SCI08009 2020 Project:Applied Biosciences
This module comprises an investigation in the field of bioscience, carried out in consultation with, and supervised by, a member of academic staff and supported by an e-tutor. The Project provides experience in planning a work programme to suit a defined set of research objectives, data acquisition and analysis, and the interpretation of the results in the light of relevant literature. Students are assessed by coursework only. A research paper is submitted for assessment. Research findings are defended via a Poster Presentation.
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 biomedical sciences 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 biomedical sciences. 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 biomedical sciences, 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;
Define an appropriate detailed research strategy and plan in order to fulfil the Project objectives.
Define an appropriate detailed research strategy and plan in order to fulfil the Project objectives.
Analyse and interpret the data obtained during the execution of the Project, and critically compare and integrate Project findings with findings from previous work reported in the literature.
Engage in critical discussion of the conduct of the Project, and the significance of its findings, with the supervisor, and write-up the different parts of the Project report and defend Project findings via a Poster presentation.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
Students will be expected to carry out individual independent Project work, with the following support.
All students are assigned an Academic Supervisor. The role of the Academic Supervisor is to:
- Assess student work and ensure that the standard of such work meets with the University standard of a BSc Hons degree
- Provide comments on the progress of the project
- Be available to e-tutors, in the first instance, and students for consultation on specific research matters.
In case of a Work-Based Project, to commence the research project, each student must have their own Work-Based Supervisor who can advise on and give direction to the progress of their research. Generally, the supervisor is a manager/senior colleague who holds a BSc Hons degree, is familiar with the research topic and is available for regular research discussions.
The Module Coordinator will be in communication with the Work-Based Supervisor to discuss the project and the "Guidance Notes for Work-Based Supervisors" provided, including the expectations for the supervisor as well as the assessment and the role that he or she will play in the assessment procedures.
All students have access to an e-tutor, who is a specialist in the areas associated with the projects. The e-tutor is available to assist students with their work. The e-tutor will:
- Be available for consultation on all research matters relating to the preparation and execution of their project. This may involve advising students on the planning and implementation of their research.
- Provide advice, if sought, to work-based supervisors
- Report on student's progress to the Module Co-ordinator
- Advise students on keeping a laboratory notebook, scientific literature requirements, COSHH and risk analysis, and sample numbers
- Advise students that all work relating to their project must be entered into their lab book
Additionally, a specialist statistics e-tutor is available to answer queries regarding any statistics relevant to any project. This statistics e-tutor is available to all students, and is accessed via the regular e-tutor.
The Work-Based Supervisor (Work-Based Project) or Academic Supervisor (Non Work- Based Project) 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.
Each student must maintain a laboratory notebook of Project-related activities. 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 notebook may be considered grounds for a 'fail' mark in this module.
The Work-Based Supervisor (Work-Based Project) or Academic Supervisor (Non Work- Based Project) will provide critical feedback in relation to drafted sections of the Project report and Project poster produced towards the end of the Project by each student. This feedback will be vital to ensure that all the learning outcomes within the Project are realised. The poster presentation via Blackboard Learn, at the end of the Project period, will offer a valuable opportunity for students to further develop communication skills and defend 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.
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 (scientific paper) and the laboratory notebook
- The Module Coordinator will interview by telephone each suspect student with a view to elucidating whether the contents of the Project report (scientific 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
Students will be expected to write up their research findings in the form of a scientific paper, following the structure, specifications and guidelines of a journal appropriate to their discipline. 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 the student's allocated etutor (second). Both 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 there is a difference of more than 10% between the first and second markers of the Project report, and if the two markers are unable to align, then a 3rd marker, typically the Module Coordinator, will review the Project report. If the mark of the 3rd marker falls between the other two marks, then mark of the 3rd marker will apply. If the mark of the 3rd marker is either above or below the other two marks, the respective higher or lower of the two marks will apply. In such a case, the External Examiner is notified that this has happened.
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 1st and 2nd markers or 3rd marker if appropriate.
Practical skills assessment [20%]
The practical achievement of each student for the full duration of the Project will be assessed by the Work-Based Supervisor for a Work-Based Project or the Academic Supervisor for a Non Work-Based Project. 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 laboratory notebook.
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, from the Work-Based Supervisor or Academic Supervisor.
Each student will prepare and present a poster of the results obtained from their Project via Blackboard Learn Collaborate Tool. The student's etutor and Academic Supervisor 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.
100% Coursework 0% Examination
The Project will be an individual study of an area of biomedical sciences. 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;
- 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 defend the incorporated decisions and conclusions.
Research topics are diverse. Students will have either identified a research topic within the BMS344 Research Skills in Biomedical Sciences module or using a Project topic selection process (as outlined in BMS344) within the first 4 weeks of Year 4, semester 1 studies, 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 biomedical sciences.
Coursework & Assessment Breakdown
|Title||Type||Form||Percent||Week||Learning Outcomes Assessed|
|1||Project||Project||Written Report/Essay||60 %||End of Term||1,2,3,4|
|2||Practical skills assessment||Coursework Assessment||Assessment||20 %||OnGoing||1,2,3,4|
|3||Presentation||Coursework Assessment||Oral Exam/Presentation||20 %||End of Term||1,2,3,4|
Online Learning Mode Workload
|Design Projectwork||Online||supervised time on project||0.5||Weekly||0.50|
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.