How Research Works

Surviving the Viva: PhD defences remembered

The PhD viva (or defence) is likely one of the most stressful moments of many academics’ professional lives. What’s worse is that this rite of passage doesn’t even follow the same format across institutions or countries, making preparing for your viva even more difficult. Will it be a public or private defence? Will you make corrections before or after defending? Will you be faced with internal or external examiners, and how many? To shed at least a little light on the experience, Cultured Scene asked early-career researchers who studied in a variety of countries to explain how their defence worked, and to offer advice to students preparing for their own defence.

Research during a Pandemic

Research during a Pandemic: ECR perspectives

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a host of challenges for everyone. At Cultured Scene, we were particularly interested in how the pandemic and resulting quarantines and lockdowns have affected early-career researchers. We asked academics from different fields and at different stages of their careers the same six questions about how the pandemic has impacted them.

How Research Works

Work-Life Balance

Our resident Agony Aunt offers guidance on the key questions bothering early-career researchers, with additional advice crowd-sourced from Twitter. In this edition: Work-life (or, life-work) balance!

Interviews Pitch to Publication

The Spread of Amphorae Design

Simon Carrignon and María Coto spoke to Cultured Scene about their new research examining the spread of amphora production techniques in 1st-3rd century Spain. Cultured Scene: Your project used modelling to examine the potential social learning mechanisms at work in […]

Editorial Interviews News

UK Higher Education Strikes

Expecting a major cut to their pensions got thousands of UK university staff on the street. In February and March 2018, staff at 64 UK universities participated in strike action in protest against proposed changes to the Universities Superannuation Scheme. […]