• Class Number 3322
  • Term Code 3230
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 to 24 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Chris Browne
    • Chris Browne
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 21/02/2022
  • Class End Date 27/05/2022
  • Census Date 31/03/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 28/02/2022
SELT Survey Results

The course allows students to pursue a research project on a topic that extends coursework learning. The course is centred on conducting original research under an academic supervisor, in order to develop independent research skills and experience.

The details of the project will be negotiated between the student and the supervisor/s and be approved by the relevant School’s Associate Director (Science Education) prior to enrolment. The research project may be conducted within a research group or in collaboration with an industry or government body. The project may be on a topic that is of interest to and/or encompasses multiple disciplines in science.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Plan and engage in an independent and sustained investigation on a chosen science research topic.
  2. Systematically identify relevant sources, theory and concepts, to situate the research project in the broader literature.
  3. Select and apply relevant quantitative and/or qualitative methodologies to collect and evaluate data to draw appropriate evidence-based conclusions.
  4. Work constructively with researchers and practitioners to appropriate ethical standards of conduct.
  5. Communicate research concepts and contexts clearly and effectively both in writing and orally.

Research-Led Teaching

The entire course is centred on teaching and learning research skills and conducting original research for potential publication. Students will learn core knowledge about conducting research and will implement that in a scoped project with a supervisor.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback from their Project Supervisor in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments

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). Feedback can also be provided to Course Conveners and teachers via the Student Experience of Learning & Teaching (SELT) feedback program. SELT surveys are confidential and also provide the Colleges and ANU Executive with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement.

Other Information

Please note, research projects are unique to each student. Individual start and end dates will be confirmed with each student prior to enrolment. Course structure, assessment and deadlines must be defined and communicated to students within the first 10% of the first enrolment period via the Research Project Summary form.

This course can be taken as variable unit course (6-12). For every 6 units of enrolment, the expectation is that the student works ~130 hours over the course of the semester.

The supervisor should:

  • Assist in selecting and defining the scope of a suitable topic or problem; and in devising a schedule of work;
  • Ensure the student is appropriately trained to undertake the research, including any safety and ethics requirements;
  • Guide the student in the selection and application of appropriate data collection and analysis procedures and advise on a solution if difficulties arise;
  • Advise on matters of research report content, organisation and writing, including the timely provision of feedback;
  • Meet frequently with the student to discuss and evaluate each stage of the project;
  • Ensure appropriate ethics clearance is gained before the student commences the research work.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Identify suitable Researcher and Project Before semester/session starts
2 Research Project Summary Form Due by Friday Week 2 of semester/session
3 Commence Research Project Complete Project Plan by Census Date
4 Complete Research Project In consultation with your supervisor
5 Complete Agreed Assessment As outlined in Research Project Summary Form, by end of semester/session

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Mid-Term Project Update 0 % 1,4
Oral Presentation 20 % 5
Project Report 75 % 1,2,3,4,5
Lab work/Log book/Assignments/Career Development Reflection 5 % 1,2,4

* 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 Integrity 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 Skills website. 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 assessable participation requirement of this course. However, students are strongly encouraged to attend regular meetings with their supervisor in line with the project plan, as discussed and confirmed with the supervisor.

Throughout the semester-based research projects, students will be encouraged to attend a Fortnightly Meeting with other Science Research Project students. Full details about these sessions are available in Wattle.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,4

Mid-Term Project Update

The Mid-Term Project Update should revise and outline the scope of the project in more detail than the initial project proposal. The Project Update should be completed in consultation with your Supervisor, and should be between 4-6 pages. The Project Update should not be seen as an additional task, merely a considered compilation of ongoing activity.

Each student's Project Update will cover different topics, but a place to start could be considering the following prompts. These are not required, and should be tailored to your situation:

  • an introduction covering the research question, context and scope (~0.5 page)
  • background, previous work, key literature, data, background theory, prior work (~1 page)
  • methodology being used to answer your research question (~0.5 page)
  • initial results or work to date, including data gathered, experiments completed, or initial results (~0.5 page)
  • milestones for the ongoing project, including major challenges still to be addressed. Please note any changes to dates in the Project Proposal (~1 page)
  • conclusions/reflections to summarise the current state of the project (~0.5 page)

Length: ~4 pages or aligned with discipline practice

Due: Prior to session census date

Submission: Submission via Wattle.

Grading: The Mid-Term Project Update will not be graded, but submission by the session census date is a required task to complete the course. Students who do not complete the Mid-Term Project Update by the session census date will be contacted to suggest they drop the class and recommence their project in a later session.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 20 %
Learning Outcomes: 5

Oral Presentation

The Science Research Project requires the completion of an oral presentation to an academic audience. Your presentation is an opportunity to showcase the work that you have done in an academic environment, and is a great opportunity for all researchers in your discipline to give feedback on your project. Generally, it is expected that the oral presentation will take place within the School's student research presentations to allow attendance and participation from researchers not directly involved in supervision. Students should work with their supervisors to make sure that the work can be disseminated to the right audience.

