• Class Number 3518
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 3 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Lillian Smyth
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
SELT Survey Results

The ANU Doctor of Medicine and Surgery (MChD) program draws on the research strengths of the ANU and other ACT and Commonwealth organisations by requiring all medical students to conduct a research project during years 1 and 2 of their 4-year degree.

Doctors must be able to evaluate new information and integrate this into their understanding of complex systems and clinical practice. Graduates of the ANU medical program are also expected to be able to contribute to the knowledge underpinning their profession. Learning about research and how to conduct it, is a curriculum framework within the ANU Doctor of Medicine and Surgery. In this curriculum students are introduced to research methods used in medical and health research, research ethics and study design, critical analysis of data and information, and apply these learnings in both an individual major research project and minor group research projects.

The Research Project (Advanced) course is designed for students seeking to undertake a more substantive Phase 1 research project, usually with a view to commencing a PhD or MPhil after completing year 2 of the ANU Doctor of Medicine and Surgery. As such the Research Project (Advanced) is an alternative program option for students to the standard Research Project. Students seeking approval to enrol in the Research Project (Advanced) will be required to have the support of a nominated supervisor (who must be an established researcher at the ANU with a track record of supervision of successful timely HDR completions) and must submit a detailed research plan in the form of a grant proposal outlining the proposed project spanning both the Research Project (Advanced) course and, where relevant, the subsequent HDR program. Prospective students must also have completed all required ethics applications by November 30 of the year preceding enrolment in the Research Project (Advanced).

MEDI8011, MEDI8012, MEDI8015, MEDI8020, MEDI8025 and either MEDI8022 or MEDI8023 form part of Phase 1 of the MCHD program.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify research questions, and design and implement a research plan;
  2. Perform sophisticated, critical analysis of the literature;
  3. Analyse and summarise research data sets;
  4. Synthesise meaning from data and observations and present coherent arguments;
  5. Produce written research outputs (grant applications, reports, publications) to publication standards;
  6. Develop project management skills commensurate with the planning and undertaking of an extended research plan including setting goals, meeting deadlines and communicating progress against agreed milestones;
  7. Develop persuasive written communication skills based on the judicious use of evidence to support a comprehensive research plan as outlined in a grant proposal sufficient to cover the minimum requirements to successfully undertake the research;
  8. Develop capacity to provide constructive feedback through peer review of the work of others, and to respond to constructive feedback form peers, their supervisor and their research mentor.

Research-Led Teaching

The Australian National University has a long standing history of research excellence, being ranked in the top 20 Universities in the world (QS World University Rankings), and recognised internationally as having exceptional research disciplines, including the field of Medical Sciences. Research is an integral part of post-graduate medical training at the ANU, and the 'Research Projects' component of the curriculum provides an important background for this aspect of your training and future career in medicine. The medical degree at the ANU is classified at Master’s level, which is contingent on a research component; which is provided by MEDI8022 or MEDI8023.

Additional Course Costs

Students are responsible for travel costs between the Acton and Canberra Hospital (TCH) campuses and other associated clinical teaching and research sites.


Students undertaking the Indigenous Health Stream are periodically provided with short excursions to attend Aboriginal Health Centres. The cost of these excursions is borne by the School of Medicine and Psychology.

There are a variety of platforms you will use to participate in your study program. These could include videos 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/or photo/scan for handwritten work and drawings. In consultation with research supervisors, there may be specific software, systems, or other resources required to complete your project.

ANU outlines recommended student system requirements to ensure you are able to participate fully in your learning. Other information is also available about the various Learning Platforms you may use.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:

  • written comments
  • verbal comments
  • feedback to whole class, groups, individuals, focus group etc

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 Ongoing project development activities conducted under the mentorship of the academic supervisor:
  • Literature Review: students will synthesise and critique academic (and other) literature relevant to their area, and develop a rationale based on the current literature (and gaps therein).
  • Study Design: students will work with supervisors to develop an appropriate study design (including approaches to ethics, data collection and data analysis as relevant).
  • Analysis: students conduct the analysis for their project.
  • Interpretation: students explain their findings in relation to existing literature, and provide (as appropriate) practical implications for policy, practice, education, or research.
  • Formatting: students select an appropriate journal or outlet for their manuscript and apply the formatting guidelines to their manuscript.
2 WORKSHOP: Student Progress Presentations
3 WORKSHOP: Research methods and analysis refresher
4 WORKSHOP: Writing Methods
5 WORKSHOP: Reporting Results
6 WORKSHOP: Progress reporting
7 WORKSHOP: Writing the Discussion
8 WORKSHOP: Communicating Research
9 WORKSHOP: Project polishing
10 WORKSHOP: Clinician Research Panel Discussion
11 WORKSHOP: Reporting Lived Experience Engagement
12 3 + 1Q Presentations

