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thesis defense

  • Thread starter jboone
  • Start date Jan 10, 2012
  • Jan 10, 2012

What is the correct way to say "to defend a thesis" or "thesis defense" (the final step in a graduate program)? Difendere la tesi/Difesa di tesi? Difesa della tesi? (Eg, "I'm going to defend my thesis on Monday." Or, "My thesis defense is on 9 January.") Grazie mille.  

King Crimson

King Crimson

Senior member.

In general it is called "discutere la tesi" ("discussione della tesi"). This old thread may help you, even though it deals with the reverse translation.  

london calling

london calling

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PhD thesis defense and final exam

Final exam application – session 2023.

Fulfillments linked to the thesis defense

How to fill in the online application for the thesis defense

At the conclusion of the doctoral program, which for doctoral students in the 36th cycle is scheduled for September 30th 2023, it is mandatory to apply for the final examination. Exceptions are doctoral students who are beneficiaries of extensions and doctoral students in suspension recovery, for whom the deadline is automatically postponed for the period corresponding to the recovery or extension.

The doctoral student receives an email from the Office containing detailed information on the requirements for taking the final examination.

Academic Board approval and evaluators

At the end of the course, the doctoral student submits some documents to the Academic Board, including the thesis and any request for embargo or secrecy of parts. The Academic Board, upon receipt of the documents, makes a decision on the admission of the doctoral student to the final examination and appoints two evaluators to pass judgment on the thesis, proposing its admission for public discussion or postponement for a period not exceeding six months. At this point the thesis is ready to be discussed.

Administrative Procedures Within 15 days after the conclusion of the course, the doctoral student (see calendar), through the appropriate computer procedure, must submit a final examination application, as per the instructions provided by email from the Office. Once in possession of the final version of the thesis, the doctoral student uploads it, at least 20 days before the discussion, in his/her Reserved Area. The PhD Coordinator or the supervisor will receive an automatic email requesting validation of the thesis, which is necessary for the purposes of the thesis discussion.

Schedule of deadlines

Thesis discussion The thesis is discussed publicly before a committee.

The Coordinator notifies the doctoral students of the names of the members of the Commission and the deadlines by which to send them copies of the thesis. The Commission, at the end of the discussion approves or rejects the thesis and proposes or does not propose to the Rector the conferment of the doctoral degree.

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What is the translation of "thesis defence" in Italian?

"thesis defence" in italian, thesis defence {noun}.

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Translations

Context sentences, english italian contextual examples of "thesis defence" in italian.

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Monolingual examples

English how to use "thesis defence" in a sentence, similar translations, similar translations for "thesis defence" in italian.

  • difesa antiaerea
  • protezione civile
  • difesa avanzata
  • difesa uomo a uomo
  • difesa in ritirata
  • difesa a zona
  • prova a discarico
  • linea difensiva
  • theropod dinosaur
  • these apples are going begging
  • these are the best spectacles to be had
  • these people
  • these things are sent to try us
  • these things will happen
  • thesis defence
  • thesis director
  • thesis examine
  • thesis paper
  • thesis project
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  • theta waves

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Preparing For Your Dissertation Defense

13 Key Questions To Expect In The Viva Voce

By: Derek Jansen (MBA) & David Phair (PhD) . Reviewed By: Dr Eunice Rautenbach | June 2021

Preparing for your dissertation or thesis defense (also called a “viva voce”) is a formidable task . All your hard work over the years leads you to this one point, and you’ll need to defend yourself against some of the most experienced researchers you’ve encountered so far.

It’s natural to feel a little nervous.

In this post, we’ll cover some of the most important questions you should be able to answer in your viva voce, whether it’s for a Masters or PhD degree. Naturally, they might not arise in exactly the same form (some may not come up at all), but if you can answer these questions well, it means you’re in a good position to tackle your oral defense.

Dissertation and thesis defense 101

Viva Voce Prep: 13 Essential Questions

  • What is your study about and why did you choose to research this in particular?
  • How did your research questions evolve during the research process?
  • How did you decide on which sources to include in your literature review?
  • How did you design your study and why did you take this approach?
  • How generalisable and valid are the findings?
  • What were the main shortcomings and limitations created by your research design?
  • How did your findings relate to the existing literature?
  • What were your key findings in relation to the research questions?
  • Were there any findings that surprised you?
  • What biases may exist in your research?
  • How can your findings be put into practice?
  • How has your research contributed to current thinking in the field?
  • If you could redo your research, how would you alter your approach?

#1: What is your study about and why did you choose to research this in particular?

This question, a classic party starter, is pretty straightforward.

What the dissertation or thesis committee is assessing here is your ability to clearly articulate your research aims, objectives and research questions in a concise manner. Concise is the keyword here – you need to clearly explain your research topic without rambling on for a half-hour. Don’t feel the need to go into the weeds here – you’ll have many opportunities to unpack the details later on.

In the second half of the question, they’re looking for a brief explanation of the justification of your research. In other words, why was this particular set of research aims, objectives and questions worth addressing? To address this question well in your oral defense, you need to make it clear what gap existed within the research and why that gap was worth filling.

#2: How did your research questions evolve during the research process?

Good research generally follows a long and winding path . It’s seldom a straight line (unless you got really lucky). What they’re assessing here is your ability to follow that path and let the research process unfold.

Specifically, they’ll want to hear about the impact that the literature review process had on you in terms of shaping the research aims, objectives and research questions . For example, you may have started with a certain set of aims, but then as you immersed yourself in the literature, you may have changed direction. Similarly, your initial fieldwork findings may have turned out some unexpected data that drove you to adjust or expand on your initial research questions.

Long story short – a good defense involves clearly describing your research journey , including all the twists and turns. Adjusting your direction based on findings in the literature or the fieldwork shows that you’re responsive , which is essential for high-quality research.

You will need to explain the impact of your literature review in the defense

#3: How did you decide on which sources to include in your literature review?

A comprehensive literature review is the foundation of any high-quality piece of research. With this question, your dissertation or thesis committee are trying to assess which quality criteria and approach you used to select the sources for your literature review.

Typically, good research draws on both the seminal work in the respective field and more recent sources . In other words, a combination of the older landmark studies and pivotal work, along with up-to-date sources that build on to those older studies. This combination ensures that the study has a rock-solid foundation but is not out of date.

So, make sure that your study draws on a mix of both the “classics” and new kids on the block, and take note of any major evolutions in the literature that you can use as an example when asked this question in your viva voce.

#4: How did you design your study and why did you take this approach?

This is a classic methodological question that you can almost certainly expect in some or other shape.

What they’re looking for here is a clear articulation of the research design and methodology, as well as a strong justification of each choice . So, you need to be able to walk through each methodological choice and clearly explain both what you did and why you did it. The why is particularly important – you need to be able to justify each choice you made by clearly linking your design back to your research aims, objectives and research questions, while also taking into account practical constraints.

To ensure you cover every base, check out our research methodology vlog post , as well as our post covering the Research Onion .

You have to justify every choice in your dissertation defence

#5: How generalizable and valid are the findings?

