2021 Postgraduate Research Community Online Conference


Reimagining Possibilities for Educational Research


Saturday 18 September 2021                  Online via Zoom                    View Program 

Welcome to the 2021 Postgraduate Research Community Conference site!

This is a unique time in our history as we grapple with unprecedented challenges, including global crises in multiple domains that require solidarity in action.

We are mindful that, amidst this challenging landscape and context, education and educational research are critical as vehicles to challenge sometimes problematic norms. We are in the privileged position, as part of our work, to have an opportunity to think deeply and to reflect sensitively on unique and creative approaches for navigating, and possibly generating new resources to help address some of the fissures and fractures that have emerged within communities. There have been incredible shifts and new ways of engaging in research in recent times, and our goal for this conference is to provide a platform for creative, collaborative engagement within a space to build bridges to help reimagine educational settings and systems.

HDR participants are invited to reimagine possibilities and examine the potential of educational research to connect and reconnect communities, locally, regionally and globally.

Webinar recording now available 

I am delighted to invite you to attend the 2021 Postgraduate Research Community Conference! “Reimagining Possibilities for Educational Research” is an appropriate theme, following on a year of the world reacting to the pandemic and greatly influencing education at all levels. As we continue to grapple with uncertainty, it is important to reflect, embrace change, and continue to move forward with optimism and creativity. I always enjoy the Postgrad Conference as it provides the opportunity to network with colleagues in various stages of their professional lives, share in the dissemination of new information being added to the knowledge base, engage in discussion about findings and new avenues of research exploration, and keep updated about what is happening in the field. This Conference provides the opportunity to strengthen our own understanding and imaginings about educational research.  Whether you plan to attend and/or present, this event can play an important role in the development of your own research and professional skills. Let us all join in reimagining the future!

Professor Patricia Morrell
Head of School
School of Education, The University of Queensland


I am very pleased to endorse and support our HDR candidates in the annual Research and Postgraduate Conference, hosted by The University of Queensland's School of Education. This is an important and significant event in our calendar, and an opportunity for our HDRs to be able to present and showcase their work to colleagues and academic staff within and beyond the School.

The research they present is at the cutting edge of their respective knowledge domains and traditions, and is a vehicle to rethink and reconceptualise some of the most important work occurring in their respective fields. The research you will hear during the conference is rich, engaging and productive of the sorts of knowledges that can truly help to constitute a better world for all with whom they engage. Enjoy.

Associate Professor Ian Hardy 
Director of Research 
School of Education, The University of Queensland




All are welcome to attend our 2021 Postgraduate Research Community Conference and registrations are now open. 


Click here to view the conference program. 




Keita Takayama, Ph.D.
Graduate School of Education, Kyoto University, Japan
Dr Marnee Shay
School of Education, The University of Queensland
Danielle H. Heinrichs
School of Education, The University of Queensland

Have your critiques gone far enough?: Reclaiming the Decolonial/Southern Theory project in/for international education and ‘development’

Presented by Keita Takayama, Ph.D.

Researchers in international education and development have drawn upon the Decolonial/Southern Theory frameworks to critique how international organizations—including OECD, the World Bank, and UNESCO—and powerful bilateral donors have reinforced the global hierarchy of knowledges through their international development projects in the Global South. I am going to show how their critiques have not gone far enough. At the heart of the problem is the inability to recognize the global peripheries as epistemic others, where alternative theories of knowing and learning are generated and inform what goes on in schools. This problem is most clearly demonstrated in the ongoing, implicit characterization of formalism, as opposed to constructivism, as the remnant of colonial legacy. What remains under-explored here is the diverse onto-epistemic underpinnings of what is lumped together as formalism, reflecting the broader cultural and intellectual context of the Global South. 

Un-problematising research: reimagining education research through a strengths-based lens

Presented by Dr Marnee Shay

Research is an inherently problem based inquiry. The perplexing question of how we are to address complex issues in education if we don’t interrogate the problems is one that requires considerable critique, particularly in settings involving minority groups. Strength-approaches is a practice framework that emerged from the social work discipline but that has much to offer in conceptualising and designing research. In this keynote I will share how strengths approaches have influenced and shaped my program of research and I will demonstrate how a strengths lens can re-shape transformative research to see old problems in new ways. 

