OB&GYNAE 3100 - Research Project in Reproductive Health

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

This course will provide training in research skills including planning and conducting a research project in reproductive health, and will include a series of workshop and tutorials on topics including research planning and skills, data management and research ethics, oral and written presentation, and critical evaluation of literature.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code OB&GYNAE 3100
    Course Research Project in Reproductive Health
    Coordinating Unit Paeds & Repro Hlth
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 8 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites ANAT SC 1102 or ANAT SC 1103 or BIOL 1201 or equivalent
    Assumed Knowledge PHYSIOL 2520 and ANAT SC 2109/3102 or equivalent
    Restrictions Available to MBBS, B.HlthSc, BPsych Sc and BSC
    Course Description This course will provide training in research skills including planning and conducting a research project in reproductive health, and will include a series of workshop and tutorials on topics including research planning and skills, data management and research ethics, oral and written presentation, and critical evaluation of literature.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Darryl Russell

    Course Coordinator: Dr Rebecca Robker
    Phone: +61 8313 8159
    Email: rebecca.robker@adelaide.edu.au

    Additional Academic Staff (Tutors):

    Professor Julie Owens

    Professor Ray Rodgers

    Associate Professor Mark Nottle

    Dr Carmela Ricciardelli

    Associate Professor Michael Stark

    Professor Claire Roberts

    Dr Nicolette Hodyl

    Dr Rosalie Grivell

    Professor Michael Davies

    Professor Sarah Robertson

    Dr Michelle Lane

    Administrative contact details for course learning & teaching
    Phone: +61 8313 0635
    Email: sprh.l_and_t@adelaide.edu.au
    Location: Level 3 Medical School South
    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Understand and use research skills, including generic skills and research techniques specific to the research topic/project.
    2 Demonstrate skills in research planning, including specification and justification of an appropriate research hypothesis and appropriate experimental design.
    3 Identify and critically evaluate scientific literature in reproductive health, including laboratory-based studies and clinical trials.
    4 Understand and apply principles of good research practice, including laboratory safety, quality control, data management and research ethics.
    5 Evaluate and apply appropriate research methodologies including data analysis.
    6 Work collaboratively in small groups in a research context.
    7 Discuss research findings in the appropriate context with peers and supervisors.
    8 Present the results and conclusions of the research project in short manuscript format and in a short oral group presentation.
    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)
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    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
    3, 4, 5
    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
    6, 7, 8
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    2, 6, 8
    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
    7, 8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    No single textbook covers the material to be considered during this course. All students are required to review the literature that is relevant to their project. This will primarily consist of peer-reviewed literature journal articles relevant to the area of the research project.

    Course material including tutorial presentations, timetables, and submission of assessment, will be provided and managed via MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Online Learning
    Communications about the course will be via the announcements section on MyUni at www.myuni.adelaide.edu.au and/or by email. Please read the Announcements section and your email regularly to keep up to date. Additional course related material, including lecture and tutorial material and links to required resources/reading, plus topics for assignments will be available through MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    This course consists of a research project (averaging 5 hours/week) conducted within an active research laboratory as a placement in small groups (1-3 students), supported by a series of workshops and tutorials designed to teach key research competencies. The timing of research project activities is to be negotiated and agreed with the supervisor and any other group members in the first week of the course, dependent on their schedule and research-project requirements. Students will record research activities in a laboratory notebook and will meet regularly with their supervisor (weekly) to discuss the progress of their research and review activities and data management via the laboratory notebook. Research activities will initially be carried out with direct supervision of the supervisor and/or other research laboratory members but depending on student progress may also involve independent work under broad supervision.

    A 3-hour introductory workshop will be presented in the first week to discuss preparation of a research proposal, including review of the scientific method, developing and testing hypotheses, and structure of a proposal. Also in the first week, students will conduct a research induction including a local OHS induction, training in core competencies/requirements for working in the proposed research area, and initial planning of core reading material relevant to their research proposal, to be signed off by the research supervisor.

    A tutorial program will run concurrently with the research placement (2 x 1h per week) to teach and discuss core research competencies, including research planning and skills, data management and research ethics, oral and written presentation, and critical evaluation of literature.

    Additional workshops will be used to 1/ (week 5) – conduct a critical literature review exercise, 2/ (week 9) discuss and practice oral scientific communication, and 3/ (week 12) present an oral report of the research findings to the students and supervisors of the course. (NB: week refers to teaching week).


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

    As a 3 unit course, Research Project in Reproductive Health has a student workload of approximately 12 hours per week over the 13 weeks of Semester (total 156 hours; See section 24 of the Coursework academic policy . This equates to:

    • 8 contact hours per week (tutorials, workshops and research placement)
    • 0.5 hours per week on preparation for tutorials
    • 3.5 hours per week on assessment tasks.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Students will identify their research project and supervisor in week 1, initially from project outlines available on-line, followed by direct contact with the supervisor. This might include Email and/or telephone interviews to facilitate participation by remote students, and/or face-to-face meetings. An on-line survey tool will also be used to assist in matching students with available research projects. Acceptance into this course is conditional on receipt of a project outline (acceptance form) signed by supervisor and student/s. Students enrolled in the Reproductive Health major will have first preference for enrolments.

    For all projects that use animals or samples from animals confirmation of approval by the Animal Ethics Committee of the University must be provided before the project commences, such that students will only work on projects that have already been approved. Supervisors are responsible for gaining approval for projects before these are offered and for notification of student participation to ethics committees where required.