This question is aimed at specifically digging into your understanding of the sample and how that relates to the population, as well as potential validity issues in your methodology.

To answer question this well, you’ll need to critically assess your sample and findings and consider if they truly apply to the entire population, as well as whether they assessed what they set out to. Note that there are two components here – generalizability and validity . Generalizability is about how well the sample represents the population. Validity is about how accurately you’ve measured what you intended to measure .

To ace this part of your dissertation defense, make sure that you’re very familiar with the concepts of generalizability , validity and reliability , and how these apply to your research. Remember, you don’t need to achieve perfection – you just need to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your research (and how the weaknesses could be improved upon).

Need a helping hand?

thesis defence in italiano

#6: What were the main shortcomings and limitations created by your research design?

This question picks up where the last one left off.

As I mentioned, it’s perfectly natural that your research will have shortcomings and limitations as a result of your chosen design and methodology. No piece of research is flawless. Therefore, a good dissertation defense is not about arguing that your work is perfect, but rather it’s about clearly articulating the strengths and weaknesses of your approach.

To address this question well, you need to think critically about all of the potential weaknesses your design may have, as well as potential responses to these (which could be adopted in future research) to ensure you’re well prepared for this question. For a list of common methodological limitations, check out our video about research limitations here .

#7: How did your findings relate to the existing literature?

This common dissertation defense question links directly to your discussion chapter , where you would have presented and discussed the findings in relation to your literature review.

What your dissertation or thesis committee is assessing here is your ability to compare your study’s findings to the findings of existing research . Specifically, you need to discuss which findings aligned with existing research and which findings did not. For those findings that contrasted against existing research, you should also explain what you believe to be the reasons for this.

As with many questions in a viva voce, it’s both the what and the why that matter here. So, you need to think deeply about what the underlying reasons may be for both the similarities and differences between your findings and those of similar studies.

Your dissertation defense needs to compare findings

#8: What were your key findings in relation to the research questions?

This question is similar to the last one in that it too focuses on your research findings. However, here the focus is specifically on the findings that directly relate to your research questions (as opposed to findings in general).

So, a good way to prepare for this question is to step back and revisit your research questions . Ask yourself the following:

  • What exactly were you asking in those questions, and what did your research uncover concerning them?
  • Which questions were well answered by your study and which ones were lacking?
  • Why were they lacking and what more could be done to address this in future research?

Conquering this part dissertation defense requires that you focus squarely on the research questions. Your study will have provided many findings (hopefully!), and not all of these will link directly to the research questions. Therefore, you need to clear your mind of all of the fascinating side paths your study may have lead you down and regain a clear focus on the research questions .

#9: Were there any findings that surprised you?

This question is two-pronged.

First, you should discuss the surprising findings that were directly related to the original research questions . Going into your research, you likely had some expectations in terms of what you would find, so this is your opportunity to discuss the outcomes that emerged as contrary to what you initially expected. You’ll also want to think about what the reasons for these contrasts may be.

Second, you should discuss the findings that weren’t directly related to the research questions, but that emerged from the data set . You may have a few or you may have none – although generally there are a handful of interesting musings that you can glean from the data set. Again, make sure you can articulate why you find these interesting and what it means for future research in the area.

What the committee is looking for in this type of question is your ability to interpret the findings holistically and comprehensively , and to respond to unexpected data. So, take the time to zoom out and reflect on your findings thoroughly.

Discuss the findings in your defense

#10: What biases may exist in your research?

Biases… we all have them.

For this question, you’ll need to think about potential biases in your research , in the data itself but also in your interpretation of the data. With this question, your committee is assessing whether you have considered your own potential biases and the biases inherent in your analysis approach (i.e. your methodology). So, think carefully about these research biases and be ready to explain how these may exist in your study.

In an oral defense, this question is often followed up with a question on how the biases were mitigated or could be mitigated in future research. So, give some thought not just to what biases may exist, but also the mitigation measures (in your own study and for future research).

#11: How can your findings be put into practice?

Another classic question in the typical viva voce.

With this question, your committee is assessing your ability to bring your findings back down to earth and demonstrate their practical value and application. Importantly, this question is not about the contribution to academia or the overall field of research (we’ll get to that next) – it is specifically asking about how this newly created knowledge can be used in the real world.

Naturally, the actionability of your findings will vary depending on the nature of your research topic. Some studies will produce many action points and some won’t. If you’re researching marketing strategies within an industry, for example, you should be able to make some very specific recommendations for marketing practitioners in that industry.

To help you flesh out points for this question, look back at your original justification for the research (i.e. in your introduction and literature review chapters). What were the driving forces that led you to research your specific topic? That justification should help you identify ways in which your findings can be put into practice.

#12: How has your research contributed to current thinking in the field?

While the previous question was aimed at practical contribution, this question is aimed at theoretical contribution . In other words, what is the significance of your study within the current body of research? How does it fit into the existing research and what does it add to it?

This question is often asked by a field specialist and is used to assess whether you’re able to place your findings into the research field to critically convey what your research contributed. This argument needs to be well justified – in other words, you can’t just discuss what your research contributed, you need to also back each proposition up with a strong why .

To answer this question well, you need to humbly consider the quality and impact of your work and to be realistic in your response. You don’t want to come across as arrogant (“my work is groundbreaking”), nor do you want to undersell the impact of your work. So, it’s important to strike the right balance between realistic and pessimistic .

This question also opens the door to questions about potential future research . So, think about what future research opportunities your study has created and which of these you feel are of the highest priority.

Discuss your contribution in your thesis defence

#13: If you could redo your research, how would you alter your approach?

This question is often used to wrap up a viva voce as it brings the discussion full circle.

Here, your committee is again assessing your ability to clearly identify and articulate the limitations and shortcomings of your research, both in terms of research design and topic focus . Perhaps, in hindsight, it would have been better to use a different analysis method or data set. Perhaps the research questions should have leaned in a slightly different direction. And so on.

This question intends to assess whether you’re able to look at your work critically , assess where the weaknesses are and make recommendations for the future. This question often sets apart those who did the research purely because it was required, from those that genuinely engaged with their research. So, don’t hold back here – reflect on your entire research journey ask yourself how you’d do things differently if you were starting with a  blank canvas today.

Recap: The 13 Key Dissertation Defense Questions

To recap, here are the 13 questions you need to be ready for to ace your dissertation or thesis oral defense:

As I mentioned, this list of dissertation defense questions is certainly not exhaustive – don’t assume that we’ve covered every possible question here. However, these questions are quite likely to come up in some shape or form in a typical dissertation or thesis defense, whether it’s for a Master’s degree, PhD or any other research degree. So, you should take the time to make sure you can answer them well.

If you need assistance preparing for your dissertation defense or viva voce, get in touch with us to discuss 1-on-1 coaching. We can critically review your research and identify potential issues and responses, as well as undertake a mock oral defense to prepare you for the pressures and stresses on the day.

thesis defence in italiano

Psst… there’s more (for free)

This post is part of our dissertation mini-course, which covers everything you need to get started with your dissertation, thesis or research project. 

