Defending Your Thesis at Viva

A thesis defense is a pivotal moment for doctoral candidates. It carries immense significance and is often associated with anxiety and subpar performance.

But doctoral candidates must learn how to navigate this critical stage. A successful thesis defense not only signifies academic achievement but also prepares students for the challenges of academia and beyond.

In an increasingly competitive academic landscape, the ability to effectively present and defend one’s work is a critical skill that can greatly impact a researcher’s career trajectory.

This training on Dec. 8, 2023, provided doctoral candidates with insights, strategies and practical guidance for defending their research. It addressed the academic rigor as well as the psychological and interpersonal aspects of the defense.

The aim was to help candidates emerge from the experience with confidence and a sense of accomplishment.

The training covered three topics:

  1. Designing an effective thesis presentation
  2. Delivering a quality thesis presentation
  3. Preparing for and managing the thesis Q&A session

About the facilitators:

Nathaniel Boso

Nathaniel Boso has taken the lead in designing and teaching PhD courses, supervising more than 20 PhD students and examining numerous PhD theses both in Ghana and internationally.

He holds the O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chair of Entrepreneurship and Employability at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. He also is a professor of international marketing and strategy at KNUST and Extraordinary Professor at University of Pretoria’s Gordon Institute of Business Science in South Africa.

Boso’s research interests span international entrepreneurship, marketing and supply chain strategies. His work has appeared in such publications as Journal of Business Venturing, Journal of Product Innovation Management and Journal of World Business.

He sits on the editorial review board of International Marketing Review and Africa Journal of Management as an associate editor.

Dominic Essuman

Dominic Essuman is a lecturer in sustainable management at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. His research interests revolve around supply chain strategy, resilience and sustainability.

He boasts extensive experience in training, mentoring and supervising PhD students. Essuman has collaborated with Boso to teach PhD students in Ghana and Kenya.

Additionally, he has successfully supervised five doctoral, five MPhil, and 42 MBA/MSc theses. This involves preparing the students for their thesis defense and actively participating in the defenses.

Essuman also possesses expertise in various aspects of research development, manuscript writing and the publication process. He has presented his work both locally and internationally.

His research has been published in top-tier academic journals, including the International Journal of Production Economics, Journal of International Business Studies and Journal of Business Logistics.

He is a graduate of KNUST with a PhD in logistics and supply chain management.