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What are Viva Questions
Viva, also known as a viva voce, is a type of oral examination often used as a part of the assessment process in academic settings, particularly in the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries. Viva questions are questions that examiners ask during a viva examination. These questions are designed to test the candidate’s knowledge and understanding of their subject area and their ability to think critically and communicate their ideas effectively. The viva examination is typically conducted by a panel of examiners, who will ask the candidate a series of questions and may ask for further clarification or elaboration on specific points.
The viva examination is typically conducted after the candidate has completed their written work and is used to supplement or confirm the findings of the written assessment.
How do I prepare for Viva?
There are several measures you can take to prepare for a viva (oral defense of a thesis or dissertation). These include:
- Review your research: Make sure you are thoroughly knowledgeable about your research and can explain it clearly and concisely.
- Practice your presentation: Practice your oral defense in front of a small group or a mentor. This will help you feel more comfortable and confident on the day of the viva.
- Prepare questions: Review the questions that are typically asked during a viva, and prepare answers for them.
- Review your thesis or dissertation: Pay close attention to your methodology, results, and conclusion sections. These are typically the focus of the viva.
- Be prepared to defend your research: Be ready to explain and protect your research and findings in response to questions from the examiners.
- Relax and stay calm: It is natural to feel anxious before a viva, but try to remain clear and focused. Remember that the viva is an opportunity to showcase your research and defend your findings.
Viva Questions Examples
What inspired you to pursue a career in your field?
Answer: I have always been interested in biology and understanding how living organisms function. I was especially drawn to the idea of finding solutions to global health issues and improving the quality of life for people.
Can you describe your current research or work?
Answer: My current research involves studying the genetic basis of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. I am specifically interested in how these disorders are influenced by environmental factors and how they may be prevented or treated through targeted therapies.
How do you think your work contributes to the broader field or society?
Answer: By studying the genetic basis of neurological disorders, my work aims to improve our understanding of these complex diseases and develop more effective treatments for people affected by them. This can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals and their relatives and reduce the economic burden of these disorders on society.
What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them?
Answer: One of the biggest challenges I have faced in my career has been navigating the competitive nature of academia and securing funding for my research projects. I have overcome this challenge by building solid relationships with colleagues and mentors and actively seeking opportunities to present my work at conferences and workshops. I have also learned to be proactive in seeking funding opportunities and collaborating with other researchers to increase my chances of success.
What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing a career in your field?
Answer: My advice for students interested in pursuing a career in my field is to stay curious and keep learning. It is also essential to be persistent and resilient, as there will be challenges and setbacks along the way. Building a solid network of colleagues and mentors can also be very beneficial in finding opportunities and advancing your career. Finally, finding a research topic you are passionate about is essential, as this will help keep you motivated and engaged in your work.
20 Most Common Ph.D. Viva Questions
- How did you arrive at your research question?
- How did you select your sample population?
- How did you collect your data?
- How did you analyze your data?
- How does your research contribute to the field?
- What are the limitations of your study?
- What are the implications of your findings for practice?
- How does your research address any ethical concerns?
- How does your research align with current theories and models in the field?
- What are the potential areas for further research in this area?
- How did you ensure the validity of your findings?
- How did you ensure the reliability of your results?
- How did you address any potential biases in your research?
- How did you deal with any challenges or setbacks during your research?
- How did you ensure the rigor of your research methods?
- How did you establish the generalizability of your findings?
- What were the key results of your research?
- How does your research contribute to developing new knowledge in the field?
- What are the potential implications of your study for policy or decision-making?
- How does your research contribute to the broad area of study?
Thesis Defense Viva Questions
- Could you summarize the main points of your research and explain how they contribute to the field?
- What methods did you use to conduct your research, and why did you choose them?
- Could you discuss any challenges you faced during your research and how you addressed them?
- How do your findings compare to previous research in the field?
- What implications do your findings have for practice or future research?
- Could you discuss any limitations of your study and how they may have impacted your results?
- How do you plan to disseminate your research findings, and to whom do you think they will be most helpful?
- What are the next steps you plan to take with your research?
- How does your research fit into the broader context of your field?
- Do you have any final thoughts or comments about your research?
Viva Questions on Research Methodologies
- How do you define research methodology?
- What is the purpose of using research methodologies in your study?
- Can you discuss the various types of research methodologies?
- How do you choose the appropriate research methodology for your analysis?
- Can you explain the steps in conducting a research study using a particular methodology?
- How do you ensure the reliability and validity of your research findings?
- Can you discuss the ethical considerations in research methodology?
- How do you apply research methodologies in practical situations?
- Can you discuss any challenges you faced while using a particular research methodology and how you addressed them?
- In your opinion, how important is it to adhere to research methodologies while conducting a study?
Overall, the Viva Questions for researchers emphasize the importance of having a clear vision, valuing the importance of research, striving for excellence, being open to new ideas, and effectively communicating research findings.