You Might Also Like:

Research aims, research objectives and research questions

12 Comments

Jalla Dullacha

Very interesting

Fumtchum JEFFREY

Interesting. I appreciate!

Dargo Haftu

Really appreciating

My field is International Trade

Abera Gezahegn

Interesting

Peter Gumisiriza

This is a full course on defence. I was fabulously enlightened and I gained enough confidence for my upcoming Masters Defence.

There are many lessons to learn and the simplicity in presentationmakes thee reader say “YesI can”

Milly Nalugoti

This is so helping… it has Enlightened me on how to answer specific questions. I pray to make it through for my upcoming defense

Derek Jansen

Lovely to hear that 🙂

bautister

Really educative and beneficial

Tweheyo Charles

Interesting. On-point and elaborate. And comforting too! Thanks.

Ismailu Kulme Emmanuel

Thank you very much for the enlightening me, be blessed

Gladys Oyat

Thankyou so much. I am planning to defend my thesis soon and I found this very useful

Augustine Mtega

Very interesting and useful to all masters and PhD students

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How to prepare an excellent thesis defense

Thesis defence

What is a thesis defense?

How long is a thesis defense, what happens at a thesis defense, your presentation, questions from the committee, 6 tips to help you prepare for your thesis defense, 1. anticipate questions and prepare for them, 2. dress for success, 3. ask for help, as needed, 4. have a backup plan, 5. prepare for the possibility that you might not know an answer, 6. de-stress before, during, and after, frequently asked questions about preparing an excellent thesis defense, related articles.

If you're about to complete, or have ever completed a graduate degree, you have most likely come across the term "thesis defense." In many countries, to finish a graduate degree, you have to write a thesis .

A thesis is a large paper, or multi-chapter work, based on a topic relating to your field of study.

Once you hand in your thesis, you will be assigned a date to defend your work. Your thesis defense meeting usually consists of you and a committee of two or more professors working in your program. It may also include other people, like professionals from other colleges or those who are working in your field.

During your thesis defense, you will be asked questions about your work. The main purpose of your thesis defense is for the committee to make sure that you actually understand your field and focus area.

The questions are usually open-ended and require the student to think critically about their work. By the time of your thesis defense, your paper has already been evaluated. The questions asked are not designed so that you actually have to aggressively "defend" your work; often, your thesis defense is more of a formality required so that you can get your degree.

  • Check with your department about requirements and timing.
  • Re-read your thesis.
  • Anticipate questions and prepare for them.
  • Create a back-up plan to deal with technology hiccups.
  • Plan de-stressing activities both before, and after, your defense.

How long your oral thesis defense is depends largely on the institution and requirements of your degree. It is best to consult your department or institution about this. In general, a thesis defense may take only 20 minutes, but it may also take two hours or more. The length also depends on how much time is allocated to the presentation and questioning part.

Tip: Check with your department or institution as soon as possible to determine the approved length for a thesis defense.

First of all, be aware that a thesis defense varies from country to country. This is just a general overview, but a thesis defense can take many different formats. Some are closed, others are public defenses. Some take place with two committee members, some with more examiners.

The same goes for the length of your thesis defense, as mentioned above. The most important first step for you is to clarify with your department what the structure of your thesis defense will look like. In general, your thesis defense will include:

  • your presentation of around 20-30 minutes
  • questions from the committee
  • questions from the audience (if the defense is public and the department allows it)

You might have to give a presentation, often with Powerpoint, Google slides, or Keynote slides. Make sure to prepare an appropriate amount of slides. A general rule is to use about 10 slides for a 20-minute presentation.

But that also depends on your specific topic and the way you present. The good news is that there will be plenty of time ahead of your thesis defense to prepare your slides and practice your presentation alone and in front of friends or family.

Tip: Practice delivering your thesis presentation in front of family, friends, or colleagues.

You can prepare your slides by using information from your thesis' first chapter (the overview of your thesis) as a framework or outline. Substantive information in your thesis should correspond with your slides.

Make sure your slides are of good quality— both in terms of the integrity of the information and the appearance. If you need more help with how to prepare your presentation slides, both the ASQ Higher Education Brief and James Hayton have good guidelines on the topic.

The committee will ask questions about your work after you finish your presentation. The questions will most likely be about the core content of your thesis, such as what you learned from the study you conducted. They may also ask you to summarize certain findings and to discuss how your work will contribute to the existing body of knowledge.

Tip: Read your entire thesis in preparation of the questions, so you have a refreshed perspective on your work.

While you are preparing, you can create a list of possible questions and try to answer them. You can foresee many of the questions you will get by simply spending some time rereading your thesis.

Here are a few tips on how to prepare for your thesis defense:

You can absolutely prepare for most of the questions you will be asked. Read through your thesis and while you're reading it, create a list of possible questions. In addition, since you will know who will be on the committee, look at the academic expertise of the committee members. In what areas would they most likely be focused?

If possible, sit at other thesis defenses with these committee members to get a feel for how they ask and what they ask. As a graduate student, you should generally be adept at anticipating test questions, so use this advantage to gather as much information as possible before your thesis defense meeting.

Your thesis defense is a formal event, often the entire department or university is invited to participate. It signals a critical rite of passage for graduate students and faculty who have supported them throughout a long and challenging process.

While most universities don't have specific rules on how to dress for that event, do regard it with dignity and respect. This one might be a no-brainer, but know that you should dress as if you were on a job interview or delivering a paper at a conference.

It might help you deal with your stress before your thesis defense to entrust someone with the smaller but important responsibilities of your defense well ahead of schedule. This trusted person could be responsible for:

  • preparing the room of the day of defense
  • setting up equipment for the presentation
  • preparing and distributing handouts

Technology is unpredictable. Life is too. There are no guarantees that your Powerpoint presentation will work at all or look the way it is supposed to on the big screen. We've all been there. Make sure to have a plan B for these situations. Handouts can help when technology fails, and an additional clean shirt can save the day if you have a spill.

One of the scariest aspects of the defense is the possibility of being asked a question you can't answer. While you can prepare for some questions, you can never know exactly what the committee will ask.

There will always be gaps in your knowledge. But your thesis defense is not about being perfect and knowing everything, it's about how you deal with challenging situations. You are not expected to know everything.

James Hayton writes on his blog that examiners will sometimes even ask questions they don't know the answer to, out of curiosity, or because they want to see how you think. While it is ok sometimes to just say "I don't know", he advises to try something like "I don't know, but I would think [...] because of x and y, but you would need to do [...] in order to find out.” This shows that you have the ability to think as an academic.

You will be nervous. But your examiners will expect you to be nervous. Being well prepared can help minimize your stress, but do know that your examiners have seen this many times before and are willing to help, by repeating questions, for example. Dora Farkas at finishyourthesis.com notes that it’s a myth that thesis committees are out to get you.

Two common symptoms of being nervous are talking really fast and nervous laughs. Try to slow yourself down and take a deep breath. Remember what feels like hours to you are just a few seconds in real life.

