Research Design & Planning
Research Design and Planning 2023-24
School of Ocean Sciences
Module - Semester 2
Luis Gimenez Noya
The purpose of this module is to ensure that the students are aware of background literature in the general area of their research project topic and are capable of developing a realistic project proposal.
Undertaking a literature review will ensure that they are well briefed before embarking on research, and should focus their attention on very specific areas of knowledge or lack of it and areas of contradiction. The literature review will enable them to place their study in the context of what is known, and thereby stimulate them to develop hypotheses which can be tested by specific questions. It is an essential step in project design.
Following introductory lectures each student will spend their time in self-study and literature searching. Project supervisors will meet with their students on a non-formal basis throughout the semester and provide guidance and feedback about progress in the completion of the literature review.
The project proposal ensures that students produce a realistic research plan that include clear testable hypothesis or realistic questions, appropriate methods, reasonable time frame, appropriate evaluation of logistic limitations, risks of milestones not being reached, contingency plans and risk assessment. At the conclusion of the literature review the student will be able to complete a project proposal form outlining the specific hypotheses to be tested and the overall plan for the project. This will be presented as a 10 minute talk with 5 minutes of questions and will help to confirm sound plans, spot problems and suggest better approaches, such that the student has a much clearer idea of how to proceed. Staff and fellow students will review the proposals, in particular to rein in overambitious plans, to identify problems in experimental design, raise awareness of likely logistical problems, and to draw attention to unconsidered safety issues.
Threshold - (Pass 50%>) Provide a basic coverage of the available literature and show some integration of the material. Develop at least one testable hypothesis from review. Basic formulation and presentation of project proposal.
Good - (Merit 60%>) Provide considerable coverage of the available literature and show clear indications of a critical integration of material across the topic area. Develop several testable hypothesis from review. Clear formulation and presentation of project proposal
Excellent - (Distinction 70%>) Provide exhaustive coverage of the available literature showing full understanding and extensive critical integration of material across the topic area. Develop logically, prioritised, testable hypothesis from review. Excellent formulation and presentation of project proposal
- Be able to compile, critically evaluate and synthesise this wide range of information to present a coherent, in-depth literature review
- Be able to create and justify research questions or hypotheses arising from the review process, together with a practical research project plan
- Be able to orally present, justify and defend the outcomes of the review and planning process.
- Be able to source, describe and assess authoritative published works for a chosen area of marine science research
Background literature review and project proposal.
Project Proposal Presentation 10 minutes plus 5 minutes discussion