I past my PhD viva with minor corrections in June. Both examiners were happy and promised to send lists of corrections the following week.

Unfortunately, only one did that (and confirmed I corrected all of his comments). The other examiner hasn't replied any emails from me and my advisor for two months until now.

This examiner is a really nice person, so I'm afraid something wrong might have happened to him. If this is the case, I will also be in a great trouble, because if I can't finish my PhD, I have to enrol again in September, i.e. next month.

I'm doing a postdoc in the US, doing enrolment again means I have to go back to my school in the UK to show my original passport and Visa etc.

My advisor told me I should not worry. But the September deadline is close, given 2 months without any responses.

My questions are:

  • What should I do now?
  • I also know prof A, who is the head of the group of this examiner. I talked to him twice in workshops, and connect with him on Facebook. It means he only knows that I'm a random student in that neighbour university. Should I ask him about my examiner?
  • 1
    One of the benefits of being an academic is being able to take a summer vacation. You may not get rapid responses until the next term starts. Have you tried asking the department whether they know hos to contact the missing examiner before then?
    – keshlam
    Aug 5, 2015 at 22:11
  • @keshlam one automatic reply we received saying he would be on vacation until July 20, i.e. several weeks ago. And I don't think it is common for vacation to be longer than 2 months. As I've mentioned, I can't wait until next term.
    – sean
    Aug 5, 2015 at 22:26
  • 4
    @jakebeal Thanks for your edit, but you only change my British English words to American English words.
    – sean
    Aug 5, 2015 at 22:27
  • as I said, ask the department to help you find out what's up. Administrative Assistants can work magic.-
    – keshlam
    Aug 5, 2015 at 22:33
  • 1
    His. They're the ones who would know, and who he'd be most willing to listen to.
    – keshlam
    Aug 5, 2015 at 22:38

1 Answer 1


In circumstances such as this, you should consult the faculty member or administrator in your department who is responsible for overseeing the thesis examination process for doctoral candidates.

Different departments have different ways of handling such non-responses. In some cases, they may simply say that the examiner has, through non-communication, implicitly accepted the thesis "as is." Other departments may unfortunately insist on having both examiners "sign off" on the final submission before it is accepted. My department, for instance, leans toward the first policy, in that it is the actual supervisor of the student who "accepts" the final submitted version of the thesis.

However, without talking specifically to people in your department, it is impossible to tell you what will happen here.

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