The University appoints two examiners for all research degree vivas, normally an external examiner and an internal examiner.
In certain circumstances, such as when the candidate is a member of academic staff, a chair may be appointed.
The Chair will not be required to examine the thesis but will be present to ensure that the viva is conducted in accordance with University procedures and standard practice for the discipline.
A chair will normally be necessary in cases where:
- The internal and external PhD examiners have less than five recent PhD examinations between them;
- The internal examiner has little or no experience of examining at the University of Leicester;
- The candidate is a member of academic staff, and therefore two external examiners and a chair are needed;
- The Head of School/Department or the Graduate Dean feel that it is appropriate - for example, if the examiners have little experience of examining or supervising UK PhD candidates or where an independent authority is needed in the examination process.
The Chair will usually be a senior member of the academic staff of the department in which the candidate is registered and have recent examining experience and should not be/have been a member of the supervisory team. Retired members of staff are not permitted to act as exam chairs.
The Chair will be required to submit a brief report on the conduct of the viva and to assist the internal examiner in ensuring that the necessary post-viva report is completed to the appropriate standard.