Although this is a direct quote, perhaps it is a bit unfair to make fun of a legitimate question. For every other exam, you would find out ahead of time what is expected of you. So let’s rephrase the question into something more useful
What do your PhD thesis examiners expect?
Before answering, it is important to acknowledge that the expectations of every examiner and in each field is different. However, the broad guidelines are:
- The creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication;
- A systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of an academic discipline or area of professional practice;
- The general ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems;
- A detailed understanding of the applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry.
With those points in mind, here is an updated cartoon with more useful answers to the question…
Thesis requirementsClick through the slideshow.
UPDATE: I’ve had a few requests for a single panel version of this for sharing… here you go!