|...........Article published on December
What is a Research Project Defence
Research project defence
is a systematic presentation and defence by the researcher, of his/
her research work in front of the reviewers/ examiners committee and other
audience. At research defence a researcher has to briefly explain his
entire project from start to finish and highlight all the activities and
findings pertaining to his research project. He is also required to explain
and answer the questions asked about his research work by the reviewers/
examiners and audience.
It is necessary that
a researcher before he finally faces his research defence must do thorough
preparations for his research defence. Once he is confident about his
preparations then only he should arrange/ ask for his research defence.
At research defence a researcher needs to make people understand about
his research work. In addition to this it’s an opportunity for the researcher
to convince people that his research work is authentic and well supported
by experimental results and logical concepts. Further, he also justify
that the present research work carried out by him fulfil the requirements
for the academic degree and he has developed an expertise in a particular
area of study. For this he has to make a systematic presentation of his
Before a researcher
actually prepare for his defence he must know clearly that what he is
going to present, how he will organize his presentation, what are the
most expected questions and how he will answer to those questions. The
following activities may help a researcher for an effective and systematic
- A researcher must structure his presentation
before he actually starts working on it. He must plan that what he
is going to present and how he will make the presentation.
- Self-assessment of research work and identifying
possible questions. Preparing answers for all such possible questions.
- Discussions with advisors/ supervisors and
other researchers on his research work. To have their views/ suggestions
for a better presentation of the research work and expected questions
on his research work.
- Find opportunities to discuss your research
work with your friends and colleagues. You may have some new questions
on your research work.
- Read your thesis thoroughly and try to identify
aspects of your research that are particularly confusing and need further
explanation. Also, try to identify such contents for which you feel
that you have missed to discuss in your report.
- Try to attend one or more defences prior
to yours. At the defence try and keep your focus on the interactions
that occur. Does the other researcher seem relaxed. What strategies do
the other researcher use to keep relaxed. How does the other researcher
interact with the defence committee members. Does the other researcher
seem to be able to answer questions well. What would make the situation
appear better. What things should you avoid. You can learn a lot from sitting
in such a meeting.
- Assess your weaknesses – nervousness, confusions,
poor vocal expression or any other. If you find any of such weaknesses
try to work on it so that you overcome such weaknesses before your go
for your research defence.
Preparations for Research
includes two key components one, what you are going to present and other
how you are going to present. Therefore, it is essential that you must
structure your content matter that you are going to present. Also, plan
an effective mode of presentation.
Structure of Presentation
Before a structure
for presentation is planned, a researcher must be clear about the time
allotted for the presentation. As a general rule no presentation should
be very long, ideally it should not be more than 30 minutes. However,
in most of the cases the chairman of the research defence committee may allot
some additional time or he may ask the researcher to present his research
work in less than 30 minutes. Therefore, a researcher must prepare his
presentation in such a manner that he may easily adjust to such variations
at the time of defence.
What goes into a research
project presentation is the most important and crucial aspect of any
research defence. At presentation one has to be the best not only on his
presentation but also he has to answer all the questions asked by the committee
members in a very convincing manner. His presentation by itself must
demonstrate the overall quality of his research work. As a fact there
is no single format for a research project presentation. This is because
every research project is different. However, there are several key components,
which must be included in every research defence presentation. The key
components for any research defence presentation are;
- Rehearse well for your presentation. Ask
some of your friends to attend such rehearsal. If possible, you may
invite your advisor/ supervisor and other senior researchers for one
of such rehearsals, this may give you confidence and you will know where
you were lacking in your preparations. Further, you may record one of such
rehearsal on a small tape recorder or if possible, on a handy camera. You
may watch your presentation later on, this may help you to find out your
weaknesses and you may have an idea for further improvements.
- An introduction to the research problem and
an argument as to why that problem is important.
- Specific objectives of the research study.
- An overview of the study area, location,
physiography, climate or other relevant themes related to the proposed
- A review of literature relevant to the research
- A description of the research methodology
adopted to perform the research.
- A description on primary and secondary data
collection and analysis.
- A description on experimental data generation,
- Interpretation of results and final findings.
- Conclusions and recommendations, if any.
- A note on the limitation of the present study.
- Describe how the results and the findings
of the present research work will be utilized.
In addition to this
a research defence presentation must also include a self-explanatory
title slide, acknowledgements and a note of thanks.
