PHY8003 : Research Skills II: Project Proposal

Semester 1 Credit Value: 15
ECTS Credits: 8.0


The overall aim of the Module is to furnish the student with the critical thinking and planning to prepare a technical, organised and high-level research proposal, directed towards their dissertation project. The students will carry out a literature review of their chosen project to help plan the overall objectives and build on the current level of knowledge in the area of research.

They will then prepare a detailed project proposal. As part of this module they will also experience being part of a research community in joining the research group seminars and school research seminars, gaining exposure to both narrow and broad research topics. They will also present a Physics “journal club”-style oral presentation based around their chosen topic.

Outline Of Syllabus

Project planning and budgeting.
Literature search of the research area.
Designing a project proposal.
Timelines and GANT charts.
Participate within a research group, including attending research group seminars.
Gain exposure to wider research activities by attending the school research seminar series.
Present a Physics journal club talk.
Proposal workshop.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion128:0028:00Preparation for dissertation proposal
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:3030:00Research seminars
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Journal club presentation preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture13:003:00“Writing Your Research Project Proposal” course offered by the PGRDP or alternative
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Preparation for proposal talk
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision121:0012:00Project supervision guidance
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision51:005:00Tutorial guided by project supervisor to refine project proposal.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study321:0032:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Seminar attendance, guided self-study and research supervision will promote critical thinking and reflection as they undertake active learning on the construction of scientific reports and articles, leading to a critique of a case study of a research article in a presentation within the Physics Journal club, guided by the supervisor. This will promote a deep understanding and appreciation of scientific methods and communication.

Preparation for project work is the responsibility of the student, but is facilitated by interaction with peers, the module leader, the project supervisor and other research group members. This module gives students the opportunity to learn and practise skills in preparing a research proposal. The students will attend the course “Writing Your Research Project Proposal” course offered by the PGRDP to acquire the necessary knowledge to prepare the project proposal. Presenting the project plan to the research group will also provide further feedback before final preparation of the dissertation proposal gain experience in communicating science. Regular supervisor meetings will help to refine the project plan and focus it towards the dissertation research.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation151M25Proposal talk to research group - 10 minutes plus 5 for questions
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M50Dissertation proposal
Prof skill assessmnt1M25Assessment of student’s performance during the Physics Journal Club presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The dissertation proposal tests the student’s ability to assimilate scientific information, provide suitable references, motivate a problem, critically evaluate the state-of-the-art of the field, and plan a project. The oral presentation will assess the student’s ability to prepare and deliver a short summary of their proposed project in a clear and concise format to an audience of peers in a time-limited fashion.

Professional skills, including interpersonal communication, teamwork, planning and organising, and initiative will all be assessed through the participation in the research group seminars and the journal club oral presentation.

Reading Lists