CHEM 4020A - Honours Chemistry Project Part 1
North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015
General Course Information
Course Code CHEM 4020A Course Honours Chemistry Project Part 1 Coordinating Unit School of Physical Sciences Term Semester 1 Level Undergraduate Location/s North Terrace Campus Contact Bu supervision Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N Incompatible CHEM 4000A/B Restrictions Available only to students admitted to the relevant Honours program Course Description Students will undertake a research project under the supervision of an academic in the discipline of chemistry that will provide advanced knowledge and skills for professional or highly skilled work and/or further learning. The intention is that students will collect and present novel scientific data of a quality that could be published in the open literature ? however, students will not be penalised if their research project does not produce conclusive results.
Course Coordinator: Professor Hugh Harris
The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.
Course Learning Outcomes
1. able to apply hands-on experience of the research principles and methods in chemistry;
2. demonstrate an understanding of the close relationship between scientific research and the development of new knowledge in a global context;
3. demonstrate that current scientific knowledge is both contestable and testable by further enquiry;
4. apply the concepts and theories of a range of advanced topics in chemistry to research in a particular area;
5. analyse critically, evaluate and transform research findings to complete a range of activities;
6. present information, articulate arguments and conclusions, in a variety of modes, to audiences in their field of research;
7. comply with regulatory frameworks (including OH&S) and practising professional ethics relevant to the chemistry field;
8. undertake independent supervised research in a chemistry field and demonstrate autonomy, well-developed judgement, adaptability and responsibility as a practitioner or learner
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, 2, 3, 4 The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 4, 5, 6 An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 4, 5, 6 Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 2, 3, 6 A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 6 A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 8 A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 6, 7, 8 An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 7, 8
Required ResourcesStudents will be required to attend all Chemistry and special research seminars as defined by the Honours coordinator (1-2 hr/wk). Students are also required to attend a library resources training session as well as equipment specific training sessions where relevant to their research project as identified by their project supervisor (e.g. NMR training).
Learning & Teaching Activities
Learning & Teaching Modes
The Honours chemistry project involves placement in the laboratory of a member of the Chemistry academic staff (cross disciplinary projects involving chemistry academics and others outside chemistry may be approved at the discretion of the Chemistry Honours coordinator who will consult with the discipline). Students will be allocated to a particular research group by the Honours coordinator according to the preference of the student and the availability of supervisors. Undergraduate performance may be taken into account during the allocation process where the availability of a particular supervisor is limited.
Each student will devise a single research project in chemistry, in consultation with their allocated supervisor, that will allow them to develop their research skills in a particular area beyond the level achieved in a chemistry major degree. The placements will be full-time in one laboratory between the start of April and the end of October, and each student will be mentored by their supervisor as well as other members of that research group.
Students will develop their informal written and oral scientific communication skills through meetings with their supervisor and participation in research group meetings, and formal communication skills will be developed by presentation of a research seminar and production of a research project report (thesis).
Each student will be allocated a “second reader” by the Honours coordinator; this will be a member of the chemistry academic staff who does not work directly in the same field of research, who will help the student to develop the ability to communicate their research outcomes to a broader audience.
Students will receive informal feedback regarding scientific writing from their supervisors as they draft their thesis. A formal requirement for the submission of an interim report at the start of June, covering the background and motivation for each research project, will be enforced. Both the supervisor and the second reader will provide feedback on the interim report.
Attendance at Discipline research seminars will allow students to place their research projects in a wider context in the field and develop perspective about the importance of their work.
The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.
Students undertaking an Honours research project in chemistry should expect to spend, on average, 40 hours per week on the studies required. This includes time at the bench, reading and literature surveys, research group meetings, preparation of seminar and thesis, as well as attendance at the Chemistry discipline seminar program. Students should note that significant variations in day-to-day workload requirements will occur depending on the nature of the research project.
Learning Activities Summary
Students will undertake an independent research project under the supervision and guidance of a member of the academic staff in the Discipline of Chemistry. This will develop the research capabilities of the student to the point where they would be considered suitable for entry into a PhD program at an Australian or international University.
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 Type of assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading purposes
Yes or No
Outcomes being assessed / achieved Approximate Timing of Assessment for both Semester 1 and 2 Interim report Formative 0 Yes 1-4,6 Early June Research report (thesis) Summative 70 No 1-8 Early November Oral examination Summative 20 No 1 – 8 Mid November Research seminar Summative 10 No 1-8 Mid November
Assessment Related Requirements
Assessment Item with hurdle % needed or requirement to meet hurdle Is additional assessment available if student does not meet hurdle requirement? Yes or No Details of additional assessment, if available Interim report Pass Yes Resubmission
Assessment DetailInterim report (formative)
An interim report will consist of a concise introduction to, and a summary of, the proposed research project. It should be no longer than 8 pages long, word-processed and conform to the regulations for thesis preparation. While the interim report is not summative, it is a compulsory part of the Honours project. Students who fail to submit the report may be dismissed from the course.
The Honours report will be assessed on the basis of the quality of the scientific communication and understanding of relevant chemical concepts demonstrated therein, and on the level of scientific competence displayed by the student. Students will not be marked down if their project does not meet its original scientific aims. The project must be limited to 50 pages.
Four readers, including the student’s supervisor and the second reader of the Interim Report, will carry out assessment of the Honours Report. The four readers will mark the thesis independently, and their marks will be averaged to give the final assessment.
Oral Examination (20%)
This examination will consist of SEEN and UNSEEN questions. Students will be allowed 30 minutes to consider answers to a list of SEEN questions. After this time has elapsed, the opportunity to give oral answers to the examination panel (same as thesis readers) will be provided. The panel will then pose further questions from a list of UNSEEN questions such that the total time for the oral examination is 50 minutes.
Each student is required to present a seminar of 30 minutes (including time to answer questions). The purpose of this seminar is to inform the Discipline about the background and progress in Honours research projects, and to educate the student in the public presentation of research material. The seminars will be assessed by all academics attending the seminar. Factors to be judged include the structure of the seminar, understanding of the work and results presented therein, its clarity and delivery and treatment of any questions asked at the end of the seminar.
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 a thesis that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available.
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.
Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.
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