It is necessary that
a researcher before he finally faces his research defence must be well
prepared for the defence. Once he is confident about his preparations
then only he should arrange/ ask for his research defence. He must know
clearly that what he is going to present, how he will organize his presentation,
what are the most expected questions and how he will answer to those questions.
Prior to defence a
researcher must assess his weaknesses. These weaknesses may be nervousness,
confusions, poor vocal expression or any other. If any of such weaknesses
are present he must try to work on it so that he overcome such weaknesses
before he faces the research defence. The following points may be helpful
in overcoming such weaknesses;
- A note on future studies and extension of
the present research work.
- To overcome nervousness always think positive
and believe in yourself. You must understand that you are the
most knowledgeable person as far as your research problem is concerned.
Realize your capabilities and trust your knowledge on concerned research
subject. Concentrate more on such portions of your research work where
you feel that your knowledge on theoretical concepts is shallow. Rehearse
well for your presentation. Ask some of your friends to attend such rehearsals.
If possible, you may invite your advisor/ supervisor and other senior researchers
for one of such rehearsals, this may give you confidence and you will know
where you were lacking in your preparations. Further, you may record one
of such rehearsal on a small tape recorder or if possible, on a handy camera.
You may watch your presentation later on, this may help you to find out
your weaknesses and you may have an idea for further improvements.
- Confusions will only occur when you are not
well prepared for your presentation. The only means to overcome confusions
is to make sure that you prepare your self well prior to the defence.
Repeated readings of your presentation content matter and rehearsing
it for number of times may help you to overcome confusions. If not clear
on certain portions of your research work further reference readings
and consultation with your advisor may help to remove confusions.
- Poor vocal expression is a very serious weakness;
if an individual is poor in his vocal expression he will ruin his research
work at the time of presentation. Vocal expression means the way an
individual speaks and what feelings are exposed on his face when he
speaks. Vocal expression and style makes a presentation impressive and
convincing. Vocal expression is a difficult skill to master and it comes
through practice and dedication. However, some important tips to improve
vocal expression are mentioned below;
- Read the content matter of your presentation
repeatedly so that you remember the text and sequence correctly.
- Rehearse loudly your presentation content
matter number of times facing a mirror and watch out your expressions
on your face.
- When confidant, call some of your friends
and rehearse in front of them.
Mode of Presentation
Before a researcher decides on which mode he is going to made
his presentations he must check the availability of the required resources
for the proposed mode. There are two modes of effective presentation;
i) The ‘Over Head Projector (OHP)’ and ii) ‘Data Projector’. For Over
head projector the content matter has to be prepared over transparencies.
The transparencies may be prepared by freehand writing with permanent
OHP pens or content matter may be photocopied over the transparencies.
For ‘Data Projector’ the presentation may be prepared on ‘Microsoft Power
Point’ software and directly it may be displayed with the help of a Personal
computer or laptop. Of the two modes ‘Data Projector’ is an effective means
Some important tips for power point presentation preparation
are listed below;
- Make your presentation in Landscape layout
and use simple background or apply simple design template. Ideally
the background colour or design template must be of dark colour and
the text written should be in bright colour.
- While preparing slides be concise and precise.
The text written over each slide must be in points. Write only important
points in the slide. Use small sentences, ideally not more than two
lines. Do not over crowd the slides with text. Underline or highlight
the key words in the sentences. Headings must be in capital, bold letters
and underlined. Ideally headings must be in 18 point and other text
in 16 or 15 point. However, adjustment in font size may be made depending
upon the font style selected by an individual. Avoid using custom animation
effects on text as much of the time is wasted in animated display.
- Keep slide transition on mouse click mode,
do not make it on automatic mode. If you keep slide transition on mouse
click mode you will have a flexibility to change the slide as per your
choice at the time of presentation.
- Show only important results and try to display
results and findings of the research graphically. This may improve
- Use maps, figures and photographs to support
various concepts and results of your research. This will not only
make you comfortable in convincing the defence committee but it will
also make your presentation attractive.
- While preparing layout of slide try to arrange
a figure or a photograph at least after every alternative slide. This
will keep the audience attentive and involved in your presentation.
Research Defence Presentation
- Do not use such words for which you are not
sure for their meaning. Do not use difficult words to impress audience.
Do not use overly simplistic language in the slides.
