• Class Number 3456
  • Term Code 3130
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 to 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Brian Billups
    • AsPr Brian Billups
  • 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
SELT Survey Results

Students will be expected to research the scientific literature relevant to a given topic and construct a research proposal which addresses the background, aims, hypotheses and detailed experimental approach to extend the known information. Each student will have a neuroscience academic advisor relevant to their research proposal with whom they will meet regularly. The course will involve self-directed learning and independent research of the literature.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On satisfying the requirements for this course, students will demonstrate theoretical knowledge of common methodologies used in neuroscience; skills which enable them to interpret, synthesize and critically analyse the published literature; and the ability to apply the knowledge to new problems.

Research-Led Teaching

Academic supervisors will assist students with the planning and preparation of their proposal. All supervisory academics are research-active members of the Joint Colleges of Science and are experts in their research field.

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.
  • Webcam
  • 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

Staff Feedback

Students will be given written feedback for the Research Proposal and Reading Record components of this course. Feedback for the Seminar Presentation will be given to the individual student following their presentation.

Student Feedback

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.

Other Information

Adjustments to delivery in 2020

Course delivery and assessment in 2020 was adjusted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Any information below that replaces what was published in the Class Summary for Semester 1, 2020 was approved by the Associate Dean Education (as is required after 10% commencement of a course). Where an activity or assessment is not referenced below, it remains unchanged.

Teaching Activities

  • Meetings with supervisors were done remotely.


Adjustments were made to assignment due dates; for details see the course Wattle site.

  • Final seminar presentation took remotely via Zoom.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Weeks 1-11 Develop aims and write research proposal; Maintenance of reading record; Start seminar presentation.
2 Week 12 Submit research proposal and reading record; Prepare final seminar. Research Proposal; Reading Record
3 During the end of Semester Examination period (03/06/2021 - 19/06/21) Present seminar Seminar Presentation

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Research Proposal 50 % 24/05/2021 30/07/2021 1
Reading Record 10 % 24/05/2021 30/07/2021 1
Seminar Presentation 15 % 03/06/2021 30/07/2021 1
Supervisor's Mark 25 % 01/06/2021 30/07/2021 1

* 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:

Assessment Requirements

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.


Students are expected to contact their supervisor and arrange regular meetings throughout the semester. The time frame is to be negotiated between the student and supervisor, with the suggested interval being once every 1-2 weeks.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 50 %
Due Date: 24/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 30/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1

Research Proposal

Details of task: Submission of a detailed written research proposal on the chosen topic. This should include background, including a critical analysis of the relevant literature, hypotheses, aims, proposed experimental plan and a detailed explanation of the proposed experimental methodologies. The proposal should be divided into appropriate sections and subsections (e.g. Project Synopsis, Background, Hypotheses and Aims, Research Plan (including methodology), Outcomes and Significance), and should include full references.

Word limit: Suggested length of around 6000 words.

Presentation requirements: It is suggested that the format loosely follows that of research grant applications such as an NHMRC Ideas Grant Research Proposal or an ARC DECRA Project Description. Further guidance is available in the “Writing the Research Proposal” document on the Wattle page for this course.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 24/05/2021
Return of Assessment: 30/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1

Reading Record

Details of task: Maintenance of a reading record in Endnote. 

Presentation requirements: All materials read should be entered and their relevance to the research proposal briefly summarised, with some brief critical evaluation for a selection of references, in the Research Notes field of an Endnote library. The Compressed Endnote Library (.enlx file; an option on the Endnote File menu) should be submitted along with the project essay via Wattle. Please select the “Without File Attachments” option to reduce file size.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 03/06/2021
Return of Assessment: 30/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1

Seminar Presentation

Details of task: Presentation of a seminar describing the structure, predicted outcomes and significance of the proposed project. The duration should be 15 minutes, plus a few minutes question time. The PowerPoint file for the presentation should be submitted online using Wattle, by the published due date. The presentation will take place on a subsequent date during the exam period.

Assessment: Assessment will be based on both the content of the seminar and its presentation. The two are necessarily interrelated and include:

•     Background to the proposal and how well the proposal is introduced

•     Clear presentation of hypotheses, aims and experimental plans

•     Clear understanding of the methodologies.

•     Critical analysis of the pertinent literature.

•     Clear understanding of the limitations, potential pitfalls.

•     Presentation of the seminar

            - clarity of visual presentations

            - structure of the presentation, (logical flow)

            - judicious choice of material to be presented (not too much information; rather key points)

- informative answers to audience questions

Presentation requirements: The date for the presentation will closely follow the online submission date for the seminar presentation

Assessment Task 4

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 01/06/2021
Return of Assessment: 30/07/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1

Supervisor's Mark

Twenty five percent of the assessment for this course will be in the form of a Supervisor’s Mark in which the following aspects of the student’s performance will be considered:

  1. Work ethic/diligence
  2. Input to the design and planning of the research project
  3. Level of supervision required
  4. Amount of proof-reading of drafts required
  5. Difficulty of the project
  6. Ability to overcome difficulties that may have arisen
  7. Organisational skills

Academic Integrity

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.

Online Submission

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.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

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.

Referencing Requirements

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.

Resubmission of Assignments

Resubmission of assignments is not permitted

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information.
In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service – including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy.
If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

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).

AsPr Brian Billups
02 61252039

Research Interests

Cellular Neuroscience

AsPr Brian Billups

Monday 09:30 10:30
AsPr Brian Billups

Research Interests

AsPr Brian Billups

Monday 09:30 10:30

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