• Class Number 3124
  • Term Code 3330
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 to 12 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Brian Billups
    • AsPr Brian Billups
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 20/02/2023
  • Class End Date 26/05/2023
  • Census Date 31/03/2023
  • Last Date to Enrol 27/02/2023
SELT Survey Results

This course allows guided research on a neuroscience topic for individuals who wish to gain research skills and experience not covered in other courses taught in the School. 

The research project is guided by a an academic supervisor at ANU or in collaboration with an affiliated institute.  Students identify a supervisor after discussion with the course convener.

This is a capstone course, usually completed in the final semester of a coursework masters program

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Plan and engage in an independent and sustained investigation of a chosen research topic supervised by an academic staff.
  2. Systematically identify relevant theory and concepts in the chosen field, relate these to appropriate methodologies and evidence, and draw appropriate conclusions.
  3. Carry out a specific set of experiments in neuroscience to address a particular research question, at a standard consistent with current published research in the field.
  4. Accurately document and analyse laboratory work and research findings
  5. Present research findings, both orally and written to a high standard

Research-Led Teaching

Academic supervisors will assist students with the planning and execution of their project. 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 Laboratory Report. 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). 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.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Weeks 1-11 Perform Research; Maintenance of Research Lab Book; Write Final Written Report.
2 Week 12 Submit Written Report and Lab Book; Prepare Final Seminar. Research Report; Lab Book
3 During the end of Semester Examination period (01/06/23 - 17/06/23) Present Seminar. Seminar Presentation

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Written Report of Project 75 % 22/05/2023 30/07/2023 1 - 5
Lab Book 15 % 22/05/2023 30/07/2023 3, 4
Seminar Presentation 10 % 01/06/2023 30/07/2023 1, 2, 5

* 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.


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 at least once every 1-2 weeks.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 75 %
Due Date: 22/05/2023
Return of Assessment: 30/07/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1 - 5

Written Report of Project

Details of task: Submission of a detailed written research report of the project. This should be written in the style of a submitted journal article, with sections for abstract, introduction, methods, results and discussion.

Word limit: Suggested length (excluding acknowledgements, bibliography, figure legends and appendices): 8000 words.

Value: 75%

Presentation requirements: The report requires the following sections:

  •  Abstract – A concise statement of the objectives of the study, brief methodology, key results and main conclusions. (Maximum limit 250 words).
  •  Introduction – A brief outline of the study objectives, providing enough background information to justify the work undertaken and what hypotheses were tested. This should be understandable to a non-expert neuroscientist. (Suggested length - 1000 words max).
  •  Methods – A succinct summary of the materials and methods used to allow the reader to understand the result. Reference to other publications may be used, and solutions and reagents may be tabulated. (Maximum limit 1500 words).
  •  Results – Presentation of the data in an appropriate format. Numerical data should be analysed with appropriate, clearly stated, statistical tests. Figures and figure legends should be included at the end of the report, not embedded in the results text.
  •  Discussion – A discussion of the main findings of the work. Include a critical evaluation of the results, their relationship to other published work in the field and the overall significance of the findings. Future directions for further research could also be included. (Minimum length: 1500 words).
  •  Acknowledgements – Acknowledge the role of other lab members in the research and clearly state if any of the data presented is not entirely your own work.
  •  Bibliography - A list of referenced work in Journal of Neuroscience format using Endnote.
  •  Appendices if required (e.g. further methodological details, computer code).
  •  Figures – Include figures at the end of the document. Each figure should be on a separate page, with multi panel figures permitted. Figure legends can be included on the figure page if space permits, or on separate pages.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 22/05/2023
Return of Assessment: 30/07/2023
Learning Outcomes: 3, 4

Lab Book

Details of task: Maintenance of a research laboratory book. 

Value: 15%

Presentation requirements: Accurate lab records should be kept in a suitable lab book, which would allow another researcher in the field to accurately reproduce your experiments and analyse the data you have acquired. At the end of the project, the research laboratory book(s) should be submitted to the course organiser.

Lab books will be graded for clarity, information content and neatness.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 01/06/2023
Return of Assessment: 30/07/2023
Learning Outcomes: 1, 2, 5

Seminar Presentation

Details of task: Presentation of a seminar describing the aims, hypotheses, methods, results and significance of the project. The duration should be 30 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 project and how well the project is introduced

•     Clear presentation of hypotheses, aims and experimental plans

•     Clear understanding of the methodologies.

•     Critical evaluation of the project’s findings in relation to the current field.

•     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

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

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

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.

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

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions