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wRiting, Submitting, Viva, and emPloyment (RSVP)

What is RSVP?

The RSVP course is for students who are approaching the end of their PhD, and is a blend of lectures and lively panel discussions to cover the fundamental things you need to know to make sure you get your PhD. We will have a range of expert speakers including staff from the Student Registry Office (formerly BoGS) to tell you the admin requirements, and experienced examiners to talk about the viva process. This runs every six months; roughly each summer and winter.



Feedback from the last course included:

  • "Very good session. Clearly useful and a must-attend for all final year PhD students. I was quite anxious as I am not entirely sure what to expect in my final year of PhD in terms of viva, thesis submission procedure, etc."
  • "This course definitely puts me more at ease and ready to tackle my final year with confidence!"
  • "I think the course is suitable for any student either at the end of their 2nd year or at the beginning of the third year of PhD study."  
  • "It has given me plenty of time to plan for my viva, as well as to think what I want to do afterwards."


  • 100% said that they intended to apply the skills, techniques and knowledge from the course
  • 94% said the event was useful for them


The Next Course Date

The next RSVP course will run on:

  • Friday 12 Dec 2014
  • 0920 - 1700
  • William Harvey Lecture Theatre, Clinical School, Addenbrooke's site (map)



Welcome and introduction

Dr Geraint Wyn Story Researcher Development Consultant for GSLS
Writing your dissertation and its practicalities Dr Martin Welch Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry
Your viva Dr David Sargan PI at the Vet School, and Degree Committee chairman
Viva Q&A session Dr David Sargan, Prof John Sinclair, Prof Fiona Karet Experienced viva examiners
Starting to finish Dr Geraint Wyn Story Researcher Development Consultant for GSLS
Things you need to do before and when you submit Mrs Sarah Pickard

Student Registry Office

Careers in academia Q&A session

Ms Sally Todd, Prof Randy Read, Dr Matthew Seaman, Dr Janine Wilkinson

Life Sciences Careers Adviser, Group leaders at Clinical School, postdoc at Clinical School
Careers outside academia Ms Sally Todd

 Careers Adviser



The day will be informal and interactive; students are encouraged to ask questions to the speakers during the sessions.


Booking a Place

Places do need to be booked so materials and catering can be provided. You can book a place by clicking on this link.



The slides from the course will be available from one day after the course until 8 weeks after the course.

Click here