    Workshops (each 3 h)

    Week 1 – how to prepare the research proposal

    Week 5 – critical literature review exercise

    Week 9 – oral scientific communication

    Week 12 – oral presentations

    (NB: week refers to teaching week)


    Tutorials (2 x 1 h/week)

    Week 1             Laboratory safety

                             Principles of good research (Code of Practice) and scientific method

    Week 2             Laboratory experimental design

                             Clinical experimental design

    Week 3             Data management

                             Intellectual property and commercialisation

    Week 4             Critical literature assessment – laboratory-based science

                             Structured journal club – review exercise 1

    Week 5             Critical literature assessment – clinical trials

                             Structured journal club – review exercise 2

    Week 6             Systematic reviews

                             Establishing data bases and cohorts

    Week 7             Quantitation of biological molecules

                             Introduction to “omics”

    Week 8             Analysing research results – evaluating the data

                             Analysing research results – testing for differences between groups

    Week 9             Analysing research results – testing for relationships between variables

                             Presenting research results –figures, tables and text

    Week 10           Scientific communication – writing reports and research papers

                             Putting research results in context – developing the discussion

    Week 11           Career planning                            

    Week 12           Optional tutorials to discuss research reports and assist in data analysis


    Research project placement (average 5 h/week)

    Students will prepare a research proposal, gain core competencies, and conduct a small research project over the semester.

    Specific Course Requirements

    There are no specific course requirements.

    Small Group Discovery Experience
    The course incorporates small group discovery experiences. Students will work in small groups supervised by research leaders to undertake research training and research projects.
  • 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

    Assessment Type


    Learning Outcome(s) being addressed

    Research Induction







    Research Proposal








    Critical Literature Review exercise








    Supervisor assessment








    Oral presentation (group assessment)





    Written project report









    Assessment Related Requirements

    Students must receive an overall grade of 50% in order to pass the course.

    Assessment Detail

    Research Induction (0%, formative, individual assessment, Week 1)

    Students are required to complete a pro-forma confirming local induction by the research group hosting the research placement, agreement on times and location of research placement (3 h/week for 4 weeks in which workshops are scheduled, plus 6 h/week in remaining weeks), and listing at least five sources identified in discussions with the project supervisor as initial key background literature for reading. This task will be signed off by the research placement supervisor and submitted to the course coordinator by the end of Week one of the course. For OHS reasons, working in the laboratory environment is contingent on completion of the induction process and receipt of the signed induction form.

    Research Proposal (15%, summative, individual assessment, Week 3)

    Following a workshop discussing preparation of the research proposal, tutorials on experimental design and initial meetings with the research placement host group, students will prepare a written research proposal as individuals. This will include a brief (1-page) summary of current knowledge and justification of the research approach, project hypotheses and aims, an explanation of the research approach including data analysis, and a timetable for the proposed study. The submission date for this task will be at the end of Week three of the course.

    Critical literature review exercise (15%, summative, individual assessment, Week 5)

    Following a series of tutorials discussing critical evaluation of manuscripts describing laboratory-based and clinical trial research, and structured journal club discussion of two manuscripts of each type, students will undertake a 3-hour critical literature review exercise in which they will read and answer questions to critically evaluate two manuscripts, one publication of a laboratory-based study and one publication of a clinical trial. This task will be scheduled for Week five of the course.

    Supervisor assessment (15%, summative, individual assessment, Week 12)

    Supervisors will submit an assessment of the student’s contribution to their small group research project, and demonstration of research skills in the research context, including data management and maintenance of laboratory records, appropriate conduct including safety and ethical considerations, and project-specific skills. This assessment will be submitted in Week 12 at the end of the research placement.

    Oral presentation (15%, summative, group assessment, Week 12)

    Students will present a 15 minute summary of their research projects including background, hypotheses, approach/methodology, results and conclusions. This task will be scheduled for the final week of the course, in a timetabled workshop slot (Week 12). All students are required to attend all presentations by students enrolled in the course.

    Written project report (40%, summative, individual assessment, Week 13)

    Students will submit a report on their research projects including background, hypotheses, approach/methodology, results and conclusions (2000 word limit). This task will be due for submission at the end of the non-teaching week prior to examinations, in order to allow feedback from oral presentations to be incorporated. It is suggested that students prepare a draft version of the report and submit this to their supervisor prior to the oral presentation for feedback.


    Research proposals and written reports should be submitted by 5pm on the due date with a COVERSHEET. The coversheet is also available on MyUni as a .docx file.

    Extensions to submission dates may be granted for medical/personal reasons at the discretion of the course coordinator. Assignments will not be able to be resubmitted.

    You need to submit two electronic copies (as a .doc, .docx or PDF file) of your assignment:

    1. One via MyUni

    Submitted via the Course Materials/ Assignments section. When assignments are submitted they will automatically be checked for plagiarism through the TurnItIn database on MyUni, which also includes copies of previously submitted assignments.

    1. sprh.l_and_t@adelaide.edu.au

    When sending/submitting your assignment, please name your file with your name and the task:

    First name last name ResProject Proposal

    Eg Jodie Smith ResProject Proposal

    In the subject heading of your email please write: First name last name ResProject Proposal

    Eg Jodie Smith ResProject Proposal


    These instructions are also on the Coversheet.
    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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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.

    This was a new course in 2014.
  • 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.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.