GENETICS 4020B - Honours Genetics and Evolution Project Pt 2

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

This course is part of the Honours in Genetics and Evolution degree structure, and the aim is to introduce the student to all aspects of research, including design, experimentation, interpretation and communication of results in both oral and written format. This course comprises a substantial supervised research project selected by the student on a topic acceptable to the Department of Genetics and Evolution. Assessment includes two formative assessments, a seminar and a dossier outlining research progress, and three summative assessments, a literature review, a research seminar, and a thesis and interview.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code GENETICS 4020B
    Course Honours Genetics and Evolution Project Pt 2
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 18
    Contact By supervision
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Incompatible GENETICS 4000A/B
    Restrictions Available only to students admitted to the relevant Honours program
    Assessment Literature review, First Research Seminar, Research Project, Dossier, Thesis and Interview, Laboratory Notebook, Research Seminar
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Jeremy Austin

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1.  Develop an hypothesis based on reading of the scientific literature in a field of research as evidenced by writing a literature review and research proposal

    2.  Design a series of experiments that will test the hypothesis, as evidenced in the dossier discussion

    3.  Undertake experiments and document these experiments and their outcomes as evidenced in a laboratory notebook

    4.  Interpret experiments as indicated in dossier, thesis and interviews

    5.  Communicate results in both oral and written format

    6.  Integrate results into the broader discipline

    7. Understand the ethical, regulatory and accreditation standards required to conduct research in this discipline.
    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, 6, 7
    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
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    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
    3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1, 2, 5, 6, 7
    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
    5, 6, 7
    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
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Activity 1: Choice of topic, including identifying area and potential supervisor

    Activity 2: Preparation of a written literature review and research proposal

    Activity 3: Undertake research in close consultation with supervisor, other laboratory members, and members of the School – this is the major daily activity from March until September.

    Activity 4: Presenting a seminar –formative feedback from all staff

    Activity 5: Preparation of a research dossier, and interview with three person panel – formative feedback from panel.

    Activity 6. Preparation of a thesis, and interview with three person panel – summative

    Activity 7: : Presenting a research seminar –summative


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

    A student enrolled in this course should expect to spend, on average, at least 36 hours per week on this 18 unit course. This is primarily conducting experimental research, including wet-lab experiments and / or in silico analyses. Conducting experimental work includes the design of experiments, the conduct of experiments, the interpretation of experiments, and the communication of results.
    Learning Activities Summary

    1. The Literature Review - 5% (Word limit 3000)
    2. The First Research Seminar - (formative assessment - 15 minutes plus 5 minutes for discussion)
    3. Research Dossier and Interview – (formative assessment ; length varies between projects; Interview 40 minutes)
    4. Research Project Thesis and Interview – 80% (Thesis - 70 pages, including diagrams but not including Bibliography and Appendices; Interview 40 minutes)
    5. Research Seminar – 15% (20 minutes plus 10 minutes for questions)

  • 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 Type of assessment Percentage of total assessment for grading



    or No
    Outcomes being assessed / achieved Approximate Timing of Assessment for both
    Semester 1 and 2
    Literature Review Formative and Summative 5% No 1, 2, 5, 6 Week 6
    First Research Seminar Formative No 1, 5 Week 7
    Research dossier and Interview Formative No 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Weeks 16 & 17
    Research Project: Thesis and Interview; Laboratory
    Summative 80% No 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Weeks 40 & 41
    Research Seminar Summative 15% No 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 Week 41
    Assessment Detail
    Each student will have a panel of assessors, including their primary supervisor, and two members of academic, affiliate or research staff of the Discipline. This panel will assess all written submissions and interviews. Each panel member provides a mark, and the marks are averaged to give the final assessment.

    1. The Literature Review, weighted at 5%, comprises a critical review of the literature relevant to the research project (~ 2500 words) and a brief research proposal (~500 words), assessed by the panel.

    2. The Research Project Dossier is a formative assessment of a written dossier containing a summary, with evidence, of the research completed by the student by week 16, followed by an interview with the assessment panel.

    3. The Research Project Thesis and Interview is weighted at 80%. The thesis includes a literature review, details of materials and methods, result chapters outlining the research completed by the student, and a discussion chapter integrating the findings. The panel will assess the originality of ideas and experimental approaches used, the clarity of presentation, the quality and thoroughness of the experimental work, its analysis and interpretation, the way the student has dealt with technical difficulties, and the student’s overall understanding of the field.

    The Seminars are assessed by all available Genetics staff and affiliates whose marks are averaged to give the final assessment.

    4. The First Research Seminar is a formative assessment comprising a 15 minute presentation plus 10 minutes of questions. The seminar should contain sufficient background information, but the emphasis should be on the project itself and include the aims and the experimental approaches that are planned.

    5. The Second Research Seminar, comprising a 20 minute presentation plus 10 minutes of questions, is weighted at 15%. This Seminar should focus on the research results and their interpretation.
    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.
    Course Grading

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

    M11 (Honours Mark Scheme)
    GradeGrade reflects following criteria for allocation of gradeReported on Official Transcript
    Fail A mark between 1-49 F
    Third Class A mark between 50-59 3
    Second Class Div B A mark between 60-69 2B
    Second Class Div A A mark between 70-79 2A
    First Class A mark between 80-100 1
    Result Pending An interim result RP
    Continuing Continuing CN

    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
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