- Class Number 3346
- Term Code 3130
- Class Info
- Unit Value 12 to 24 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Prof Spencer Whitney
- Prof Spencer Whitney
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 22/02/2021
- Class End Date 28/05/2021
- Census Date 31/03/2021
- Last Date to Enrol 01/03/2021
The principal component of the Honours course involves a research project conducted under supervision of a research scientist. In addition, students are expected write a Grant Proposal on the research topic, a progress report, present seminars on their research work and attend various workshops and Divisional seminars. . The major item of assessment is the thesis. The Honours course runs from early February to early November or from mid July to mid May. In addition to meeting the entry requirements defined by the College, students must have the agreement of a member of the academic staff to supervise their project, and the agreement of the convener. Academic staff from the Research School of Biology, John Curtin School of Medical Research, CSIRO and Canberra Hospital may be supervisors or co-supervisors. Students should discuss their intention to undertake an Honours project with appropriate staff and the Honours Convener at least several months before the proposed starting date. Note that several organisations award honours scholarships in September-December for the following year.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:Specific learning outcomes will depend on the nature of the research project. In general, on satisfactory completion of the course students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Plan and engage in an independent and sustained critical investigation and evaluation of a chosen research topic to generate new knowledge in an area of biology.
2. Systematically evaluate relevant theory and concepts, relate these to appropriate methodologies and evidence, and draw appropriate conclusions.
3. Analyse and interpret original biology data with statistical or other evaluative processes where appropriate.
4. Understand and apply principles of laboratory safety and relevant laboratory techniques.
5. Demonstrate sufficient mastery to understand and apply relevant experimental techniques and methods in biology to collect original research data.
6. Communicate and justify complex concepts and results clearly and effectively to a variety of audiences.
BIOL4001 is an Honours Year with Biology Specialisation.
A full time load is over 2 semesters.
Students undertake a research project under the supervison of an academic from the Research School of Biology. The primary focus of this year of study is research.
Some research projects may have a fieldwork component.
The complete Biology honours handbook, 2021 timelines and College handbook is available on the Biology Honours Wattle site.
Recommended student system requirements
ANU courses commonly use a number of online resources and activities including:
- video material, similar to YouTube, for lectures and other instruction
- two-way video conferencing for interactive learning
- email and other messaging tools for communication
- interactive web apps for formative and collaborative activities
- print and photo/scan for handwritten work
- home-based assessment.
To fully participate in ANU learning, students need:
- A computer or laptop. Mobile devices may work well but in some situations a computer/laptop may be more appropriate.
- Speakers and a microphone (e.g. headset)
- Reliable, stable internet connection. Broadband recommended. If using a mobile network or wi-fi then check performance is adequate.
- Suitable location with minimal interruptions and adequate privacy for classes and assessments.
- Printing, and photo/scanning equipment
For more information please see https://www.anu.edu.au/students/systems/recommended-student-system-requirements
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- Written feedback is provided by the examiners for the Grant Proposal and Final Thesis
- Three meetings are held with examiners over the year.
- An intial meeting after the assessment of grant proposal
- Mid-year progress meeting
- Final Oral discussion of the thesis
Supervisors maintain regular contact with their students throughout the year.
ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
- The Honours year has a start date of 1 February 2021 for the Sem 1 intake.
- Biology Honours is a one year program. The timelines in this outline provide a general indication for a student commencing in Semester 1 and submitting in Semester 2
- The convenor details in this summary apply to students beginning in Semester 1 2021.
- Students commencing Honours in Semester 2 (mid-year) should refer to the Semester 2 class summary.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||The Honours year commences on Monday 1st February with a welcome session which includes information and induction.||This summary provides a general information for a student enrolling in this Biology Honours for the first time as a full-time student. It is expected that full-time Honours students will enrol in this course twice over consecutive semesters (24 units each semester) to a total of 48 units in the full-year. Dates for submitting the thesis are defined based on the semester in which the student will complete their enrolment in the course. For further details, please refer to the course information and related documents in Wattle, and to the Science Honours Handbook.|
|2||Inhouse training courses are scheduled throughout the year. Details provided on timeline on wattle site. The training required will depend on the requirements of the research project undertaken.||Timelines will be different for part time enrolment. Dates in assessment summary below relate to a full time study load.|
|3||The focus of Honours is to complete a research project. This project is undertaken throughout the year. There will be milestones to complete during the year.||Milestones - please see 2021 Honours timeline and Handbook for full details. Thesis Submission - 28 October 2021|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Introductory Seminar||0 %||04/03/2021||15/04/2021||6|
|Grant Proposal||15 %||25/03/2021||15/04/2021||1,2,3,4,6|
|Mid-term Progress Report||0 %||21/06/2021||31/07/2021||1,3,6|
|Final Seminar||0 %||13/09/2021||02/12/2021||6|
|Submission of Thesis||85 %||28/10/2021||02/12/2021||1,2,3,4,5,6|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:
The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the Academic Integrity . In rare cases where online submission using Turnitin software is not technically possible; or where not using Turnitin software has been justified by the Course Convener and approved by the Associate Dean (Education) on the basis of the teaching model being employed; students shall submit assessment online via ‘Wattle’ outside of Turnitin, or failing that in hard copy, or through a combination of submission methods as approved by the Associate Dean (Education). The submission method is detailed below.
Moderation of Assessment
Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.
There is no examination
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 6
A 15-minute presentation followed by 5 minutes discussion, on the proposed research. This is the first opportunity for other students and academic staff (including examiners) to learn about the research.
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,6
It is a written research plan modelled on a shortened version of an ARC or NHMRC grant application.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,6
Mid-term Progress Report
A short (3-4 page) document detailing progress of research
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 6
A 15-minute presentation followed by 5 minutes discussion, on the research findings. This is an opportunity for other students and academic staff to find out how the research project went and the outcome.
Assessment Task 5
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6
Submission of Thesis
The thesis is the formal written presentation of the research project.
Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically, committing to honest and responsible scholarly practice and upholding these values with respect and fairness.
The ANU commits to assisting all members of our community to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle and Academic Misconduct Rule, uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with.
The Academic Misconduct Rule is in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Very minor breaches of the academic integrity principle may result in a reduction of marks of up to 10% of the total marks available for the assessment. The ANU offers a number of online and in person services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. Visit the Academic Skills website for more information about academic integrity, your responsibilities and for assistance with your assignments, writing skills and study.
You will be required to electronically sign a declaration as part of the submission of your assignment. Please keep a copy of the assignment for your records. Unless an exemption has been approved by the Associate Dean (Education) submission must be through Turnitin.
No hard copy thesis submission required. A PDF copy of the thesis is electronically submitted to the Science Honours wattle site.
Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.
Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.
Extensions and Penalties
Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure. Extensions may be granted for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.
Distribution of grades policy
Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes.
Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.
Support for students
The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
My research focuses on utilising synthetic biology to scrutinize the assembly, metabolic regulation and kinetic plasticity of the biospheres most abundant protein, the photosynthetic CO2-fixing enzyme Rubisco (ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase). The research provides training in molecular biology, protein engineering (directed evolution), enzyme kinetics, biochemistry, plastome transformation, tissue culture, measuring leaf photosynthesis and plant growth.
Prof Spencer Whitney