  • Try meditational breathing right before your defense.
  • Get plenty of exercise and sleep in the weeks prior to your defense.
  • Have your clothes or other items you need ready to go the night before.
  • During your defense, allow yourself to process each question before answering.
  • Go to dinner with friends and family, or to a fun activity like mini-golf, after your defense.

Allow yourself to process each question, respond to it, and stop talking once you have responded. While a smile can often help dissolve a difficult situation, remember that nervous laughs can be irritating for your audience.

We all make mistakes and your thesis defense will not be perfect. However, careful preparation, mindfulness, and confidence can help you feel less stressful both before, and during, your defense.

Finally, consider planning something fun that you can look forward to after your defense.

It is completely normal to be nervous. Being well prepared can help minimize your stress, but do know that your examiners have seen this many times before and are willing to help, by repeating questions for example if needed. Slow yourself down, and take a deep breath.

Your thesis defense is not about being perfect and knowing everything, it's about how you deal with challenging situations. James Hayton writes on his blog that it is ok sometimes to just say "I don't know", but he advises to try something like "I don't know, but I would think [...] because of x and y, you would need to do [...] in order to find out".

Your Powerpoint presentation can get stuck or not look the way it is supposed to do on the big screen. It can happen and your supervisors know it. In general, handouts can always save the day when technology fails.

  • Dress for success.
  • Ask for help setting up.
  • Have a backup plan (in case technology fails you).
  • Deal with your nerves.

thesis defence in italiano

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Defending Your Dissertation: A Guide

A woman in front of a bookshelf speaking to a laptop

Written by Luke Wink-Moran | Photo by insta_photos

Dissertation defenses are daunting, and no wonder; it’s not a “dissertation discussion,” or a “dissertation dialogue.” The name alone implies that the dissertation you’ve spent the last x number of years working on is subject to attack. And if you don’t feel trepidation for semantic reasons, you might be nervous because you don’t know what to expect. Our imaginations are great at making The Unknown scarier than reality. The good news is that you’ll find in this newsletter article experts who can shed light on what dissertations defenses are really like, and what you can do to prepare for them.

The first thing you should know is that your defense has already begun. It started the minute you began working on your dissertation— maybe even in some of the classes you took beforehand that helped you formulate your ideas. This, according to Dr. Celeste Atkins, is why it’s so important to identify a good mentor early in graduate school.

“To me,” noted Dr. Atkins, who wrote her dissertation on how sociology faculty from traditionally marginalized backgrounds teach about privilege and inequality, “the most important part of the doctoral journey was finding an advisor who understood and supported what I wanted from my education and who was willing to challenge me and push me, while not delaying me.  I would encourage future PhDs to really take the time to get to know the faculty before choosing an advisor and to make sure that the members of their committee work well together.”

Your advisor will be the one who helps you refine arguments and strengthen your work so that by the time it reaches your dissertation committee, it’s ready. Next comes the writing process, which many students have said was the hardest part of their PhD. I’ve included this section on the writing process because this is where you’ll create all the material you’ll present during your defense, so it’s important to navigate it successfully. The writing process is intellectually grueling, it eats time and energy, and it’s where many students find themselves paddling frantically to avoid languishing in the “All-But-Dissertation” doldrums. The writing process is also likely to encroach on other parts of your life. For instance, Dr. Cynthia Trejo wrote her dissertation on college preparation for Latin American students while caring for a twelve-year-old, two adult children, and her aging parents—in the middle of a pandemic. When I asked Dr. Trejo how she did this, she replied:

“I don’t take the privilege of education for granted. My son knew I got up at 4:00 a.m. every morning, even on weekends, even on holidays; and it’s a blessing that he’s seen that work ethic and that dedication and the end result.”

Importantly, Dr. Trejo also exercised regularly and joined several online writing groups at UArizona. She mobilized her support network— her partner, parents, and even friends from high school to help care for her son.

The challenges you face during the writing process can vary by discipline. Jessika Iwanski is an MD/PhD student who in 2022 defended her dissertation on genetic mutations in sarcomeric proteins that lead to severe, neonatal dilated cardiomyopathy. She described her writing experience as “an intricate process of balancing many things at once with a deadline (defense day) that seems to be creeping up faster and faster— finishing up experiments, drafting the dissertation, preparing your presentation, filling out all the necessary documents for your defense and also, for MD/PhD students, beginning to reintegrate into the clinical world (reviewing your clinical knowledge and skill sets)!”

But no matter what your unique challenges are, writing a dissertation can take a toll on your mental health. Almost every student I spoke with said they saw a therapist and found their sessions enormously helpful. They also looked to the people in their lives for support. Dr. Betsy Labiner, who wrote her dissertation on Interiority, Truth, and Violence in Early Modern Drama, recommended, “Keep your loved ones close! This is so hard – the dissertation lends itself to isolation, especially in the final stages. Plus, a huge number of your family and friends simply won’t understand what you’re going through. But they love you and want to help and are great for getting you out of your head and into a space where you can enjoy life even when you feel like your dissertation is a flaming heap of trash.”

While you might sometimes feel like your dissertation is a flaming heap of trash, remember: a) no it’s not, you brilliant scholar, and b) the best dissertations aren’t necessarily perfect dissertations. According to Dr. Trejo, “The best dissertation is a done dissertation.” So don’t get hung up on perfecting every detail of your work. Think of your dissertation as a long-form assignment that you need to finish in order to move onto the next stage of your career. Many students continue revising after graduation and submit their work for publication or other professional objectives.

When you do finish writing your dissertation, it’s time to schedule your defense and invite friends and family to the part of the exam that’s open to the public. When that moment comes, how do you prepare to present your work and field questions about it?

“I reread my dissertation in full in one sitting,” said Dr. Labiner. “During all my time writing it, I’d never read more than one complete chapter at a time! It was a huge confidence boost to read my work in full and realize that I had produced a compelling, engaging, original argument.”

There are many other ways to prepare: create presentation slides and practice presenting them to friends or alone; think of questions you might be asked and answer them; think about what you want to wear or where you might want to sit (if you’re presenting on Zoom) that might give you a confidence boost. Iwanksi practiced presenting with her mentor and reviewed current papers to anticipate what questions her committee might ask.  If you want to really get in the zone, you can emulate Dr. Labiner and do a full dress rehearsal on Zoom the day before your defense.

But no matter what you do, you’ll still be nervous:

“I had a sense of the logistics, the timing, and so on, but I didn’t really have clear expectations outside of the structure. It was a sort of nebulous three hours in which I expected to be nauseatingly terrified,” recalled Dr. Labiner.

“I expected it to be terrifying, with lots of difficult questions and constructive criticism/comments given,” agreed Iwanski.

“I expected it to be very scary,” said Dr. Trejo.

“I expected it to be like I was on trial, and I’d have to defend myself and prove I deserved a PhD,” said Dr Atkins.

And, eventually, inexorably, it will be time to present.  

