leave out.
My study is pretty complex, but I managed to get it all organised on the day.
The seminar itself went well. There was a great turn out and it had the largest attendance to date! While waiting for the seminar to start, the audience started singing The Pushbike Song, which boosted the energy in the room instead of being so formal and academic (which it was) and made me feel very supported. There were some good questions at the end from the audience at the end, which I was able to answer and had slides prepared for (phew!) to the point where the questions almost looked like a plant (they weren’t!).
I got called back in and was asked the difficult questions in private. No surprises in the immediate feedback I received. The study will need more shaping and ‘massaging’ and I already have a few other ideas I’d like to change and discuss with my supervisors.
I get the Confirmation reports from my panel back in 1-2 weeks.
I’m very interested to hear the feedback!
The panel has recommended me for PhD Confirmation! Yahoo!
This recommendation goes to the Dean of School of Education & Professional Studies to be approved. It is rare that a panel’s recommendation is overturned, but I still have to wait for the official approval from the Dean.
I was completely wiped out at the end of the seminar.
For the last 4 weeks, it has been a massive big push to get my Confirmation paper prepared and then to arrange the seminar.
My brain is officially mush.
I am happy with the result, but too tired to celebrate just yet.
My main task over the weekend is to have a glass of red wine while reading a good book in the bath – and recharge!