Being flexible in your international research project during a global pandemic

I thought I would share an update on my research project as it has been a few months since the last one. Unfortunately the continuing Covid-19 pandemic means that I was unable to go overseas during the summer to carry out more research for my project…However, this did mean that I decided to change my project plan and work on an overview article of the four case studies of my project: Australia, Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand, and South Africa. My article will utilise archival research that I gathered on the South Asian diasporas in all four countries in London, UK earlier this year, specifically at the British Library and the National Archives of the UK. It will also incorporate material from secondary research that I conducted. Suffice to say there is certainly no shortage of material!

Though I have always enjoyed carrying out research more than writing, I am looking forward to bringing all my material together, and producing something from the research that I have carried out so far 🙂 The article will aim to be a showcase of the project, and will hopefully indicate the potential future fruits of my research in Australia, Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand, and South Africa. On this note, the situation is still uncertain as to whether I will be able to go overseas to carry out research for my project next semester either…I currently have some teaching relief to enable me to do this. But I do not want to find myself in the situation that I have the time but am not practically able to go overseas to carry out the research due to continuing travel restrictions and quarantines…I have never been in the situation where I could not plan ahead with relative certainty, and being a long-term planner by nature, it is certainly not a comfortable situation for me to be in…

But I am veering on the side of caution, i.e. postpone my teaching relief to the following academic year (2021/22), when hopefully there should no longer be any travel restrictions or quarantines, and instead do some teaching next semester. This will mean that I should have a whole year to carry out my research in Australia, Canada, Aotearoa New Zealand, and possibly South Africa. I would also be able to make notes on this research and write papers, which I will then be able to turn into articles. Again it would be a change to my project time plan but in these unprecedented times brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, I think we have to be as flexible as we possibly can.

Hopefully by my next update I will be able to report that I have indeed finished writing my overview article and submitted it to a journal 🙂

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