“It was actually very enjoyable” said Iwanski. “It was more of a celebration of years of work put into this project—not only by me but by my mentor, colleagues, lab members and collaborators! I felt very supported by all my committee members and, rather than it being a rapid fire of questions, it was more of a scientific discussion amongst colleagues who are passionate about heart disease and muscle biology.”

“I was anxious right when I logged on to the Zoom call for it,” said Dr. Labiner, “but I was blown away by the number of family and friends that showed up to support me. I had invited a lot of people who I didn’t at all think would come, but every single person I invited was there! Having about 40 guests – many of them joining from different states and several from different countries! – made me feel so loved and celebrated that my nerves were steadied very quickly. It also helped me go into ‘teaching mode’ about my work, so it felt like getting to lead a seminar on my most favorite literature.”

“In reality, my dissertation defense was similar to presenting at an academic conference,” said Dr. Atkins. “I went over my research in a practiced and organized way, and I fielded questions from the audience.

“It was a celebration and an important benchmark for me,” said Dr. Trejo. “It was a pretty happy day. Like the punctuation at the end of your sentence: this sentence is done; this journey is done. You can start the next sentence.”

If you want to learn more about dissertations in your own discipline, don’t hesitate to reach out to graduates from your program and ask them about their experiences. If you’d like to avail yourself of some of the resources that helped students in this article while they wrote and defended their dissertations, check out these links:

The Graduate Writing Lab

https://thinktank.arizona.edu/writing-center/graduate-writing-lab

The Writing Skills Improvement Program

https://wsip.arizona.edu

Campus Health Counseling and Psych Services

https://caps.arizona.edu

https://www.scribbr.com/

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How to Effectively Prepare for Your Thesis Defense

thesis defence in italiano

You’ve completed your research study, written your thesis, and think you’re done! If only it were this easy. Before you finish with your thesis, there is one last hurdle to overcome: the thesis defense.

What is a thesis defense?

A thesis defense is an opportunity for you to present your research study before other academic professionals who will evaluate the quality of your academic work. While a thesis defense can sometimes feel like a cross-examination in a court of law, in reality, there is no need to fear your thesis defense as long as you are well-prepared. In this article, we’ll talk about how to prepare for a thesis defense, what to expect at the defense itself, and what comes after your defense. 

Why do I have to defend my thesis?

At your thesis defense, you will discuss everything you’ve learned with a group of interested examiners who are eager to hear your thoughts.

The fundamental purpose of a thesis defense is to prove that you have mastered your subject and can be considered as a knowledgeable expert in your field, thereby allowing you to graduate successfully. For many students, a thesis is one of the first attempts at conducting original research and demonstrating that you are equipped to function as an independent expert in your field. If qualified academic professionals can assess your work, question your methods and results, and confirm that your study is sound and novel, then you meet the requirements.

The exact format and expectations for your thesis defense will differ depending on the region you study in and your institution’s rules for the thesis program. The thesis defense meeting may have just two or three examiners or may have a whole panel of examiners along with an audience. 

If the thought of facing your professors, peers, and parents to present your research study makes you feel dizzy, you aren’t alone . Moreover, a thesis defense is a great opportunity for you to hone your public speaking skills as well as talk about your research study. At your thesis defense, you will discuss everything you’ve learned with a group of interested examiners who are eager to hear your thoughts.

While the format for a thesis defense will vary, as mentioned above, most thesis defenses consist of:

  • Presenting your research study (using PowerPoint or other similar tools)
  • Answering questions from your thesis committee
  • Receiving feedback from your thesis committee

So how can you prepare for it? Let’s talk about some important tips.

Preparing: Before the defense

It is useful to attend multiple defenses and ask others who have gone through the process what it was like.

The best way to prepare for a thesis defense is to attend other defenses at your institution so that you know what to expect. It is useful to attend multiple defenses and ask others who have gone through the process what it was like. Senior students are often happy to provide advice and can give you specific insights about particular examiners as well as details of the administrative process at your institution.

You should also talk to your thesis advisor well in advance of your defense about what to expect. Ask whether you need to shortlist your own committee, how long your presentation should be, and how long the thesis defense will be. The duration of a thesis defense varies by the degree level as well as the institution. On average, expect your defense to be at least an hour long, possibly longer for a Ph.D.

What should my presentation cover and how can I prepare it?

While preparing your presentation, also prepare a list of questions and answers that you think are likely to be asked by your committee.

You will need to prepare a presentation that will cover the details of your research study. It is wise to rehearse this presentation multiple times in advance of your thesis defense so that you will be comfortable when you actually present in front of your audience. While preparing your presentation, also prepare a list of questions and answers that you think are likely to be asked by your committee. If you can, enlist the help of a classmate or friend to be the examiner. They can ask you questions about your research study so you will be able to practice addressing these questions.

One mistake many students make is assuming that all members of their defense committee will thoroughly read their thesis prior to the defense. This is simply not always the case. For this reason, you should make sure your presentation makes sense to someone who has not actually read your thesis. A typical thesis defense presentation gives:

  • An introduction to the topic
  • Explains how the study is significant in the field
  • Covers the main highlights of the methodology and results of the study
  • Picks out the main points from the discussion and conclusion

What should I do the day before my defense?

Before your thesis defense, make sure you have backups of everything you need saved in multiple formats and multiple locations.

Before your thesis defense, make sure you have backups of everything you need to be saved in multiple formats and multiple locations. Put your presentation and your thesis on a USB drive, email it to yourself, upload it to the cloud, and print it out. Leave nothing to chance: you want to be absolutely prepared to defend your thesis short of an act of God obliterating the venue. In addition, make sure you prepare hard copies (printouts) of both your thesis and slideshow for the committee members. It need not be professionally bound at this stage, but they will appreciate having reference material on hand.

Finally, there are some practical steps to take in preparation for the thesis defense. Choose your outfit in advance (you should dress professionally) and practice presenting in it. You should also make sure you know the exact location of the thesis defense venue. Scope out the venue before your defense, if possible, so you can imagine yourself there while you rehearse. If you are presenting virtually, test all your equipment in advance and have a backup plan in case your internet goes out or your computer suddenly crashes. Most importantly, make sure that you eat well and get proper rest the night before. Don’t stay up late rehearsing last minute in the hopes of improving your chances of passing your defense. You will do much better if you are well-rested and alert. 

Time to shine: At the defense

Try to stay calm and remember you are not on trial!

What can you expect on the day of the defense?

Typically, you will enter the room, set up, and begin your presentation once the committee indicates that they are ready. As mentioned above, it is always advisable to bring hard copies of both your thesis and slideshow for the committee. That way, they can easily refer to what you are talking about as you present. Make sure you also bring a pencil and notebook with you to take notes, and some water, because you will get thirsty as you talk.

After you are done with the presentation, the committee members will ask questions. Try to stay calm and remember you are not on trial! Your committee generally wants you to succeed, but they also want you to prove that you really know what you’re talking about. Do your best to answer their questions and never be afraid to admit when you don’t know something. It is much better, to be honest than to be caught lying or making something up during your thesis defense.

