BIOTECH 7020B - Research Project Part 2

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2016

This course consists of a research project and written thesis. It is designed to develop the practical skills required for a successful career in scientific research or related activities. It provides advanced education and training in the principles of scientific research and the current state of knowledge and techniques used in the field of biomedical research. Thus, students learn to search and understand scientific literature relevant to their chosen discipline, to design, evaluate and present scientific experiments, and to develop written and verbal communication skills. Each student is expected to carry out a laboratory based research project during the year. At the end of the year the project outcomes are to be written up as a thesis using a form similar to that required for publication of research data. The thesis will include a summary of work done, an introduction outlining the theoretical background related to the work actually carried out (see Biotechnology Research Project Part I), materials and methods, results and a discussion of the results obtained in relation to the general background of the study. Each student will be required to give a formal presentation of their research at the end of the year, followed by an oral defence of their findings and conclusions.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code BIOTECH 7020B
    Course Research Project Part 2
    Coordinating Unit School of Biological Sciences
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 24
    Contact Up to 35 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites TECHCOMM 5016, EDUC 7054, EDUC 7055 & BIOTECH 7020A
    Restrictions Available to Masters in Biotechnology (Biomedical) only
    Course Description This course consists of a research project and written thesis. It is designed to develop the practical skills required for a successful career in scientific research or related activities. It provides advanced education and training in the principles of scientific research and the current state of knowledge and techniques used in the field of biomedical research. Thus, students learn to search and understand scientific literature relevant to their chosen discipline, to design, evaluate and present scientific experiments, and to develop written and verbal communication skills.
    Each student is expected to carry out a laboratory based research project during the year. At the end of the year the project outcomes are to be written up as a thesis using a form similar to that required for publication of research data. The thesis will include a summary of work done, an introduction outlining the theoretical background related to the work actually carried out (see Biotechnology Research Project Part I), materials and methods, results and a discussion of the results obtained in relation to the general background of the study.
    Each student will be required to give a formal presentation of their research at the end of the year, followed by an oral defence of their findings and conclusions.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Antonio Focareta

    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 an ability to evaluate research articles and research proposals, including critical analysis and interpretation of data,
       arguments and conclusions presented in the scientific literature.

    4. Demonstrate an appreciation of the current gaps in our understanding and the future areas for investigation in a particular
       area of research.

    5. Develop a capacity to identify and evaluate a problem and define the important elements required for its solution while appreciating the
       risks and benefits of alternate approaches.

    6. Develop an ability to effectively plan a research proposal in the field of biomedical research.

    7. Demonstrate mastery of the basic techniques required for the study of a research question.

    8. Develop a rigorous and methodical approach to the maintenance of records and the collection, storage and analysis of data.

    9. Demonstrate an awareness of ethical issues associated with their chosen field of research.

    10. Develop and demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate written and oral presentations to a scientific audience.
    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, 6, 7, 8
    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, 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
    4, 5, 6, 10
    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, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10
    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, 9
    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
    2, 4, 5, 9, 10
  • 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 research 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 e-journals.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course will be delivered by the following means: 
    A major research project and thesis form the basis of this course. 
    The 9 month research project is based on the research proposal; (see co-requisite Biotechnology Research Project Part I).
    Each project will develop specific skills involving laboratory work on a topic of relevance in the area of biotechnology.
    Students will will be required to understand and critically analyse scientific literature relevant to their chosen discipline, to design, evaluate and present scientific experiments, and to develop written and verbal communication skills.

    Students will have a supervisor (academic, researcher or affiliate) either from the laboratory where the research project will be undertaken, or have one assigned who is appropriate for the project and a scientific or industry-based mentor. 

    At the end of the year the project outcomes will be written up as a thesis. The thesis will include a summary of work done, an introduction outlining the theoretical background related to the work actually carried out (see Biotechnology Research Project Part I), materials and methods, results and a discussion of the results obtained in relation to the general background of the study.
    Each student will be required to give a formal presentation of their research at the end of the year, followed by an oral defence of their findings.
    Workload

    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 35 hours per week on the studies required.
    This includes both contact time as well as non-contact time.
    Learning Activities Summary
    A major research project and thesis form the basis of this course. 
    The 9 month research project is based on the research proposal; (see co-requisite Biotechnology Research Project Part I).
    Each project will develop specific skills involving laboratory work on a topic of relevance in the area of biotechnology. 

    Students will have a supervisor (academic, researcher or affiliate) either from the laboratory where theresearch project will be undertaken, or have one assigned who is appropriate for the project.  

    Research Project and Thesis:
    Each student will carry out a research project in an area of Biotechnology (Biomedical Science). 
    At the end of the year the project will be written up as a 15,000 word thesis.
    The thesis should include a Table of Contents, an Abstract (summary of work done and no more than 1 page in length), an Introduction outlining the theoretical background relatedto the work actually carried out, a Materials and Methods section, a Results section and a Discussion of the results obtained in relation to the general background of the study. The Discussion is an opportunityfor the student to critically assess the significance and limitations of their results and to suggest future work to expand knowledge in their field. 

    Students should expect significant help from their supervisor in all aspects of scientific research including experimental design, interpretation of results, literature assessment, scientific writing, and career advice.  However, the final draft of the thesis should be the student's own work, for which the student takes responsibility.
  • 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 grading

    Oral presentation (final seminar)              Formative and                     10%                                       No                       1-7,  9-10
                                                                  Summative


    Oral defence (viva)                                 Formative and                      15%                                      No                       1-6,  8-10
                                                                 Summative


    Thesis (written)                                     Formative and                        60%                                     No                       1-6,  8-10
                                                                Summative


    Thesis (laboratory performance)            Formative and                        15%                                      No                      1, 2,  5-8
                                                                 Summative


    Assessment Detail
    Description of Assessment

    Oral Presentations:
    Final seminar (10%):  Each student will present a seminar (20 minutes + 10 minutes questions) that describes the results of their research, conclusions and implications.
    An additional aim is to highlight and inform other students and staff of the breadth and success of work carried out in the year.

    Oral Defence (Viva) (15%):
    The viva assessment panel will consist of three members of academic staff.
    Each member of the panel will have read all of the theses.  Each student will be assigned a member of the panel as a spokesperson. Thesis
    examiners are invited to submit questions to be asked by the panel.  Each student is interviewed by the panel for 20 minutes and questioned
    about aspects of the thesis and general understanding of scientific issues relevant to the research project. Students are also given the
    opportunity to draw to theexaminers’ attention any particular issues or problems associated with their work.

    Assessment of the Project:
    The Thesis (60%) and Laboratory Performance (15%).
    The thesis will be assessed by three examiners; usually the supervisor together with two others familiar with the general area of the
    project.
    Submission
    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 canonly 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:

    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.

  • 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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