Before my viva (as they call it in the UK) one of my supervisors strongly hinted that one of my examiners would likely be interested in supervising me with the writing of a monograph. Three months after my PhD was awarded, I decided to contact both examiners and both responded that they did not feel qualified: one does not hold a doctorate, the other's main disciplinary area is outside my own.

Fair enough.

I was given your typical stock advice to publish and review but my heart is still set on publishing a monograph.

There are a couple of professors throughout the UK and North America whom I am keen to contact as potential supervisors for my project on the basis of our shared research affinities. Do I just send them an email? What is the protocol? This newbie academic does not want to commit any faux-pas!

Is a monograph or book of some sort an independent endeavour?.

Sigh.... post-PhD distress

  • 11
    Am I missing something here? How can these be your examiners if they are not qualified for this? Feb 9, 2016 at 7:54
  • 2
    Sorry for the silly question, but can't your former supervisors help you with that?
    – Mitra
    Feb 9, 2016 at 11:05
  • 3
    The question is very confusing. Monographs/books can be solo or co-authored of course. How exactly is the monograph related to your thesis? Why do you still need a supervisor?
    – Kimball
    Feb 9, 2016 at 23:33
  • 6
    It's news to me that anyone needs to supervise your writing a book in the first place. Is this field dependent or something?
    – Sverre
    Mar 31, 2016 at 15:34
  • 4
    How can someone not holding a doctorate examine a PhD?
    – user9482
    May 30, 2016 at 14:45

1 Answer 1


Be upfront and honest, and ask!

Make contact with these select few. Explain that you've received interest in producing a monograph, but those doing so later declined their support because their qualifications or subject knowledge are, described much lesd tactfully than you should, inadequate.

Describe your reasons for contacting them in particular - yes, personalise these requests. Ask if they are available to lend support, and whether they would desire to do so. Don't send a copy of your thesis, but make it clear that you will on request, that is, if they don't indicate that they looked it up already.

If you get declined, thank them for their answer, and for any helpful critique or advice they give. If they accept, discuss with your university to see what support you can get from them - if you have their backing already, this is a good thing to mention in your approach to potential collaborators.

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