After the question and answer session, depending on your institution, you may be asked to leave the room while the committee deliberates. You may also be present while they discuss the merits of your defense and make suggestions for how to revise it. Alternatively, they might adjourn to another room if there is a large audience present. After they deliberate, they will usually thank you for your time, and your defense will be over. At some institutions, they will inform you if you passed right away, while at others, you will find out after a few days. 

How does my committee decide if my work is good or not?

In general, you can expect your thesis defense and your thesis as a whole to be evaluated based on the below criteria:

  • Whether the thesis meets the departmental requirements
  • Whether the research study is logical and clear
  • Whether the stated objectives are met in the study
  • Use of primary and secondary literature
  • Use of relevant and up-to-date sources
  • Methodological rigor
  • Your ability to critically analyze data, facts, relevant literature, and synthesize information into a coherent narrative
  • Writing quality and flow
  • The validity of your conclusions based on your data and analysis
  • The relevance and importance of your research study in the field
  • Your ability to clearly and coherently present what your thesis is about
  • Your ability to answer questions about your work accurately and in-depth
  • Your ability to acknowledge and consider other theories or perspectives and explain why you dismissed one theory in favor of another

In summary, the examining committee want to know:

  • Did you meet the thesis criteria set by your institution?
  • Did you perform high-quality research work?
  • Do you know what you are talking about?

After the defense: What’s next?

After your thesis is approved, you will need to have it professionally bound and then submit copies to your university.

After your thesis defense, you should definitely celebrate and congratulate yourself for all your hard work! Unfortunately, you aren’t quite done yet. Although the committee may notify you about passing, it is also very likely that you will be asked to make some changes to your thesis before you are finally done. You should work with your advisor to finalize and incorporate any comments you received into your work as quickly as possible.

After your thesis is approved, you will need to have it professionally bound and then submit copies to your university. You will also get the chance to order copies for yourself. This process also differs by institution, so make sure you talk to the administration department to figure out what you need to do and when to complete this process.

All in all, while a thesis defense is a scary and overwhelming event, it is also an incredible achievement. Earning your degree is no small feat, and you should definitely feel proud of yourself once you have done it! Check out our site for more tips on how to write a good thesis, where to find the best thesis editing services , and more about thesis editing and proofreading services .

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To prepare for your thesis defense, make sure that you:

Find out your institutional requirements

Talk to your advisor well in advance about what to expect and prepare

Attend defenses of other students to see what they are like

Prepare your presentation early so you can rehearse it

Rehearse your presentation with a timer

Make a list of questions and answers about your research study

Enlist a friend to be the examiner and ask you questions

Prepare multiple backups of your materials (USB drive, Google Drive/Cloud storage, email, hard copy) 

Have a plan for computer/internet problems if you are presenting virtually

Eat well and get a good night’s rest before the defense

Arrive at the defense venue early enough to test any IT equipment or internet connection

What should I do to prepare for my thesis defense? +

  • Find out your institution’s requirements
  • Attend other thesis defenses
  • Speak to your advisor
  • Prepare and practice your presentation
  • Enlist a friend or classmate to act as the examiner and ask you questions while you practice

How long is a typical thesis defense? +

Every institution is different, but most thesis defenses are at least an hour long.

What should my thesis presentation actually contain? +

 A typical thesis defense presentation introduces the thesis topic, explains how your study is significant in the field, and covers the main highlights of the methodology and results of the study. It finally picks out the main points from the discussion and conclusion section of your thesis.

What if I fail my thesis defense? +

The odds that you will fail are extremely low! Most advisors and committees do not let a candidate schedule a defense unless they feel the candidate is ready. So, don’t worry about it. However, if you do fail for some reason, your institution will have a process for you to apply to try again.

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Dissertations / Theses on the topic 'Defence'

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Consult the top 50 dissertations / theses for your research on the topic 'Defence.'

Next to every source in the list of references, there is an 'Add to bibliography' button. Press on it, and we will generate automatically the bibliographic reference to the chosen work in the citation style you need: APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, Vancouver, etc.

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Browse dissertations / theses on a wide variety of disciplines and organise your bibliography correctly.

Mayers, Carl Nicholas. "Cucumber mosaic virus : defence and counter-defence." Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2000. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.621673.

Van, Dyk Johannes Jacobus. "An evaluation of the South African Department of Defence's policy on Defence Industrial Participation (DIP) as a defence industrial development mechanism." Thesis, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, 2008. http://hdl.handle.net/10948/1067.

Silber, Stephane Carleton University Dissertation Management Studies. "Defence conversion: A comparison of the innovation processes of defence and non-defence products in the electronic sector of the Canadian defence industry." Ottawa, 1996.

Harris, Liam Jon Kieran. "Dual-use technology transfer between defence and non-defence markets." Thesis, Imperial College London, 2013. http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/18938.

Field, Sean Jeffrey. "A limited defence for C3I-disarmament and the Strategic Defence Initiative /." Title page, contents and introduction only, 1991. http://web4.library.adelaide.edu.au/theses/09Ar/09arf456.pdf.

Rush, Michael. "The defence of disimpoverishment." Thesis, University of Oxford, 2005. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.416854.

Rodin, David. "Self-defence and war." Thesis, University of Oxford, 1997. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.285411.

Bourne, C. "A defence of presentism." Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2002. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.596805.

Boren, David K. "Britain's 1981 defence review." Thesis, King's College London (University of London), 1992. https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/theses/britains-1981-defence-review(3124c973-9707-4d58-9de9-df7731d807f3).html.

Owens, Gregory Ashley. "A defence of dispositionalism." Thesis, University of Leeds, 2014. http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/6914/.

Tait, D. I. "A defence of analyticity." Thesis, University College London (University of London), 2011. http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1306878/.

Kuisma, Oiva. "Proclus' defence of Homer /." Helsinki : Societas scientarium Fennica, 1996. http://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb39233698h.

Stagg, Robert. "Shakespeare's defence of verse." Thesis, University of Southampton, 2017. https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/422264/.

Leek, Tobias, and Johan Hassel. "Cost-Efficiency in Swedish Defence Procurement : Comparing the view of the Swedish Defence Material Administration and the Swedish Ministry of Defence." Thesis, Jönköping University, JIBS, EMM (Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Management), 2007. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-886.

The Swedish defence has, during the last couple of years, been under major restructuring that has influenced defence procurements as well. Cost-efficiency has become increasingly important in defence procurement due to higher demand from shrinking defence budgets. The purpose of this study has been to compare the view on cost-efficiency between Swedish Defence Materiel Administration (FMV) and the Swedish Ministry of Defence and to discuss the potential differences. In order to compare the views, the study has looked at what is considered as cost-efficiency in Swedish defence procurement and how it could be achieved. The study has also considered the importance of Swedish defence industry in achieving cost-efficient procurements. For collecting data to make the comparison, focus group interviews were used as data collecting method. The use of focus groups has the advantage of allowing discussion and interaction between the participants. The study includes three focus group interviews, two were made at FMV and the third one was made at the Ministry of Defence.

