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The PhD Life Raft Podcast

Jul 5, 2021

This week is all about how to survive your viva!


Nathan Ryder runs skills training for PhD students with a signature course entitled ‘Viva Survivor’ and daily blog of viva prep help.  


In this episode Nathan talks about his own experience of a PhD in Mathematics at the University of Liverpool and the importance of the support his supervisor gave him.  


We then talk about his move into supporting PGRs as an independent researcher-developer.  Nathan has lots of encouraging thoughts to share - such as the reminder that, by the time you get to submission, you will be very skilled at facing difficult challenges.  He offers an hourly calculation which demonstrates how the odds are on your side to succeed! 


He emphasises the importance of mindset and how being nervous is a positive sign of anticipation!


You can find Nathan on Twitter as @DrRyder and @VivaSurvivors.  

His website is


The author Nathan mentions in the episode is Seth Godin - he is fabulous and his own great daily blog - you can subscribe here:


While you are signing up to things you could treat yourself to ‘Notes from the Life Raft’ which comes out weekly-ish. You can join us here: