Course Title: Advanced Biotechnology/Bioinformatics Research Project

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Advanced Biotechnology/Bioinformatics Research Project

Credit Points: 48.00


Course Coordinator: Assoc. Prof. Nitin Mantri

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 7152

Course Coordinator Email: nitin.mantri@rmit.edu.au

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

The course is available to students who are in their FINAL semester with an average grade of DISTINCTION (70+) or higher (unless you have exceptional results) and who subsequently achieve a successful outcome from one or more interviews.

Permission is required from the Course Coordinator before enrolling in this course.


Course Description

This course has a vocational focus. It assists students to develop skills in research and scientific communication in the relevant discipline, including design and performance of experiments or action research, analysis and presentation of research data, and preparation of oral and written scientific reports that use these skills.

 

The aim of the course is to prepare students to apply research focused on one of the following:

 

Biotechnology, develop technology to mitigate a biological problem

Bioinformatics, apply computational biology skills to investigate a biological problem

Food technology, develop new technology for the food industry

Occupational Health & Safety research, risk management and OHS consulting in biotechnology industry

 

This unit offers a challenge to postgraduate students, and allows innovation by the student with respect to both method and research direction. You are required to make a presentation regarding your project to your peers.

 

This course includes a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) experience in which your knowledge and skills are applied and assessed in a real or simulated workplace context and where feedback from industry and/or community is integral to your experience.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course is particularly important in the development of graduate attributes related to innovation, work readiness, global outlook, environmental awareness, social awareness and life-long learning.

 

This course contributes to the following MC111 program learning outcomes:

1. Understanding Science

  • 1.3 You will demonstrate knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to biological sciences.

 

2. Advanced skills to critically analyse and solve problems in biotechnology

  • 2.1 You will demonstrate cognitive skills in mastery of advanced theoretical knowledge in biotechnology and apply this knowledge to solve complex problems in existing and new areas.
  • 2.2. You will generate and evaluate complex ideas and concepts at an abstract level.

 

3. Application of knowledge and skills 
You will critically analyse and solve problems in biotechnology by:

  • 3.1 Demonstrating creativity, initiative and a high level of autonomy in research and/or professional practice;
  • 3.2 Planning and executing a substantial research or work-based project and/or pieces of scholarship.

 

 4. Communication

You will be able to effectively communicate concepts of biotechnology to specialist and non-specialist audiences, using a variety of presentation modes


On the successful completion of this course, you should be able to:

1. Carry out a research project in a professional and scientific manner.

2. Adhere to responsible laboratory or field practice regarding data collection and recording, laboratory and field safety. Demonstrate an in-depth, project specific, detailed knowledge of computational methodologies, procedures and theories associated with the project.

3. Demonstrate time and project management in the successful identification of a research project, development of an experimental design, collection of accurate and precise data, critical analysis and interpretation of results, retrieval of information, and critical reading of scientific literature.

4. Prepare a minor thesis (draft, edit, format, check for errors), understand confidentiality issues regarding biological sciences, OHS, the food industry and/or environmental research.

5. Present a seminar on the results of a research project. Communicate the results of a research project to a wide audience.


Overview of Learning Activities

Despite the differences between individual projects, the course aims to provide you with the opportunities to gain expertise in project design, management and reporting.

Learning activities may include any or all of the following:

  • Completion of library, field, or industry project designed to give you further practice in the application of theory and procedures in your field 
  • Private study, working through the requirements of the project with the assistance of a supervisor, and gaining practice at solving conceptual and numerical problems. 
  • Communication of the results of your project to an appropriate audience

 You are expected to develop skills in: 

  • locating and synthesising information available in scientific (and in some cases other) literature in order to establish the need for, and potential scope and context of, the research project;
  • developing creative ways of solving unfamiliar problems by devising a methodological approach to address the research question being raised;
  • managing the time allocated to completing specific tasks;
  • collecting and analysing data (qualitative and/or quantitative) including an assessment of the validity of the research results; and
  • communicating the results in written form, requiring critical analysis, synthesis and organisation of knowledge, and the construction of a rational and lucid scientific argument.
  • Depending on the project, you may also find you learn other important skills such as how to work effectively in teams and how to take into consideration other complex issues associated with research.

480 hours of Research Activities including planning and executing the research, and writing Minor Thesis. Face-to-face hours will vary depending on the project.


Overview of Learning Resources

There is no prescribed text or recommended book for this course. Students should obtain material appropriate to their individual topic by discussion with their supervisors and by searching appropriate data bases e.g.Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Current Contents, PubMed, etc. 


Overview of Assessment

Assessment will be based on contract between the student and supervisor and will depend on the nature of the project and the discipline stream. Generally the assessment will comprise some literature assessment, some problem solving and some oral and written communication as defined by the course coordinator and supervisor.

Assessment tasks 

Assessment Task 1: Project Proposal

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1 and 2

Assessment Task 2: Project Progress Report

Weighting 20%

This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2 and 3

Assessment Task 3: Oral Presentation

Weighting 10%

This assessment task supports CLOs , 2, 3 and 5

Assessment Task 4: Minor Thesis

Weighting 50%

This assessment supports CLOs 1-4