Length: A suggested length for your presentation is 15-20 minutes, extending with a Q&A.

Due: As agreed and confirmed in the Mid-Term Project Update.

Submission: Please submit a copy of your Presentation Slides on Wattle upon completion.

Grading: Your supervisor will provide a grade and feedback as relevant in your discipline.




Inclusion of enough background to the project to understand its significance, clear presentation of results and key findings and clear understanding of the major issues, ability to answer questions after the seminar


Including fluency and clarity, interaction with the audience; use of notes or props, quality of visual backups; for example, consider features of good slides (not too much information, a minimum of words, visually pleasing etc)


including consistency of argument from research question to conclusions, choice of material to be presented (not too much information; rather key points), information content appropriate for a general audience, effective use of time

Assessment Task 3

Value: 75 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Project Report

The major part of the project report will take the form of a scientific research paper. The final paper should be aligned with a format consistent with scientific research papers within the relevant field or disciplinary context. This would typically involve sections such as an Abstract, Introduction, Materials/Methodology, Results, Discussion, Conclusion and References. It is appropriate to modify these suggestions in consultation with your supervisor.

The project report should also include an additional Evaluation section in which you will reflect on what you have learnt about doing research through the project, which may be presented in a separate document or part of your presentation, in consultation with your supervisor.

Length: The length of the Project Report should be guided by submission guidelines for scientific research papers within the relevant field. In the absence of a clear venue for publication, an indicative word count of 2,500-3,000 words can be used.

Due: As agreed and confirmed in the Mid-Term Project Update.

Submission: Please email a copy of your Project Report to your Supervisor, and submit a copy on Wattle as evidence of submission.

Grading: Your supervisor will provide a grade and feedback as relevant in your discipline.



Logic, rigour, accuracy

The application of scientific principles to interrogate the topic and research question

Consistency and coherence

The extent to which ideas are presented consistently and with clear progression from research questions through to conclusions

Use of information/evidence to sustain argument

How and to what degree the information sourced from authorities in a field or from data collected is integrated and used to sustain the argument; clarity and accuracy in presenting data

Demonstration of analytical and critical judgment

The extent of reflective assessment and appraisal of strengths and limitations of previous work and/or own work

Quality of conclusions

Clear statement of the meaning and relevance of findings presented through linkage to other research, potential of findings to contribute to the field and identification of further work required to confirm or extend conclusions

Assessment Task 4

Value: 5 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4

Lab work/Log book/Assignments/Career Development Reflection

The purpose of the Lab work, log book, assignments and Career Development Reflection is to enhance your awareness of transferable research skills during and after your project. During the project, you should aim to undertake at least 10 hours of research skills development, and reflect on your learning in the project as a launching point for the next part of your research career.

Typical formats include maintaining a log book, writing up lab or field work, or conducting milestone assignments/tasks (ie completing a literature review, reviewing methodology) throughout the project. Regardless of the format, it should include a reflective component outlining your career development as a researcher. Full details are available in Wattle.

Typically, this work would contribute to ~5% of the final grade, but there may be circumstances where these tasks are substantial and require a greater proportion of the final grade.

Length: The length of this component should be set in line with Supervisor expectations

Due: As agreed and confirmed in the Mid-Term Project Update. Likely to be ongoing, with submission of the reflective component submitted upon completion of the project

Submission: Please email a copy of your Project Report to your Supervisor, and submit a copy on Wattle as evidence of submission.

Grading: Your supervisor will provide a grade and feedback as relevant in your discipline.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of the ANU culture as a community of scholars. The University’s students are an integral part of that community. The academic integrity principle commits all students to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support, academic integrity, and to uphold this commitment by behaving honestly, responsibly and ethically, and with respect and fairness, in scholarly practice.

The University expects all staff and students to be familiar with the academic integrity principle, the Academic Integrity Rule 2021, the Policy: Student Academic Integrity and Procedure: Student Academic Integrity, and to uphold high standards of academic integrity to ensure the quality and value of our qualifications.

The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 is a legal document that the University uses to promote academic integrity, and manage breaches of the academic integrity principle. The Policy and Procedure support the Rule by outlining overarching principles, responsibilities and processes. The Academic Integrity Rule 2021 commences on 1 December 2021 and applies to courses commencing on or after that date, as well as to research conduct occurring on or after that date. Prior to this, the Academic Misconduct Rule 2015 applies.


The University commits to assisting all students to understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. All coursework students must complete the online Academic Integrity Module (Epigeum), and Higher Degree Research (HDR) students are required to complete research integrity training. The Academic Integrity website provides information about services available to assist students with their assignments, examinations and other learning activities, as well as understanding and upholding academic integrity.

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

Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

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.

Referencing Requirements

The Academic Skills website has information to assist you with your writing and assessments. The website includes information about Academic Integrity including referencing requirements for different disciplines. There is also information on Plagiarism and different ways to use source material.

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.

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).

Chris Browne

Research Interests

Chris Browne

By Appointment
Chris Browne

Research Interests

Chris Browne

By Appointment

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