When comparing the view on cost-efficiency in Swedish defence procurement between the three groups, there are no clear definition of what cost-efficiency is. However, a definition is suggested that combines the view of the three groups into the following definition; cost-efficient procurements should be good enough in order to satisfy the demand of the Armed Forces throughout the systems entire lifecy-cle. The study also concludes that the objective of becoming more cost-efficient is shared between the Defence Materiel Administration and the Ministry of Defence. However, there are differences on how this objective is to be achieved. The Ministry of Defence wants to use economical measures to make the organization around defence procurement more efficient and thus more cost-efficient procurement. The Defence Materiel Administration on the other hand would like to increase the per-sonnel since that would make it possible to utilize the market in a better way through competitive procurement.

The role of the Swedish defence industry is considered by all three groups as important for international cooperation and is said to contribute to cost-efficiency in procurements since the defence materiel market is characterised by barter transactions. With the intention of involving the industry in more parts of the system lifecycle through Public Private Partnerships, the importance of the defence industry will in-crease in order to make cost-efficient procurements.

Dentith, Matthew Richard. "In defence of conspiracy theories." Thesis, University of Auckland, 2012. http://hdl.handle.net/2292/17107.

Danielsson, Marie. "Chemical defence in Norway spruce." Doctoral thesis, KTH, Organisk kemi, 2011. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-31133.

McKaiser, Eusebius. "In defence of moral objectivity." Thesis, Rhodes University, 2003. http://hdl.handle.net/10962/d1007599.

Bant, Elise. "The change of position defence." Thesis, University of Oxford, 2008. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.479399.

Conduct, Matthew. "In defence of naïve realism." Thesis, Durham University, 2008. http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/2217/.

Ashworth, B. "A defence of clinical judgment." Thesis, Swansea University, 2001. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.635803.

吳嘉寶 and Ka-po Ng. "China's defence modernisation since 1977." Thesis, The University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong), 1994. http://hub.hku.hk/bib/B13775807.

Coker, Christine. "Changes in the defence industry." Thesis, University of Surrey, 1997. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.360938.

Foster, Lesley. "Alternative splicing in plant defence." Thesis, University of Warwick, 2016. http://wrap.warwick.ac.uk/92754/.

Dicken, Paul Edward Trueman. "A defence of constructive empiricism." Thesis, University of Cambridge, 2007. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.613381.

Ivanovski, Hristijan. "A common defence for Europe." Israel Defence, 2015. http://hdl.handle.net/1993/31255.

Simpson, Katherine Hannah. "Public choice for flood defence." Thesis, University of Stirling, 2015. http://hdl.handle.net/1893/22596.

Borysenkov, Dmytro, and Serhii Rozhok. "Features of national cyber defence." Thesis, National Aviation University, 2021. https://er.nau.edu.ua/handle/NAU/50755.

Bradley, Joseph E. (Joseph Edmund) Carleton University Dissertation Canadian Studies. "In defence of Charter review." Ottawa, 1992.

Ng, Ka-po. "China's defence modernisation since 1977 /." [Hong Kong : University of Hong Kong], 1994. http://sunzi.lib.hku.hk/hkuto/record.jsp?B13775807.

Beard, James Richard Laurence. "Thin universalism : derivation and defence." Thesis, Swansea University, 2008. https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa42830.

Wing, Ian Politics Australian Defence Force Academy UNSW. "Australian Defence in transition: responding to new security challenges." Awarded by:University of New South Wales - Australian Defence Force Academy. School of Politics, 2002. http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/38662.

Lundmark, Martin. "Transatlantic defence industry integration : discourse and action in the organizational field of the defence market." Doctoral thesis, Handelshögskolan i Stockholm, Institutionen för Marknadsföring och strategi, 2011. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:hhs:diva-1537.

Pedrason, Rodon [Verfasser], and Aurel [Akademischer Betreuer] Croissant. "ASEAN’S DEFENCE DIPLOMACY: THE ROAD TO SOUTHEAST ASIAN DEFENCE COMMUNITY? / Rodon Pedrason ; Betreuer: Aurel Croissant." Heidelberg : Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg, 2017. http://d-nb.info/1180986539/34.

Louw, Gerhard Martin. "South African defence policy and capability : the case of the South African National Defence Force." Thesis, Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2013. http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85766.

Blake, Robin Michael. "Defence Diplomacy for Conflict Prevention : a Strategic Analysis of the South African Defence Review 2015." Diss., University of Pretoria, 2016. http://hdl.handle.net/2263/58472.

Smith, Andrew Humanities &amp Social Sciences Australian Defence Force Academy UNSW. "The factors influencing the employment of the Australian Defence Organisation in homeland security roles since 11 September 2001." Awarded by:University of New South Wales - Australian Defence Force Academy. School of Humanities and Social Sciences, 2007. http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/38735.

Dyson, Philip Thomas Adrian. "The politics of German defence policy : policy leadership, Bundeswehr reform and European defence and security policy." Thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London), 2005. http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/1778/.

Paul, Rishi Daven. "U.S. post-bipolar nuclear strategy and strategic defence : U.S. ballistic missile defence after mutual assured destruction." Thesis, University of Leeds, 2011. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.713691.

Morris, Timothy Huson. "Neutrophil defence against bovine uterine infections." Thesis, Royal Veterinary College (University of London), 1988. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.522694.

Kalliopi, Chainoglou. "Reconceptualising the law of self-defence." Thesis, King's College London (University of London), 2007. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.566223.

Kosub, Timothy Alexander. "A defence of Kuhn's incommensurability thesis." Thesis, University of British Columbia, 1989. http://hdl.handle.net/2429/28254.

Everett, Pauline. "A relational defence of surrogate motherhood." Thesis, Durham University, 2011. http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/4464/.

Ogle, Peter, and n/a. "A defence of non-introspective simulationism." University of Otago. Department of Philosophy, 2006. http://adt.otago.ac.nz./public/adt-NZDU20070117.085634.

Weatherbie, Jason. "Strategic responses to defence sector restructuring." Thesis, National Library of Canada = Bibliothèque nationale du Canada, 1999. http://www.collectionscanada.ca/obj/s4/f2/dsk2/ftp03/MQ36921.pdf.

Britz, Malena. "The europeanization of defence industry policy /." Stockholm : Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, 2004. http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:su:diva-262.

O'Connor, Brian Patrick. "Adorno's Kantian epistemology : interpretation and defence." Thesis, University of Oxford, 1995. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.260588.

Schwartzman, Micah Jacob. "Towards a defence of public reason." Thesis, University of Oxford, 2003. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.270472.

Chonabayashi, Ryo. "A defence of metaphysical ethical naturalism." Thesis, Cardiff University, 2012. http://orca.cf.ac.uk/26860/.

Zilbauer, Matthias. "Innate immune defence to Campylobacter jejuni." Thesis, University College London (University of London), 2007. http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/1445170/.

Graham, Gary. "Defence industry structure and supplier strategies." Thesis, University of Huddersfield, 1995. http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.296000.

