Doctoral Dissertation Defense

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But note; this last-resort-option can only be used once, so save it carefully .

If there’s one advice that trumps all the others, it has to be this one: Smile, have fun, enjoy YOUR day!

It is not everyone against you, it is everyone against the committee. An experienced professor told me that in many cases they are so hung up in performing with their questions, that they don’t really pay attention to all your answers. The audience does not just listen to what you have to say, they observe it. The last thing you want to worry about when the opponents start lightening up the fire is whether your shirt matches your socks. You certainly deserve it, and it boosts your confidence and cools your nerves. It is probably too late to become a TED-level speaker two weeks prior to the defense, but it’s not too late to nail an excellent presentation of work. A run-through with colleagues is essential and tremendously helpful. If you got a written comment to your thesis from the committee you should have read it carefully and practiced a few responses to the obvious questions in it.

In fact, the committee has better reasons to be nervous than you; the audience want to succeed and be brilliant. If you’re going to have a tough time, have it with style.

Unless there is a confidentiality clause, the institution hosting the defense shall provide access to the dissertation internally and within the university community.

Online publication of the dissertation beyond this scope is subject to permission from its author, assuming there is no confidentiality clause.

In accordance with the decree of May 25, 2016 establishing a national framework in France for the education and conditions leading to a French Ph D diploma, and in order to guarantee the independence of the juries required for the evaluation of a thesis, the PSL Doctoral College has, at its meeting of March 7, 2018, decided on the following modalities.

Authorization for a dissertation defense is granted by the head of the institution, who is advised by the director of the doctoral school based on a recommendation from the dissertation supervisor.

The dissertation supervisor participates on the jury and attends the deliberations but does not take part in the decision. Personalities can participate as guest members (maximum two).

A member invites a seat during the defense but does not sign the documents relating to the defense and is not considered as an examiner.


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