Global Development Institute Blog

The School of Environment, Education, and Development (SEED) held its annual conference for postgraduate researchers on Wednesday, 22nd May 2024. Designed to provide a platform for PhD students to share their research insights, the conference gave students and staff an opportunity to network and engage with work occurring within the SEED community.

PhD student Zhuo Sun was part of the organising committee for this year’s committee. Below, Zhuo describes some of the processes involved with creating the event and reflects on some of its successes.

By Zhuo Sun, PhD Researcher in Education and International Development

As the Chair of the SEED PGR Conference 2024, I am delighted to share my experiences from an incredible journey of collaboration, innovation, and intellectual exchange. Our conference, titled ‘Emerging Trends and Innovations Across All Scientific Disciplines’, was a resounding success, thanks to the collective efforts of our dedicated team, speakers, and participants.


Opening the Conference

Opening the conference was a moment of immense pride and excitement. Standing before a diverse audience of researchers, academics, and fellow students, I felt the palpable energy and enthusiasm in the room. Our theme of exploring emerging trends and innovations resonated deeply with everyone present, setting the tone for a day filled with insightful discussions and ground-breaking ideas. Despite the undesirable weather situation, everyone arrived on time and supported the conference. I was especially impressed with the delegates who came from other cities and universities to attend.


Inviting Keynote Speakers and organising presentations

One of the most rewarding aspects of organising the conference was inviting our esteemed keynote speakers. We were fortunate to have Dr. Mark Carrigan and Prof. Erica Burman, leading experts in AI in education and childhood, who graciously accepted our invitation to share their knowledge and perspectives. Their presentations not only highlighted cutting-edge research but also inspired us to think beyond conventional boundaries and explore new avenues for innovation.

In addition, the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre generously sponsored our Best Poster Prize, the winner of which was decided via a delegate vote. Regarding the presentations, there was a wide range of topics and cultural contexts covered, including education, geography, psychology, sociology and business management.

For example, one of the presenters examined the spatial non-stationarity of child labour and its related factors: a multiscale geographically weighted regression study of India, one presenter explored the effect of implementing community participation in the South African mining industry, one presenter showcased the climate Change Vulnerability and Resilience of the Local Community in Bangladesh.


Coordinating with Registration and Catering

Behind the scenes, coordinating registration and catering required planning and teamwork. Our registration team worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth check-in process for all attendees, while our catering team from the university provided delicious meals and refreshments that kept everyone energised throughout the day. Their efforts were instrumental in creating a welcoming and comfortable environment for all participants.


Closing the Conference

As the conference drew to a close, I had the privilege of inviting Prof. Tanja Müller to deliver the closing remarks and present the Best Poster Prize with the Masood Entrepreneurship Centre representative. Reflecting on the day’s events, I was struck by the wealth of knowledge shared and the vibrant discussions that took place. It was evident that our collective efforts had fostered a community of curious minds eager to drive positive change through research and innovation.


Final Thoughts

Being involved in every aspect of the SEED PGR Conference 2024 from January to May, from planning and coordination to execution, has been an incredibly fulfilling experience. As a team, we had our challenges, but I am so glad we overcame them and delivered a successful conference for PGRs. I am grateful to our speakers, attendees, and the entire organising team for their unwavering support and dedication. Together, we have created a platform that not only showcased pioneering research but also encouraged collaboration and the exchange of ideas.

As we look forward to future conferences, I am confident that the connections made, and the knowledge gained at this year’s event will continue to inspire and propel us toward new horizons. Thank you to everyone who contributed to making the SEED PGR Conference 2024 a memorable and impactful experience.


Note:  This article gives the views of the author/academic featured and does not represent the views of the Global Development Institute as a whole.

Please feel free to use this post under the following Creative Commons license: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). Full information is available here.