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PhD student Rawya Khodo successfully defends thesis on health system resilience

20 February 2024

Congratulations to Rawya Khodor who has successfully defended her thesis, ‘Health system resilience through coordination and learning: The NGO ecosystem of primary healthcare in Lebanon'

Caritas, Lebanon

Image credit: Caritas, Lebanon

Rawya Khodor has successfully defended her doctoral thesis, arguing that an NGO ecosystem can contribute to health system resilience if it involves specific configurations of NGO-government, NGO-donor, and NGO-NGO coordination and learning. Her thesis centres on how coordination and learning in a Lebanese NGO ecosystem contribute to health system resilience.  

Academics and practitioners have called for understanding relationships within the frame of international aid, health system governance, and the practice of care. Similar calls exist to understand the contribution of relationships between actors within a health system to health system resilience. However, limited empirical research tackles these calls. In countries where non-governmental organisations (NGOs) deliver a substantial share of healthcare, particularly through contracting out, the main actors involved in strengthening health system resilience encompass these NGOs, the government, and donors. Nevertheless, scant exploration also exists on how some relationships between these actors, within an NGO ecosystem, contribute to health system resilience. 

She examines these relationships in the context of Lebanon’s primary health system, predominantly managed by NGOs through contracts and heavily funded by donors. She employs mixed methods: document review, surveys, semi-structured interviews, and peer interviews. Using the complex adaptive systems (CAS) theory, she focuses on analysing the contribution of these relationships to the resilience capacities of the health system. She also examines how power dynamics and other factors influence these relationships. 

Her thesis emphasises the government’s regulatory role in health systems involving private actors, such as NGOs. The government can regulate NGOs’ behaviours through NGO-government coordination and learning while allowing them a degree of operational autonomy. It also underscores the donors’ role in tailoring and implementing flexible approaches to development, which prioritise learning to strengthen health system resilience. Donors can enable flexible NGO-donor coordination, as well as regular and reciprocal NGO-donor learning. The government and donors can also promote NGO-NGO coordination in a competitive NGO environment. These relationships strengthen the resilience of the NGO ecosystem and of the health system. 

In sum, this thesis emphasises the government’s regulatory role in health systems involving private actors, such as NGOs. It also underscores the donors’ role in tailoring and implementing flexible approaches to development, which prioritise learning to strengthen health system resilience. The thesis also calls for recognising the governments’ and donors’ roles in creating an NGO ecosystem in which NGOs simultaneously compete and coordinate, further strengthening health system resilience. 

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thesis defence in italiano

Doctoral Dissertation Defense – Margo Donlin

BME PhD Candidate Margo Donlin will be defending their dissertation:

Adaptive Post-Stroke Gait Rehabilitation Methods To Increase Propulsion

  • Location : Ammon Pinizzotto Biopharmaceutical Innovation Center, Room 140 AB
  • Zoom Link : https://udel.zoom.us/j/93852264124
  • Date : Wednesday, March 13th, 2024
  • Time : 1 pm
  • Committee : Jill Higginson

Stroke often causes significant impairments to mobility and function, frequently characterized by decreased walking speed and propulsion. Standardized rehabilitation programs do not address individual impairments and are not robust to the heterogeneity of the post-stroke population, resulting in rehabilitation protocols that work for some people and not for others. However, fully individualizing rehabilitation protocols for each person would not be time- or cost-effective, motivating the need to develop novel customizable rehabilitation protocols. The overall purpose of this dissertation was to develop and evaluate novel adaptive rehabilitation methods to improve propulsion after stroke. This was accomplished through experimental analyses of healthy and post-stroke gait as well as design and implementation of a novel rehabilitation device.

In Aim 1, we evaluated the stride-to-stride variability of young adults while walking on a novel adaptive treadmill that changes speed in real-time based on measured gait parameters. We recruited and tested a sample of 22 young, healthy individuals and compared variability between the adaptive and fixed-speed treadmills. This study found that stride-to-stride variability of spatiotemporal and propulsive measures differs between adaptive and fixed-speed treadmills. Variability on the adaptive treadmill was similar to previously established overground variability, indicating that adaptive treadmill walking may be more like overground walking. Additionally, increases in propulsion at one stride were more likely to persist for subsequent strides on the adaptive treadmill, suggesting that the adaptive treadmill may be beneficial for increasing propulsion during post-stroke rehabilitation. While the adaptive treadmill is a useful tool for physical therapy and rehabilitation, some stroke survivors may have more limited function and need additional assistance. In Aim 2, we developed and evaluated a novel adaptive functional electrical stimulation system that was used in conjunction with the adaptive treadmill. This adaptive functional electrical stimulation system updated stimulation amplitudes at every stride based on measured gait parameters to form a fully adaptive rehabilitation environment when combined with the adaptive treadmill. In a validation study with individuals’ post-stroke, stimulation amplitudes were adjusted with over 99% accuracy and stimulation was delivered with over 90% temporal accuracy, thus reducing the frequency of erroneous stimulation deliveries. We found that the adaptive functional electrical stimulation system performed well across variable post-stroke gait patterns and delivered stimulation with a high degree of accuracy.

Finally, in Aim 3, we compared the performance of the novel adaptive functional electrical stimulation system to the existing functional electrical stimulation system. We recruited and tested 24 individuals with chronic post-stroke hemiparesis who completed six trials across two treadmill conditions and three stimulation conditions. Walking speed was statistically significantly faster on the adaptive treadmill compared to the fixed-speed treadmill. However, there were no significant differences in walking speed, propulsion, or dorsiflexion angle between the stimulation conditions. Some individuals benefitted greatly from the stimulation, while other individuals did not see the same benefits, further reflecting high variability and heterogeneity as a hallmark of stroke survivors.

Overall, this dissertation represents an important step in the process of developing post-stroke rehabilitation protocols that work for all participants. Future work should further analyze individual subject behavior to determine which individuals will respond to which rehabilitation protocol and continue working toward effective rehabilitation methods for all stroke survivors.

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  7. Full article: Doctoral defence formats

    The doctoral defence is the oral examination of the doctoral thesis. This event is an important step for doctoral candidates in obtaining their degree. It is important, as in some defence formats such as the UK-style viva voce or, shorter, viva, the performance during the defence forms part of the overall assessment of the thesis.

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  18. What Is A Thesis Defense?

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  19. PhD student Rawya Khodo successfully defends thesis on health system

    Rawya Khodor has successfully defended her doctoral thesis, arguing that an NGO ecosystem can contribute to health system resilience if it involves specific configurations of NGO-government, NGO-donor, and NGO-NGO coordination and learning.Her thesis centres on how coordination and learning in a Lebanese NGO ecosystem contribute to health system resilience.

  20. Notice of Final Defense

    The UTC Graduate School is pleased to announce that Amira Marquez Moreno will present Master's research titled, Understanding the experience of immigrant workers: a qualitative examination of work demands, resources, and barriers to achieving optimal well-being on 03/08/2024 at 1:00 PM in 540 McCallie, Room 394. Everyone is invited to attend. Psychology Chair: Dr. Kristen Black Co-Chair: Dr ...

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  24. Doctoral Dissertation Defense

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