Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I'm finally a real person. Last post I told you about the PhD confirmation process and how daunting the prospect was. After I submitted my conf doc I went to work on the conf talk.

It's a 40 minute presentation with 20 minutes for questions where you turn your conf doc into a talk for a broader audience, followed by an interview.

Standing up the front, like any other presentation, I was nervous. But I really started to sweat as I watched psychology academics, phd students, undergrads, researchers from other universities and national security experts trickle through the door!

The talk went well and I took some great (and some difficult) questions from the audience. Everyone then left and I was interviewed by my four readers. These are some of the smartest people I've ever met, so it was great to soak up their advice.

It was now my turn to leave the room while the readers asked my supervisor, Jason Tangen, how I'm really going in the PhD program. I returned and Jason left so the readers could ask me if I'm happy with his supervision and how things are going more generally.

After this seemingly endless process my readers decided that I have what it takes to continue, and they confirmed me as a bonafide PhD candidate. Smiley face.

My experience with this first PhD milestone was great. It was stressful, but it forced me to clarify my thinking in a way that would not have happened otherwise. The only problem is that now I actually have to do all the wonderful things I told the audience I would do.

Back to work I guess.

Matt Thompson
PhD Candidate


  1. Well done Retelli!

  2. Not me unfortunately Beaner, a mate of mine. I'm a couple of months off yet :)