Monday, February 25, 2019

Tips for research proposal defense


After about 7 months registered as a PhD student, I managed to present my research proposal for the proposal defense on 15th February 2019. It was Friday morning and was attended by three panels.

Started at around 10.10am and end up at 11.30.
Almost 1 hr 30 minutes jugaklah.

Of course, I was sweating throughout the presentation and can't wait for the final slide to appear on the screen.

I had actually submitted my research proposal to the panels of examiners on 30th Jan, allowing them at least two weeks to go through the proposal in written format.

Overall, I passed the proposal and the examiners agreed with what has been proposed.

They also suggested some improvement in the methodology, to be more quantitative in terms of extracting the porosity values using QI and velocity data.
I am yet to explore on that part.

It was a relief somehow that I passed the RPD without much alteration on the proposal but also explains that I only have 2.5 yrs to go.  Alhamdulillah and Allahuakbar.

No picture was taken on this day, haha.

If you asked me for tips to do RPD, a little I can share are listed below:

1. Wake up early that morning. If possible, make it a routine to wake up early.
If you are a Muslim, perform Tahajud Prayer and make lots of doa.
Recite Al-Quran. This will help you to feel calm.

2. Had a glance through at your presentation slides around 1-2 hrs before the real presentation.

3. Upload your slides and proposal in any drive on the internet. I used OneDrive.
You can also opt for GoogleDrive, Dropbox etc. This will be your back-up.

4. Download the slides from the drive, into the computer at the presentation room. Avoid using USB in public used computer. To reduce the chances of virus/malware transfer. Go through the slides once more in the presentation room. If the room is not available a few hrs before the presentation, try to familiarize the room a few days before the presentation.

5. Make sure your research proposal in written format is ready prior to the presentation, even if the examiners did not read it, it shows that you are ready
It also made you look more confident.

6. It would be great if you have preliminary results, or testing analysis and present it during the proposal defense. With this, the examiners can really see how far you are in your research and to give more confidence in your proposed methods.

7. It is very OK if your preliminary results are not what you expected. If it is showing the unexpected way from what you actually want, report it. Make sure not to repeat the same mistake, procedures, investigate it. This is what we call as research.

8.  Literature review: Be critical. Do not just cite and rephrase. Example: There are several proposed models by different authors. Mentioned all (or if too much, the most significant to your area), then state which model do you prefer, and why. Also mention that throughout your research, you will be based on this model etc. Same goes to several opinions in some matters.

9. Do not argue with the examiners. Keep calm if they did not agree with what you presented. Say politely your opinions and thanked them for giving the feedbacks(even if it is lame feedback).

10. Smile. Hide your nervousness and dress well to keep yourself confident. after all, you are the subject matter of expert for the research you plan to conduct.

Till then,


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