BIO8198 : MRes Research Dissertation Project
- Offered for Year: 2019/20
- Module Leader(s): Dr Jon Marles-Wright
- Lecturer: Dr James Stach, Dr Martin Edwards, Dr Martyn Dade-Robertson, Dr Thomas Howard
- Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 1 Credit Value:||20|
|Semester 2 Credit Value:||40|
|Semester 3 Credit Value:||60|
The aim of this module is for the student to develop and complete an independent research project in an area directly related to their degree within the framework of the Biodesign cycle of ‘Design, Build, Test, Learn’. In semester one the students will focus on the ‘Design’ aspects with a design studio lead by the module staff; where, through a series of interactive research seminars and workshops, they develop a research project based on questions presented by the project supervisors within ‘Grand Challenge’ research themes. Through a series of theoretical and practical discussions, the students will develop skills in design-focused thinking, develop a research plan, and pitch the project idea to their peers and supervisors. In semesters two and three the students will focus on the ‘Build, test, and Learn’ aspects with an in-depth practical research project where the student can show their research, analytical, interpretive and critical thinking skills. Some projects may be group projects where a team of students will work together on different aspects a single problem. In these cases, the students will work together to gather information and collate data, but each student must present an individual final thesis in the form of a research paper.
Outline Of Syllabus
Students will develop a research project in semester 1 within the scope of the research interests of the module contributors and potential project supervisors. The design studio will introduce the students to the concepts and practice of design thinking and key concepts in biodesign with seminars and interactive workshops lead by the module team. The workshops will focus on the following topics:
• Design-thinking as a process for problem solving
• Grand Challenges, UN sustainable development goals and wicked problems
• The BioDesign Cycle: Design, Build, Test, Learn
• Project development
• Presentation and pitching skills
• Proposal structure, writing, and peer review
• Standards in synthetic biology and biodesign
• Data analysis, presentation, and sharing
• Project budgeting and organisation
• Implementation and analysis
The students will refine and deliver a 15-minute presentation/pitch of the project idea developed through the workshops and their independent study. They will also produce a written proposal outlining the aims, details, and budget of their project.
The students will develop their project proposal in semester 2 with a detailed GANTT chart and project timeline that will determine the timetable for their laboratory research. In semester 2 and 3 the student will undertake their individual research project under the supervision of the project supervisor, or supervisory team for group projects. This project will answer a specific research question and test the student’s ability to advance their knowledge and research skills in this subject.
The student will produce a research paper based on their research in the format of a high-quality journal article appropriate for their research.
The student will then deliver a 15-minute presentation at the end of their research to an audience of students and academics the demonstrates their ability to explain their research and its conclusions to an audience and to answer questions based upon their research
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||10:00||10:00||Individual presentation (including preparation)|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||20:00||20:00||Project GANTT and plan writing|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||10:00||10:00||Group presentation (including preparation)|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||20:00||20:00||Project proposal writing|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||150:00||150:00||Dissertation writing|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Workshops||10||2:00||20:00||BioDesign workshops in Semester 1|
|Guided Independent Study||Project work||1||620:00||620:00||Research leading to dissertation|
|Guided Independent Study||Student-led group activity||10||2:00||20:00||Group project development sessions|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||1||260:00||260:00||Includes background reading and reading notes for a full understanding of material.|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Dissertation/project related supervision||20||2:00||40:00||Meetings with Supervisory team|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||1||30:00||30:00||Includes background reading and reading notes for a full understanding of material.|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
The students practise and develop their discipline related skills and knowledge, and their generic skills, through independent study of an individual research project. They gain the skills and knowledge delivered by the module by “learning through doing” as they undertake the project. They are supported by one or more academic supervisors who advise on experimental methodology and result interpretation.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Oral Presentation||5||3||M||5||10 minute presentation on the dissertation followed by 5 minutes of questions|
|Dissertation||3||M||80||Approx. 7000 words, to be written in the style of the most appropriate high-quality journal for the subject|
|Case study||2||M||5||Risk assessment, and COSHH, ethical assessment and GANTT timeline.|
|Research proposal||1||M||10||Project proposal Approx 2500 words in the style of an abridged RCUK Case for Support and Justification of Resources|
|Oral Presentation||1||M||Formative group presentation on project idea.|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
The aim of the assessment is to test the student’s ability to develop and design a research project (Project Proposal) to answer a specific research question, to plan the implementation of the project (Project plan and GANTT) to undertake and report that investigation and to present the information both to an audience in the form of an oral presentation and as a journal paper.
The Group presentation formative assessment allows the student to receive feedback from instructors and peers before the preparation of the Project Proposal