Research Preparation 2023-24
School of Ocean Sciences
Module - Semester 1
This module will provide students with training in gathering topic specific information through literature searching and devising appropriate experimental methodology and design. Students will produce a literature review and a project plan for their research project topic. Following an introductory lecture and two project proposal workshops students will spend their time in self-study including literature searching. Students will have to thoroughly assess the risks, ethics and legislation in relation to their proposed work through the production of a risk assessment that will have to be approved before any work can commence. Project supervisors will meet on a formal basis weekly throughout the semester and provide guidance and feedback about progress in the completion of the literature review and project plan.
Threshold - (D minus grade) Provide a basic coverage of the available literature and show some integration of the material into the review. Develop a testable hypothesis from the review. Present a basic project plan with limited consideration of experimental design and proposed statistical analysis and basic details given for field and/or lab work. Basic, limited details of timings and contingency plans.
Good - (B grade) Provide considerable coverage of the available literature and show clear indications of a critical appraisal and integration of material across the topic area, well justified, testable hypotheses from review. Present well defined project plan with a good level of detail and evidence of experimental design and statistical methods being linked with the objectives. Provision of a workable time-frame, including proper consideration of contingency dates.
Excellent - (A grade) Provide evidence of wide reading and literature researching to demonstrate a considered coverage of the available literature showing full understanding, extensive critical appraisal and systematic integration of material across the topic area. Develop logically, prioritised, testable hypothesis from review. Clearly presented, logical project plan with extensive explanation of the experimental design and proposed statistical methods. A high level of detail for all aspects of the methods. Thorough consideration of the timing of all aspects of work surrounding the project deadlines, with realistic and well considered contingency plans.
- Be able to complete a comprehensive Risk Assessment for planned research.
- Be able to integrate, critique and analyse information and ideas from a variety of literature sources.
- Be able to use a variety of sources (e.g. discussions with supervisor, published scientific papers, library resources, and web-based searches) to obtain relevant materials for a comprehensive in-depth literature review on a specific topic.
- Demonstrate the ability to develop feasible research hypotheses grounded in knowledge from the existing scientific literature on the topic.
- Have a sound grasp of the process of planning and implementing a deliverable scientific project,
- Have an awareness of the appropriateness and worth of different sources of information.
- Show competence in communicating plans, rationale and timeline for research during discussion with supervisor, via verbal presentation, and in written form.
Literature review leading to project plan
Progress presentation: students present project background and plan to class, supervisors and other staff, then answer questions from the audience.