Tutorial Registration

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.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Learning Outcomes
Research Project Planning Form 0 %
Research Project (Advanced) Development Form 10 % 1,7,8
Research Project 90 % 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

* 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.


Classes and formative assessment tasks are compulsory. Some notes on that:

  • If you need to leave early or arrive late to a Monday class because of work commitments/ lab work, etc, you will need to notify whoever is leading the session a minimum of one work day prior (i.e. in most cases: the Friday before)
  • If you need to miss a session entirely, we will be applying an 80% attendance rule. If you need to miss more than 20% of classes, then you will need to approach the ARP teaching team for alternative assessment options.
  • “Shut up and write” sessions are not compulsory. They are an opportunity for you to engage in some collaborative writing accountability and make progress on your research projects. They are not, however, mandatory.


  • There are 9 class sessions (including the progress presentations)
  • 7 of these will operate as a seminar/workshop with some taught content, some exercises and some application to your own project
  • The remaining 2 are student presentation sessions (see assessment section below)
  • The “80%” rule for attendance will be applied as: a minimum of 7 sessions, two of which must be the presentation sessions. In the case that this will not be possible for you, you will need to seek alternative assessment options.



Assessment Task 1

Value: 0 %
Learning Outcomes: 

Research Project Planning Form

Nomination of Project Title, Description and Principal supervisor.

Completed in Year 1

Assessment Task 2

Value: 10 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,7,8

Research Project (Advanced) Development Form

Due:                                  See WATTLE site for confirmed date

Word limit:                       Form based (n/a)

Value:                                10% (Marks are awarded according to the supervisor's assessment of the student's progress, ability, work ethic, and autonomy.

Details of task:                Timely submission of a completed online Research Project Development Form, link available on the MEDI8022 WATTLE page. The purpose is to ensure student engagement with the project is satisfactory. The Research Project committee also use the development form to ensure that relevant ethics approvals have been met. Students who have not completed ethics or have failed to make sufficient progress will be contacted by the Course Convenor (or their delegate) to discuss their progress to ensure project completion will be possible.

Assessment Rubrics:     Please refer to the research project handbook and the MEDI8022 page on WATTLE.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 90 %
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Research Project

Due:                                  13 October 2024

Word limit:                       Students select a relevant journal and write their submission according to the guidelines (including in terms of word count) of the journal. If the journal does not specify a word limit, then the submission has a limit of 4,000 words

Value:                                90%

Details of task:  Students are required to submit either a research paper, report or grant proposal based on a minimum 120 hours of work on an approved research project under the supervision of a researcher approved by the MCHD Research Project Committee. The selection of the format of the written submission will be agreed decision with the supervisor and must be included in the Research Project Development form. Students who wish to submit a different format for the written submission than indicated on the Research Project Planning form must seek permission in writing from the Course Convenor.

Assessment Rubrics:  Assessment of Research Projects uses input from an external examiner and your supervisor.

The external examiner assesses the project purely on the submitted document and the mark is exclusively related to the underlying science. The external examiner (who has a medical qualification, PhD or other relevant professional qualification) will complete an assessment of your research project.

Input from the supervisor is also sought for the Research Project assessment. The mark provided by the supervisor also assess the merits of the report and the student's research skills. This includes an assessment on your input to the project, how you have matured through the process, the ability to think and act independently and take ownership of the project. The format of these assessments (containing the assessment rubric) is available on WATTLE. The external examiner and supervisor input each constitutes 45% of your overall mark.

An example of the rubric form and guidelines given to the examiners may be found on WATTLE.

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

Individual assessment tasks may or may not allow for late submission. Policy regarding late submission is detailed below:

  • Late submission permitted. 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.

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).

Dr Lillian Smyth

Research Interests

Dr Lillian Smyth


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