Reimagining Early Career Researcher Pathways: (Un)puzzling problems as opportunities

Presented by Danielle H. Heinrichs

As we continue to navigate the on-going pandemic, Early Career Researchers (ECRs) are under increased pressure to reimagine their doctoral and post-doctoral pathways in a vastly changed academic context. Competing in the already highly-competitive environment of academia, many ECRs are left wondering how to best position themselves for the (in)mobile yet globally connected world of research in coming years. In this discussion, I focus on examples of my own attempts to diversify and (re)position myself as an ECR in the current context. I discuss a number of problems I have worked to (un)puzzle including rescoping my thesis, aligning future research with anticipated but as-yet-announced strategic priorities and tactical networking both in and beyond the education discipline. These include the introduction of social media and digital research options to a number of projects including my PhD. I also outline how I have made connections between my research area (language education) with the broader field of multilingualism with partners in NSW, Germany, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong and South Africa. I hope this provides inspiration for other ECRs in their on-going journeys in(to) the multiple opportunities in academia as well as other career pathways.

Kimkong Heng is currently an Australia Awards scholar pursuing a PhD in Education at The University of Queensland. He is also a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Cambodia Development Center and a co-founder of Cambodian Education Forum. Prior to this, he was an English lecturer and an assistant dean of the School of Graduate Studies, the University of Cambodia. He has published several journal articles and book reviews, and around 100 opinion pieces in both local and international outlets.


Preeti Vayada is a registered teacher with Queensland College of Teachers. She has extensive experience working as a teacher in Australia and India. She completed her Master of Education in 2018 from Gujarat University, India,  with her dissertation focusing on disaster management awareness among high school students. Preeti’s research interests lie in the collaboration between students and staff in teaching and learning with a special focus in higher education settings. She commenced her PhD in 2019 with a focus on student-staff partnership in higher education, examining it through cross-cultural lenses.


Danielle H.Heinrichs is a final year PhD Candidate researching language education, social media and decoloniality. She became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) in 2020 and was awarded the Richard Baldauf Memorial Prize for her journal article exploring critical discourse analysis and Spanish. She recently published in Critical Inquiry in Language Studies using new materialism and has an interest in the intersection of language policy, digital/health literacy and global education. She is experienced in tutoring and lecturing in Indigenous education and sociology for pre-service and international students, and is a trained secondary teacher of Spanish, German and TESOL. 


Md. Maksud Ali is a PhD candidate in the School of Education at the University of Queensland, Australia. His research focuses on the policy, politics and practices of human capital development in English language education in the context of neoliberal globalisation. His works have been published by leading international (Q1) journals including English Today (Cambridge University Press), Language Assessment Quarterly (Taylor & Francis), and Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education (Taylor & Francis). He has also contributed chapters to several edited volumes published by Routledge and Springer. Maksud is the recipient of the ‘Richard Baldauf Memorial Prize 2019’ for the best paper published by Higher Degree by Research students in the School of Education.  


Dr Suraiya Hameed is a Lecturer in Educational Leadership at UQ. She has been in education for 30 years, with experience as a school leader. Her research interest is in exploring complex educational issues- from shifts in cultural practices and racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity to the implications of these shifts for human or social development and education. Her current research focus is within the area of Leadership, Global Citizenship & Inclusive Education specifically in the area of Indigenous education.  


In this year’s conference, there will be three options:

i) Individual paper presentations

  • 15-minute presentation + 5-minute discussion
  • Live via Zoom in a parallel session with 2 other papers
  • Submit an abstract of 150-200 words

ii) Group paper presentations (3 presenters max)

  • 15-minute presentation + 5-minute discussion
  • Live via Zoom in a parallel session with 2 other papers
  • Submit an abstract of 150-200 word

iii) Poster presentations

  • 45-minute presentation and discussion
  • Live via own Zoom session and participants attend drop-in style during allocated time
  • Submit an abstract of 150-200 words
Submission guidelines

Please submit a single file in Word or PDF and include your name, email and title.

Individual paper presentation – Abstract (150-200 words)
Group paper presentation – Abstract (150-200 words)
Poster presentation - Abstract (150-200 words)


Call for abstracts: 14 June 2021
Abstracts due: 7 August 2021
Notification of acceptance: 16 August 2021
Online registrations open: 16 August 2021

The Postgraduate Research Community Conference is an annual conference hosted by the School of Education at The University of Queensland. The conference aims to give students an opportunity to present their work-in-progress within a supportive community of peers and academics.

For previous conference information, please click here

Related Events

17 September, 5.45pm–8pm
Join us the day before our conference for the 2021 Carolyn D. Baker Annual Memorial Lecture titled 'The Digital Child', presented by Professor Susan Danby.