SCI08009 2016 Project:Applied Biosciences
As part of the qualification for an honours degree students are expected to complete a research project. In addition opportunities for students to carry out post-graduate work in the biosciences continue to expand. This module draws upon research skills attained in previous study and will permit students to carry out a piece of independent research in an area of bioscience. The Project can also allow students in the work place to carry out an investigation which not only benefits his or her employer but also his or her career.
Working within an area of bioscience, the Module aims are:
- To provide students with a meaningful introduction to research;
- To stimulate in students the necessary research-related qualities of a questioning approach, confidence, independence and self-discipline;
- To guide students towards the making of satisfactory decisions and appropriate conclusions regarding their research; and
- To promote continuous self-reflection and improvement in students’ work.
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
K1 Recognise and articulate appropriate research methods in order to carry out scientific research.
K2 Recognise the significance and relevance of the data and results obtained.
K3 Recognise the structure of the research paper (Project report).
I1 Define an appropriate detailed research strategy in order to fulfil the Project objectives.
I2 Analyse and interpret the data obtained during the execution of the Project.
I3 Critically compare and integrate Project findings with findings from previous work reported in the literature.
I4 Engage in critical discussion of the conduct of the Project, and the significance of its findings, with the supervisor and with scientific peers.
P1 Show skill in applying methods and techniques relevant to the Project.
P2 Plan the Project, combining the availability of own working time and necessary facilities in an optimal manner, in order to achieve the goals of the Project.
P3 Identify practical difficulties and limitations, and ways to overcome these.
P4 Write-up the different parts of the Project report.
T1 Show initiative, be prepared to make independent decisions.
T2 Source and read texts effectively, edit information and avoid plagiarism.
T3 Utilise software packages for the preparation of typewritten documents.
T4 Utilise suitable software packages for basic data presentation and statistical analysis.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Students will be expected to carry out individual independent Project work, with the support of a Project supervisor through regular tutorial consultation. The Project supervisor is a member of Academic staff within the Bio & Healthcare Sciences subject area. The Academic Supervisor will be attentive to each student, and help each student maintain a clear focus and a forward momentum, not only in a general sense, but also in terms of day-to-day activities. The supervisor will not instruct each student in a step-by-step manner (as this would weaken the independence of each student), but rather interactively discuss appropriate approaches to work and the interpretation of results, etc. with each student.
Students will also be allocated an e-tutor within the Project module to provide advice on Project requirements (e.g. risk assessment, project logbook, typical Project report format, referencing and deadlines).
Each student must maintain a ‘log book’ of Project-related activities (commencing as part of the BIO509 Research Skills module and including discussions with the Academic Supervisor). This will help ensure that the project is conducted with a due degree of scientific rigour. Failure on the part of each student to submit a properly-maintained logbook may be considered grounds for a ‘fail’ mark in this module.
The Academic Supervisor will provide critical feedback in relation to a series of draft plans, practical reports, drafted sections of the Project report, etc. produced throughout the duration of the Project by each student. This feedback will be vital to ensure that all the learning outcomes within the Project are realised. The telephone interview (by the e-tutor), at the end of the Project period, will offer a valuable opportunity for students to further develop communication skills and defence their work within the context of scientific debate. This feedback will be vital to ensure that all the learning outcomes within the Project are realised.
Students will be directed to read relevant scientific papers as appropriate to their chosen Project topic. The module is offered fully on-line.
Verification of Authenticity of Work
The Academic Supervisor will be responsible for checking the authenticity and veracity of each student’s reported work. In the event of the Academic Supervisor having doubts regarding the authenticity (i.e. whether the student really has carried out the reported work) or veracity of the work (i.e. whether the results reported are a true account of the outcomes of the work), the following procedures shall ensue:
- The Academic Supervisor will notify these doubts to the Module Coordinator.
- The Academic Supervisor and the Module Coordinator will proceed to examine / evaluate both the Project report (‘research paper’) and the Logbook.
- The Module Coordinator will interview by telephone each suspect student with a view to elucidating whether the contents of the Project report (‘research paper’) have been produced honestly, without plagiarism and in good faith.
The Module Coordinator and the Academic Supervisor will arrive at a decision as to whether to accept the work as authentic and true (assigning a mark based on scientific merit) or to reject the work as plagiarised /false (‘zero’ mark).
