Like What is exactly meant by “research experience” in grad application? but situation-specific:
Between graduating master's in 2016 and applying now for PhD admissions for 2018-9, I started teaching maths at a branch of a company that is something like Kumon.
During this time, I looked up Google Sheets and SQL programming to learn on my own supplemented by my experience with Excel in master's and then created paperless spreadsheet templates.
I wasn't guided, instructed, requested or paid to do this, but I did improve processes at work.
Could said looking up then creation count as "research" ? If so, how? If not, why?
From other post:
Additional comments based on aforementioned:
Well I think what I did would've been pretty simple for a/an CS/Engineering/IT/ICT person but not just any employee in my company could've developed the paperless systems I made.
Also, the IT department in my company didn't for reasons I guess I'm not allowed to disclose.