For an effective presentation it is essential that a researcher
not only make a good presentation of his research work in front of Research
defense committee but it is equally important that he must present
himself in a very confident manner. For a good presentation the following
points may be helpful;
- Enter into meeting hall confidently with
a gentle smile on your face. Before you start your presentation convey
thanks to the meeting member / organizer who has invited you for the
presentation. Simply say ‘thank you Sir’ facing towards him.
- While presenting look towards the defence
committee members and the general audience. Do not look continuously
towards the screen or in a particular direction. While speaking do not
stand at one place only gently move towards right or left.
- Speak clearly and loudly; give emphasis on
the key words. Avoid using words like ‘I mean’, ‘You sea’, ‘you know’,‘Of
course’ etc. While presenting if you forget something do not try to
recall it, as it may give unnecessary pause and you will break your continuity.
- Avoid reading word by word from the slide.
Just look at the key words and frame your own sentences.
- Finish your presentation with a note of thanks.
- Listen carefully to the questions asked by
the defence committee members and the audience. Think for a while frame
the answers in your mind and explain gently, use supporting slides.
If you are not sure for the answer do not try to answer it, gently say
Dissemination of Research
- Take proper note of the suggestions made
by the committee members. All such suggestions may be helpful for the
improvement of your report.
No research study is complete without dissemination of research
findings. By dissemination you will explain how the results and findings
of the research study will be used for the betterment of concerned scientific
concepts or how they may be utilized for the welfare of the society.
The results and findings may overcome the shortcomings or gaps in the
existing theoretical concepts and analytical techniques. By dissemination
of research finding you will explain that what are the further possibilities
of extension of present research.
For this purpose, prepare an article or paper that shares the
findings of your research. There will be no better time to do this than
just after your defence. Immediately after your defense is the right
time, as you know your study the best and you will be in the best position
to put your thinking on paper. If you don’t do it immediately after your
defence probably you will never get it done. Capitalize on all of the
investment you have made in your research and reap some additional benefits.
of Dissemination of Research Findings
There are several means of dissemination of research findings.
Some important means are listed below;
- Technical Journals - National and International
- Seminars, symposia, conferences and workshops
- Presentations in concerned Departments/ organisations
Technical Journals provides an opportunity to the researcher
to publish his paper, which is widely circulated among a group of scientist
working in the respective fields. Before publishing the paper technical
editorial board of the Journal will sent the paper to the eminent researchers/
reviewers for the examination of the quality of research work. Based
on the comments / remarks on the quality, received from the eminent
researchers/ reviewers the editorial board will publish the paper.
These Journals are national and international depending upon their circulation.
These are published monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, Bi-annually or annually.
A list of such reputed journal may be obtained by Internet browsing. Most
of the Journals have their web sites and provides instructions and general
requirements for the authors intending to contribute technical papers to
the respective Journal.
Paper Preparation for a Journal
Each technical journal has its own format and general requirements.
However, there are some basic requirements, which are common for all
technical journals. The following points may be useful for the preparation
of a technical paper, to be submitted to a reputed journal;
- Identify the relevant technical journal in
which you can publish your paper. You may have information in this
regard from your advisor or any senior researcher working in the related
field. Also, you may get this information by Internet browsing.
- Next step is to get the instructions and
general requirements for the authors. This you may find at the last
page of any reprint of the technical paper published in that journal.
You may also get this information from the web site of the respective
symposia, conferences and workshops
- While writing a technical paper strictly
follow the instructions and general requirements set by the respective
journal. The technical paper should not be very long, ideally not more
that 15 pages. Write specific and to the point. Show only relevant figures
having proportionate well readable text. Only show important data used
for the research methodology. Avoid putting number of tables, if necessary
try to merge tables so that the number of tables becomes less. Write clearly
and precisely particularly, the abstract and conclusions, so that by
reading this section of your paper reader easily understands that what
your research is all about.
symposia, conferences and workshops are organized by various organizations
from time to time through out the year. The organizing departments/
organizations make vide publicity vide various media prior to these
events. These can be national or international. By submitting a technical
paper to such seminars, symposia, conferences and workshops a researcher
has an opportunity to present his research work personally in front of
a group of scientists/ researcher. A researcher has an opportunity to explain
to the scientific community for his unique findings and the contributions
made for the welfare of the community in general.
in concerned Departments/ organizations
researcher has worked on some practical problem, which directly relates
to the welfare of the community of the area, his research findings may
be helpful for the development of that particular area. For the dissemination
of his research findings he may approach the concern department in that
area and may propose to make a presentation in front of the concerned