BIOTECH 7020A - Research Project Part 1

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

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.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code BIOTECH 7020A
    Course Research Project Part 1
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Contact Up to 35 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites ENTREP 5016, EDUC 7054, EDUC 7055
    Restrictions Available to Masters of Biotechnology (Biomedical) students only
    Assessment Written assignments, Oral Presentation
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Alistair Standish

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Demonstrate an understanding of basic research methodologies used in biomedical science research.

    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 scientific audience.

    9 Develop the ability to engage with senior scientists in discussions on research priorities and strategies in their chosen field of research.

    10Critically 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)
    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
    No 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 Learning
    Students will be expected to access online molecular biology databases appropriate to their research project and e-resources such as
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This 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 the first half 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 intheir field.  Assignments are completed on a sequential basis.

    The remining half of the course will require students to undertake research based activities in the laboratory.  These research activities will be determined by the project undertaken in the laboratory where the student is placed.


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

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

    A student enrolled in this 12 unit course, should expect to spend, up to 48 hours per week on the studies required.
    This includes both contact time as well as non-contact time.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Research project experience

    Three individual assignments related to the 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 the 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.
    Students will be graded on their assignment, with individual feedback and suggestions from their supervisors. 
    Students will also be an opportunity to correct/insert appropriate corrections, as the literature review will form part of the final thesis.
    2. Business Case Development (15 % total grade)
    Students will be expected to develop a case for investment in a genuine project opportunity in their chosen field of research.
    Initial discussions can be held with supervisors to provide direction and preliminary advice. 

    Students will be supported by two 3 hour workshops focusing on patents (validity, interpretation and database searches) as well as  definition of competition, need, outcomes, budget, timelines and resources, to assist with development of the project.  Business cases  will be assessed by an oral presentation.

    3. Research Proposal
    Students will develop a specific research plan for the research project component of the course.
    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 = 35%
    Students will also be required to give a 20 minute oral presentation with 10 minutes dedicated to questions related to the presentation. Oral presentation = 15%
  • 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                             Task Type                       Percentage of total               Hurdle                Learning Outcome                                                                                                  assessment for


    Assignment (literature review)               Formative and                     35%                                        No                        1-3, 7, 8, 10


    Assignment (business case)                   Formative and                     15%                                        No                         1-8, 10


    Assignment (research proposal)             Formative and                     35%                                       No                          1-10

    Oral presentation (research proposal)      Formative and                    15%                                      No                          1-4, 7-10

    Assessment Detail
    Written assignments: (85% of total course grade).
    Oral Presentation: (15% 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.
    Late Submission
    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:

    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.

  • 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

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