SCIENCE 3100 - Principles & Practice of Research (Advanced) III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

Science 3100 is designed to expose third-year BSc Advanced students to the university research environment and give them an opportunity to participate in the process of scientific research. The primary component of this course is the laboratory placement, in which students are associated with an active research group in the Faculty, providing them with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience in one or more scientific projects. The laboratory placement will be supplemented by a program of research seminars, in which local and/or invited scientists will present their current research programs and recent findings, and by a series of tutorials, which will focus on the development of core research skills and knowledge, such as effective communication of research findings, key laboratory techniques, and research integrity. The course builds on the principles of scientific research introduced in Science 1100, and the scientific literacy skills developed in Science 2300. Each student will document their research activities with a final written report, and in addition will communicate their research findings to the entire Science 3100 cohort at an end-of-year symposium. Students will also receive a performance mark from the direct supervisor of their research placement.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code SCIENCE 3100
    Course Principles & Practice of Research (Advanced) III
    Coordinating Unit Sciences General
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 10 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites SCIENCE 2300
    Corequisites Students majoring in Biochemistry, Genetics or Microbiology & Immunology are required to enrol in the appropriate Level III theory course
    Restrictions Available to B. Sc (Advanced) students only
    Assessment Writing tasks, oral presentation, assessment of performance in laboratory placement
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Phill Cassey

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    This course aims to provide BSc (Advanced) students with a ‘capstone’ research experience:

    1 provide students with an introduction to scientific research, by allowing them to undertake “hands-on” projects in active research laboratories or research groups;
    2 provide skills in experimental design and implementation, and the analysis and interpretation of research data;
    3 promote awareness of modern research tools and methods;
    4 understand the relationship between hypothesis building and experimental design;
    5 understand the relationship between experimental design and experimental outcomes, particularly the effects of experimental design on the reliability of data generated;
    6 further develop and refine strategies for effective written and visual communication of scientific results, specifically the communication of one’s own research findings.

    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)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    The project supervisor will provide you with necessary materials during the course of your research project work. You may need to purchase some minor ancillary equipment. See your project supervisor for this.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The course consists of four required seminar attendances, an individual research project (one-on-one project with a project supervisor and his/her research team) and poster preparation and presentation.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    A student enrolled in a 3 unit course, such as this, should expect to spend, on average 12 hours per week on the studies required. This includes both the formal contact time required to the course (e.g., lectures and practicals), as well as non-contact time (e.g., reading and revision).
    Learning Activities Summary

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    There is little group structured time.  Listed below are the activities you must engage in and their timing.  Otherwise, the research work timetable will be quite individualised, and worked out with your research supervisor. 
    Your supervisor will structure your lab/field work over the course of the semester.

    There is a poster symposium in week 13. 

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment task

    % of total assessment

    Approximate Timing of Assessment

    Learning Outcome being Assessed

    Seminar summary #1


    Seminar summary #2


    Seminar summary #3


    Seminar summary #4


    Project description/proposed research


    Lab book/field notebook evaluation


    Research report


    Poster evaluation


    Assessment Detail
    Seminar summaries: (25% total) A critical written summary of 4 research seminars. Seminars can be by PhD students, University staff, visiting scientists. Your supervisor and the discipline area coordinator will help you find seminars. Task length – 320-380 words. Submission will be electronic or hard copy, as determined by supervisor. Each submission will be 5pm 1 week from the date of the seminar itself.

    Project description and proposed research: (15% total) This document will consist of a project description and a brief outline of the research activity the student will conduct during their placement. This is an opportunity for students to outline their proposed work and the key literature basis on which the work is grounded. Task length – 1000-1400 words. Submission will be electronic or hard copy, as determined by supervisor. This document is due Friday 5pm end of week 5.

    Research report (40% total) The exact specifications of the written report will be dictated by the formats and structures used by the specific scientific discipline in which the student does the placement. Task length – 3600-4400 words. Submission will be electronic or hard copy, as determined by supervisor.

    Research lab book/journal/field book: (5%) The style of the lab book or field book will differ greatly across disciplines, so there are no specific standards for this work. It may include raw laboratory data, methods used, details of equipment settings, field measurements. Submission will be to the course coordinator.

    Poster symposium: (15%) The poster symposium will involve an afternoon to celebrate the research experiences of the entire class. Posters will be marked by a panel of academics, with the addition of peer marking from the 3100 class. This will take place during week 13.

    Extensions for Assessment Tasks
    Extensions of deadlines for assessment tasks may be allowed for reasonable causes. Such situations would include compassionate and medical grounds of the severity that would justify the awarding of a supplementary examination. Evidence for the grounds must be provided when an extension is requested. Students are required to apply for an extension to the overall Course Coordinator (Karin Barovich) before the assessment task is due. Extensions will not be provided on the grounds of poor prioritising of time. The assessment extension application form can be obtained from:
    Late submission of assessments

    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 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 or more late without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the mark
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    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.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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