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Fieldwork Clearance Interviews

Fieldwork clearance interviews will take place once you have submitted your fieldwork proposal and risk assessment form. You will be interviewed by the PhD Committee, and asked questions about your fieldwork, and the proposal you have submitted. 

At the start of the interview you may be asked to give a short summary of your project; and you may be asked about any aspect of your research that is covered in (or omitted from!) your fieldwork proposal.

You should be prepared to defend your choice of topic, field location, theoretical background, choice of research methods, the adequacy of your research training, the feasibility of completion within the time limit and practical issues, including budget, timetable, political and ethical issues. At the same time the interview is an occasion at which you can air issues with the PhD Committee. The Committee has a particular interest in the practicalities of the project, and is prepared (within reason) to offer advice.

Fieldwork clearance interviews are not merely a formality. Registration for the PhD, and thus continuation of the course, is dependent on approval from the PhD Committee. It is not uncommon for revision or clarifications to be required following the interview. In most cases this will be a minor clarification taking under a month, though students are sometimes required to rewrite all or parts of their proposal, and to resubmit the revised text to the PhD Committee for approval. In these instances a second interview may also be required. It is therefore not advisable to make inflexible travel or accommodation arrangements before you know the result of your fieldwork clearance interview.  Once cleared for fieldwork you should depart for the field straightaway, with a minimum of delay. You should have dealt with visas, insurance, etc before your clearance interview and you should be prepared to begin your fieldwork as soon as you are cleared for the field by the PhD Committee.

In cases of problems such as illness, practical issues accessing your fieldsite or delays getting the necessary visas required to access the fieldsite, immediate consultation with your Supervisor and he PhD Committee Chair is vital.