Rsif Thesis Defence Training Course

Start Date: February 21st, 2024

End Date: February 22nd, 2024

Venue: Zoom (Virtual)


At the end of their PhD study, Rsif PhD students are required to present their research findings to
the board of examiners and then respond to critical questions. This course is designed to prepare
the PhD Rsif scholars optimally for the defence.
In the first part of the course the participants get practical tips on how to prepare for the defence
and the requisite technical requirements and qualifications
The second part of the course presents the participants with practical tips for their introductory
presentation: how to structure the presentation, how to build up the central argument, use of
language, listening skills, answering questions deeply, typical problems that occur during the
discussion: How to respond to criticism and how to deal with stage fright and the processes that
follow a successful defence.
In the third part, participants together with AHU faculty and/or coordinator go into AHU breakout
sessions and discuss how PhD defence happens in the respective AHUs unpacking the cultural and
traditional nuances in the AHUs. This will then be documented and presented in brief in a plenary
session where there will be feedback from participants.
In the fourth part, there is thesis defence practical sessions. There are a couple of PhD mini
defences, lasting up to 15 minutes are presented and there is feedback from present faculty. Two
full mock defences are conducted with feedback from the present faculty.
This two-day training serves as an introduction and a guide to Rsif final year students on how to
prepare for the defence.

Duration: 2 day
Frequency: Annual
Lead Trainer at icipe: Dr Everlyn Nguku, Capacity Building Specialist, icipe

Co-Trainers at Rsif African Host Universities: Dr Maïssa Mbaye, Rsif Coordinator, UGB & Dr Mwemezi Rwiza, Rsif Coordinator, NMAIST
Workshop administrator at icipe: Mr Bonface Nyagah, Capacity Building Officer, icipe

Target audience: Rsif final year PhD Students

Learning outcomes
This course aims to introduce, demystify, and broaden the understanding of the PhD Thesis
Defence process.
It further aims to prepare final year doctoral students for a confident and effective defence
presentation and oral examination. By the end of this course participants will be able to:
• Prepare well on all technical matters before the defence
• Know how to deal with stage fright
• Prepare a convincing and well-structured presentation.
• Confidently deal with counter arguments and critical questions
• Exude confident about their thesis defence


Advance registration for the course: