Writing and Defence of Research Proposal

On 23rd Dec, I have required attending the PhD deference proposal. This is my first-time experience to do the assessment. As the examiner, I also google myself to find out what criteria that examiner wants to evaluate the proposal defend. Here are some good tips that I obtained from the internet on how to writing and also defend your PhD proposal
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Hints for Writing a PhD Proposal
By Angelos Keromytis (April 2010)

  • a description of the problem in enough detail to clearly state the thesis proposition (next item)
  • a proper, concise thesis proposition; this is not an abstract statement like “we’re going to investigate the insider problem”, but something along the lines of “our hypothesis is that the use of XYZ technology in environment Z under constraints Q can identify insider attackers with probability Z” — obviously, the fewer qualifiers the better, but you also need to be accurate; since this is a thesis proposal, we will cut you some slack — but it’s in your best interest to think hard about this, since it is the anchor point of your whole thesis (and the next few years’ worth of work for you)
  • a description of the related work, how it does not solve the problem, and how your hypothesis has not been tested before
  • preliminary results (if any) that indicate that you have reason to believe that the hypothesis holds
  • additional experiments that you will run to prove that the hypothesis holds
  • what you’ll need to build to run said experiments (and what you’ve already built)
  • what happens if you can’t run some of these experiments, or if they give you “bad” results — what’s your failover?
  • what are the expected contributions, keeping in mind that each major contribution must demonstrate novelty, non-triviality, and usefulness (so, “first”, “best”, “only” are good adjectives here)
  • how long you expect all this to take

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Read/edit the built-in Matlab functions

I found a good tip from the matlab community to find out the built-in function in Matlab. You can edit and change it. The tip as follows:

% You can use the [which] command to find the path name to the

% built-in function in question, i.e. -

which fft

% then point Matlab to that folder on your computer so that

% the fft.m file is in your "current folder" window. Then use

% the [edit] command to edit the function, i.e. -

edit fft

% The code for the fft function will appear in the editor window.

% Often it is useful to make small changes to the built-in code

% then comment out the changes as soon as you're done so that

% Matlab will continue to function as designed.
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Top 20 PhD Viva Questions

Fig. 1: Summary of PhD. process

I would like to share some good general questions for PhD viva. Useful for PhD candidates and also for examiners. Credit to my main supervisor who forward this information.

  1. What is original or novel about your work/thesis?
  2. What are the main issues / debates in your subject area? What is the current state of the art in your field?
  3. What were the crucial research decisions that you made? How did they impact what you did?
  4. How have you analysed/evaluated your work?
  5. Why have you tackled the problem in this way? What alternatives did you consider?
  6. What do your results mean? Are there longer term implications for industry?
  7. How could you improve your work/thesis?
  8. What had not been done on this topic/field before?
  9. What theories or models or analytical techniques did you use?
  10. Are the techniques you have used appropriate for this topic?
  11. What are the theoretical basis/underpinnings to your work?
  12. How long do you expect your work to remain innovative? How do you expect the field to develop in the next 5-10 years?
  13. What sets your work apart from others? Who are the leading researchers in your field?
  14. What issues arose during this work? How did you resolve any issues which arose in the course of your research?
  15. What have you learned from the process of doing a PhD? How will you apply what you have learnt in your future career?
  16. How did you deal with the practical/fieldwork aspect of your study?
  17. Do you think that your recommendations are appropriate or widely applicable?
  18. Is there scope for further study on this topic? What would you recommend the next student on this topic to do?
  19. Do your contributions have a limited timescale? When do you think your work will be obsolete?
  20. What have you done that merits the award of a PhD?
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