July 21, 2020, by Lisa Chin

Examining a doctorate

This post is contributed by Dr Tissa Chandesa, Research Training Development Manager at the Graduate School. 

A webinar on examining a doctorate 

Professor Festo Massawe

Graduate School conducted its first Supervisory Research Seminar Series virtually on 15 July 2020. The webinar explored the topic of examining a doctorate and was conducted by Professor Festo Massawe. Professor Massawe has an extensive experience in examining doctoral theses. This webinar was aimed at supervisors whose prior experience is of different doctoral examination model and are about to undertake the role of a chair, internal or external examiner of a doctorate thesis in the coming months. A total of 14 supervisors attended the webinar.

Over the duration of the two-hour webinar, Professor Massawe addressed the following issues:

  • Revisited the requirements of a University of Nottingham/UK doctoral qualification;

  • Explored the thesis examination process and, in particular, clarified:

    • The different purpose(s) of a viva;

    • The roles and responsibilities of the internal and external examiners;

    • University of Nottingham processes, documentation and regulations;

    • Supplementary Regulations on viva examination: C0VID-19 pandemic.

  • Reflected on how this understanding can be used by students and their supervisors during the later stages of their research and in preparation for the viva.

Aside from sharing his personal experience being a doctorate supervisor, internal and external examiner, Professor Massawe also encouraged the attendees to share their experiences of examining a doctorate. The session was very engaging and interactive. Below is some feedback received from the attendees:

  • Clear explanation provided to all questions asked. Friendly and encouraging

  • I can attend the training even when away from the campus

  • Effective and time saving. Importantly social distancing is practiced

  • Very good and effective

As we head into a busy period for online viva voce examinations, this webinar was timely as the content shared during the two-hour session will assist supervisors to identify how they can best prepare themselves in their role as chair or examiners as well as better prepare their students for an online doctorate examination as research supervisors.

About Supervisory Research Seminar Series

The Supervisory Research Seminar Series is aimed at all active research supervisors, especially early career researchers who are new to research supervision at University of Nottingham Malaysia. The landscape of research supervision is constantly shifting; from changes in policy through to new and different models of doctorate, the expectations of funding bodies to the expectations and capabilities of research students. Navigating these differences and knowing the best thing to do for all concerned is not always straightforward, even for experienced supervisors. The sessions cover topics that have been highlighted by supervisors as areas where they would like more advice and practice-sharing opportunities. These sessions aim to support a culture of the discussion of research supervision purpose and practice across the University and inform staff on a wide range of supervision topics.

The next session will address the topic of managing research students’ progression by Dr Michelle Tan, Associate Professor at the Departmnent of Electrical & Electronic Engineering and Chair of Faculty Research Operations Group (FROG) for Science and Engineering; and Ms Nengaswary Maniam (Eeish), Knowledge Exchange Manager at the Research and Knowledge Exchange Hub. It is scheduled for Wednesday 22 July 2020 from 2pm – 4pm via Microsoft Teams.

Sign up

Contact us

If you have any suggestions or would like to lead a supervisory research seminar series session, please contact Dr Tissa Chandesa, Research Training Development Manager at Tissa.Chandesa@nottingham.edu.my.

For any queries, please contact us at RAD@nottingham.edu.my.

Posted in News and EventsResearcher Development