Module Assessment Strategies
Coursework 1: Project Report (60%
Students will be expected to write up their research findings in the form of a scientific paper, following the structure, specifications and guidelines of the Journal of Applied Biosciences. Although written in the form of a scientific paper, the Project report obviously represents the best efforts of each student ‘learning to do research’, and there will invariably be a certain amount of relevant information (e.g. summaries of important ‘pre-trial’ work, e.g. accounts relating to method, e.g. relevant samples of raw data) that does not properly belong in the scientific paper, but which should, nonetheless, be included in some way. Such additional material should be included as ‘appendices’ to the Project report. Given that the nature and quantity of such information will depend on the exact type of Project, the supervisor should provide guidance for the student regarding this. Each Project report will be independently marked, with equal weighting, by the Academic Supervisor (first) and another member of Bio and Healthcare Science staff (second). Both staff will assess the Project report using the same criteria for the quality, relevance and currency of the literature sourced, the laying down of the facts, the interpretation of the facts, proper referencing and the coherency in presentation of the introduction, the clarity of expression of the aims and objectives, the accuracy in the performance of data collection, interpretation of generated data in light of relevant background and the coherency in presentation of the written report. If the two marks based on the Project report presented differ by more than 10%, the Module Coordinator shall arbitrate between the two markers. Written feedback will be provided on a bespoke feedback sheet, giving the breakdown of marks and comments, based on the above mentioned criteria, for both the first and second markers. This will contribute 70% of module mark.
Coursework 2: Practical Report (30%)
The practical achievement of each student for the full duration of the Project will be assessed by the Academic Supervisor. This will take into account each student's contribution to the overall design and planning of the investigation, and also assess the level of application (organisation, data collection and critical analysis abilities), the time spent on the Project (perseverance and time management) and the level of supervision required (independence and initiative). Each student is expected to submit a Project log book. Written feedback will be provided on a bespoke feedback sheet, giving the breakdown of marks and comments, based on the above mentioned factor taken into account, from the Academic Supervisor. This will contribute 30% of module mark.
Coursework 3: Poster Presentation (10%)
Each student will prepare and present a poster of the results obtained from their Project via Blackboard Learn Collaborate Tool. Two staff will assess this presentation based on oral communication (Ability to describe project background, rationale and methodology; Ability to discuss and defend results/findings; Overall enthusiasm and ability to generate interest) and the poster (Content; Aims of the project; Description of methods and Presentation of results; Clarity of data and discussion; Written expression, general presentation and overall visual presentation; Conclusion). Written feedback will be provided on a bespoke feedback sheet, giving the breakdown of marks and comments, based on the above mentioned factors taken into account.
The Project will be an individual study of an area of biosciences related to biomedical science, biotechnology or food science applications. Each student, with supervision will be expected to demonstrate his or her ability to:
- critically review the relevant sources of information on a research topic chosen previously within the BI0509 Research Skills module;
- define how the topic, for which research objectives have been set, is to be investigated, design a programme of investigative work, carry out the work and respond to results;
- analyse previous relevant work, generate sufficient data from the investigative programme, interpret the results and establish valid conclusions; and
- present, with the use of appropriate aids, a research paper (Project report) that complies with the standard format, and orally defend the incorporated decisions and conclusions.
Research topics are diverse. Students will have identified a research topic within the BIO509 Research Skills module, which reflects their preferences, employer views and Academic staff expertise. Normally, the research will take the form of a problem solving, practice improvement or new opportunity realisation exercise within the work-place of students or a case study or pilot survey or analysis of data arising from a scientific investigation in the field of biosciences. The Academic Supervisor (explained in the BIO509 module descriptor) will be expected to ensure the research topic is clearly defined and that it is feasible, and thereafter to guide each student in the completion of the Project.
Coursework & Assessment Breakdown
|Title||Type||Form||Percent||Week||Learning Outcomes Assessed|
|1||Coursework 1||Continuous Assessment||Project||60 %||Week 12||1,2,3,4|
|2||Coursework 2||Continuous Assessment||Practical Evaluation||30 %||Week 12||1,2,3,4|
|3||Poster Presentation||Continuous Assessment||Interview||10 %||Week 12||1,2,3,4|
Full Time Mode Workload
|Online Lecture||Distance Learning Suite||Online Supervision||2||Weekly||2.00|
Distance Learning Mode Workload
|Design Projectwork||Online||Project Report Preparation||10||Weekly||10.00|
|Independent Learning||Online||Practical Report Preparation||10||Weekly||10.00|
Peer-reviewed journals relevant to the particular area of investigation, where Academic Supervisors will be expected to recommend a number of relevant peer reviewed journals
Online database resources including PubMed Central, Web of Knowledge: ISI Proceedings, Web of Knowledge: ISI Web of Science.
Students will also be directed to relevant up-to-date scientific literature.