• Offered by Biology Teaching and Learning Centre
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Biology
  • Areas of interest Biology
  • Work Integrated Learning Projects
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Rachael Remington
    • Prof Maja Adamska
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2024
    Second Semester 2024
    See Future Offerings
  • STEM Course

BIOL8700 aims to give Masters students the opportunity to develop an original research proposal. Students will enhance their skills in interpreting, synthesizing and critically analysing published literature and subsequently apply their knowledge to new questions in biology. Workshops will consist of discussing research ideas, learning strategies for robust experimental design and analyses, and peer-review activities designed to enhance writing and communication skills. 

For this course you will be also be supervised by the leader of a research laboratory. Students should read online descriptions of research groups in Research School of Biology/JCSMR, identify several laboratories of research fields of interest, and contact supervisors via email to set up an appointment to meet. The ultimate goal of this course is to prepare the Masters student for their research year, which would typically begin the following semester (24 units of either BIOL8701 or MEDN8701).

Once you have found a supervisor, you will interact with the lab members (e.g., discuss research, attend lab meetings). Other members of the research group (post-docs, PhD students and technicians) should also be able to give you guidance and feedback as well as your primary supervisor.

Your research proposal should demonstrate a thorough understanding of the background and proposed techniques of your project and emphasize the biological applications of your research.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Design an original research project on a specific topic in biology.
  2. Interact with members of a primary biological research laboratory at the ANU.
  3. Explain the broader aspects of research mechanisms and how research in biology is conducted.
  4. Integrate diverse methodologies and theories in research planning, including robust experimental design and statistics.
  5. Communicate research ideas, both orally and written, to a broader scientific audience.
  6. Effectively critique and analyse your own and others written work in the peer-review process.

Work Integrated Learning


Other Information

Please email rsb.studentadmin@anu.edu.au to request a permission code to enrol in this course. As an indication, students are required to have an average of 70% to enrol in this course and must independently find an ANU research supervisor before enrolling in the class.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Journal Club Presentation (10) [LO 3,5]
  2. Literature Review and Research Question (15) [LO 1,2,6]
  3. Experimental Plan (20) [LO 1,2,4,6]
  4. Final Research Proposal Seminar (15) [LO 1,5]
  5. Final Research Proposal (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]

The ANU uses 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:

  • One 2-4 hour workshop per week (12 week semester; up to 48 hrs)
  • Approximately 85 hours of self directed study which will include extensive contact hours with individual research supervisors and laboratory members, in addition to preparation for lectures, reading, writing and preparing for presentations and other assessment tasks.

Students are expected to actively participate and contribute towards discussions.

Inherent Requirements

To be determined

Requisite and Incompatibility

You will need to contact the Biology Teaching and Learning Centre to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts


Assumed Knowledge

Second year Molecular Biology or Biochemistry and first year Chemistry.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
12 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

12.00 0.25000
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $8880
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $12720
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
2797 19 Feb 2024 26 Feb 2024 05 Apr 2024 24 May 2024 In Person View

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
7786 22 Jul 2024 29 Jul 2024 31 Aug 2024 25 Oct 2024 In Person View

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