BIOTECH 7010A - Research Project Part 1
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code BIOTECH 7010A Course Research Project Part 1 Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences Term Semester 1 Level Postgraduate Coursework Location/s North Terrace Campus Contact Up to 3 hours per week Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N Prerequisites TECHCOMM 5016, EDUC 7055 & EDUC 7054 Restrictions Available to GCBIBIOM, GDBIBIOM, MBIBIOM students only Course Description This course develops specific skills in reviewing scientific, patent and industry related literature with an emphasis on understanding the commercial status and competition relevant to particular research areas in the biomedical sciences. These skills will be assessed in the form of three written assignments comprising a literature review, a research proposal including aims and outcomes, and a development of a business case for investment, addressing issues such as competition, project management, and commercial feasibility. Students will be supported by a supervisor and a scientific or industry-based mentor, with patent analysis and project management theory covered by workshops. Students will also be required to present a seminar covering the research proposal and background literature.
Course Coordinator: Dr Antonio Focareta
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1 Demonstrate an understanding of basic research methodologies used in biomedical science
2 Demonstrate an expert knowledge and insightful understanding of their chosen field of research. 3 Develop the ability to evaluate and write critical summaries of research papers and/or research proposals. 4 Develop the ability to effectively plan and justify a research proposal on a scientific basis and as a commercial viability. 5 Demonstrate an understanding of the intellectual property issues which occur in the commercialisation of biotechnology related research. 6 Demonstrate an understanding of business case development and the constraints it imposes on industry in the commercial development of products in biotechnology. 7 Demonstrate an awareness of ethical issues associated with their chosen field of research. 8 Develop and demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate written and oral presentations to a
9 Develop the ability to engage with senior scientists in discussions on research priorities and strategies in their chosen field of research. 10 Critically analyse and interpret data, arguments and conclusions presented in the scientific literature
University Graduate Attributes
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:
University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s) Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-6, 8-10 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 3, 4, 8, 10 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-3, 5, 6, 8 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2, 3, 8, 9 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1, 2 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 2, 9, 10 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 2 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 7
Required ResourcesNo specific text book is required for this course. Students will be expected to access literature and databases relevant to their reseach project. Most literature will be in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles.
Online LearningStudents will be expected to access online molecular biology databases appropriate to their research project and e-resources such as e-journals.
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching ModesThis course will be delivered by the following means:
Supervision of a student on an individual basis, involving a primary supervisor or a scientific or industry based mentor. Students will develop skills in accessing, understanding and critically analysing scientific literature relevant to their chosen discipline.
Three written assignments form the basis of this course:
1. Literature Review of the Proposed Research Project
2. Research Proposal
3. Business Case Development
All assignments are based on the selected research topic. Supervisors/mentors are recognised experts in
their field. Assignments are completed on a sequential basis.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
A student enrolled in this 6 unit course, should expect to spend, up to 24 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both contact time as well as non-contact time.
Learning Activities SummaryResearch project experience
Three individual research projects will be undertaken in this course.
Each project will develop specific skills and culminate in the main research project (see co-requisite course Biotechnology Research Project, Part II) involving laboratory work on a topic of relevance in the area of biotechnology.
Students will have a supervisor (academic, researcher or affiliate) from the laboratory where the research project will be undertaken (see co-requisite course Biotechnology Research Project, Part II) or a scientific or industry-based mentor.
1. Literature Review (35% total grade)
Review of scientific, patent and commercial literature necessary to understand the status and players in a particular and relevant area of research. The literature review will be based on their research project and will cover development of the field, major significant advances, the current state of the area and future research directions.
A maximum 5,000 word literature review will be submitted by the beginning of the 6th week of the semester, and will count for 35% of the total mark. While supervisors/mentors may be involved in initial discussions, the literature review in its written form will not be open for comment or suggestions by the supervisor/mentor until after final submission. Students will be graded on their assignment, with individual feedback and suggestions from their supervisors. Students will also be given an opportunity to correct/insert appropriate corrections, as the literature review will form part of the final thesis (see co requisite course Biotechnology Research Project, Part II).
Research Communication EDUC 7055 and Foundation Skills Research Design EDUC 7054 which are prerequisites for this course, will have prepared the students in writing skills and referencing of cited articles. Two 3 hour workshops (week 2 and 3) focusing on patents (validity, interpretation and database searches) will be provided in the first two weeks of the course. The material is non-examinable, although the content will be used to help students develop their literature review and business case assignment.
(Note: Legal Issues of the Commercialization Process TECHCOMM 5007 is provided as an elective in the
Master’s program which deals with patents, but as it is an elective course, not all students can be assumed to have taken it).
2. Business Case Development (30% total grade)
Students will be expected to develop a case for investment in a genuine project opportunity including definition of competition, need, outcomes, budget, timelines and resources. Students will analyse and synthesize opportunities for research collaborations between “home” institutions and the University of Adelaide (this is targeted towards overseas students who have potential collaborative projects with their home university). The same process is to be followed by local (Australian) students where the “home” institution is the School of Molecular and Biomedical Science. Initial discussions can be held with supervisors to provide direction and preliminary advice. However, students will be required to complete their assignment independently of their supervisors.
Students undertaking this course come equipped with Entrepreneurship and Innovation TECHCOMM 5016, Foundation Skills Research Communication EDUC 7055and Foundation Skills Research Design EDUC 7054, covering essential skills in writing and concepts for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Students will be supported by one 3 hour workshop (week 4) to assist with development of an overview of
project and resource management. Business cases comprising a maximum of 3,500 words will be submitted for marking by the beginning of the 8th week of the semester.
3. Research Proposal
Developing a specific research plan which forms the research project component of Biotechnology Research Project, Part II. The proposal will be structured in a format similar to that required for applications from the major granting/funding bodies. This will include a brief introduction to the topic, and an identification of the key area of interest that summarizes the importance of the research, in a clear, concise, well structured and scientifically feasible approach.
One 3 hour workshop will be held to introduce students to a review of the research grant funding system and provide an overview of the research funding application process. Examples of previously submitted grant proposals will be used to illustrate key points. As one of the goals of the course is developing expertise in scientific writing, supervisors /mentors may assist students with their planning and writing at early draft stages, but the final preparation and finished product is the sole responsibility of the student.
This component will be assessment in 2 parts:
Students will be assessed on the feasibility of the project, scientific approach, clarity of aims and research techniques used. The assignment (maximum of 2,500 words) is marked by one supervisor and another
academic/affiliate who is expert in the field.
Written assignment = 20%
Students will also be required to give a 30 minute oral presentation with 15 minutes dedicated to questions related to the presentation. Key features of the presentation that will be assessed are: clarity of
presentation (15%), delivery to a general scientific audience (15%) (unlike thewritten proposal where more specific detail is required), justification of the research (20%), the research approach used (30%), and answers to questions (20%) from the audience.
Oral presentation = 15%
The written assignment will be handed up in week 11 of the semester, and oral presentation will be delivered in the final week.
The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:
- Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
- Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
- Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
- Assessment must maintain academic standards.
Assessment Task Task Type Percentage of total assessment for grading Hurdle Learning Outcome Assignment (literature review) Formative and Summative
No 1-3, 7, 8, 10 Assignment (business case) Formative and Summative 30% No 1-8, 10 Assignment (research proposal) Formative and summative 20% No 1-10 Oral presentation (research proposal) Formative and Summative 15% No 1-4, 7-10
Assessment DetailWritten assignments: (85% of total course grade).
1. Literature Review
A maximum 5,000 word literature review.
Students will also be given an opportunity to correct/insert appropriate corrections, as
the literature review will form part of the final research thesis.
2. Business Case Development
A maximum 3,500 word assignment. Students will receive individual oral feedback after marking.
3. Research Proposal
Assessment is in 2 parts:
A) A maximum 3,500 word assignment. Students will be assessed on the scientific approach, clarity of
aims and research techniques used. Students will receive individual oral feedback and direction after marking.
B) Thirty minute oral presentation, plus 15 minutes question time (15% of total course grade). Key features of the presentation that will be assessed are: clarity of presentation, justification of the research and approach used, and answers to questions from the audience.
Students will receive individual oral feedback, on presentation style,content and their knowledge of the area.
If an extension is not applied for, or not granted then a penalty for late submission will apply. A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:
NOG (No Grade Associated) Grade Description CN Continuing
Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.
Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.
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