Steve Gomersall (an EdD student) is currently researching the resilience of students in Myanmar during a year of Covid-19 and political upheaval. In this short blog post, he shares his recent experience in attending and presenting his work at an on-line postgraduate research conference at the University of Warwick.

On Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd April 2022, a few of us (EdD students) were fortunate enough to be selected to present our work on-line at the 9th Annual Education Studies Postgraduate Research Conference at the University of Warwick. It was interesting to see how a couple of the EdD students were presenting research influenced by the Educational Leadership module taught in first year of the EdD course. Lauren Vincent discussed the identity of dance lecturers in UK universities and Graziana Di Pede shared insights from her research into the lived experiences of business students. There was also a fascinating presentation, by Gemma Peacock, into the rapport students were able to build during Covid-19’s online learning. I think this is awaiting publication at the moment; it is really helpful in examining an under-researched aspect of online education.

For myself, I shared about a piece of research I conducted last year with Prof. Alan Floyd, looking at the resilience of students in Myanmar during a year of Covid-19 and political upheaval. This too is currently under review for publication. Given all the negativity in the news and on social media, I think this study is an important snapshot of how some not only overcame, but actually thrived in the face of adversity. In particular, the presentation highlighted some of the special ethical considerations needed for research in such a challenging context. It also summarised how the students had used past experiences, a focus on their goals, support from notable others, and a sense of wanting to develop their communities to push through the challenges and develop resilience.

During the weekend, there were presentations from around the globe with people joining from South Africa, India, China and many other locations. The adoption of on-line practices is one of the gains from Covid-19. And for the conference theme of education during crisis and conflict, the interaction of researchers and stakeholders from such a diverse range of backgrounds really enrichened the discussions and experiences.