Describe the research in a manner suitable for a specialist reader. Give details of the general experimental approaches, study designs, and techniques that will be used.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE RESEARCH PROJECT PROPOSAL

This assessment is designed to improve your skills in designing and planning a research project.

You are required to prepare a proposal for a 6 week research project.  The research should be hypothesis driven and you should justify the project area on scientific grounds.  Your tutor will help you to establish aims and objectives by providing you with some literature and discussing a possible project with you.  Ethical and safety considerations are vital aspects of a research project and the proposal will require you to consider this too. The aim of this coursework is to get you to think about research project planning and learn how to approach experimental design.  Ideally, this coursework will assist you at the time when you do start your research project laboratory work.

Think about various aspects of experimental design that were covered in the lectures when thinking about your own experiments. Investigate the literature to see how other researchers have tested their hypothesis and consider some of the experiments that they have carried out to help consider how you would analyse and interpret data.

Format for the Research Project Proposal

Examples of each section can be found on the MRC, BBSRC and EPSRC website. The support resources section of the Blackboard site will hold direct links to these areas.

Title (12 words)

Objectives (500 words)

List the main objectives of the research in order of priority. Include sufficient background for the reader to understand the `gap in knowledge` that this project will address. Include an explanation of the aims (no more than 2 sentences) and objectives (no more than 4) of the project and make clear how these lead to the research hypothesis.

Lay description (500 words)

Describe the research in simple terms in a way that could be publicised to a general audience. Lay summaries are short accounts of research that are targeted at a general audience. They play a significant role in most research grant applications and can also be useful in supporting public engagement with research. Lay summaries are particularly important for research in medicine and health and usually are a prerequisite for grant applications made to the UK research councils and to medical charities.

Technical Summary (Experimental Plan) (700 words)

Describe the research in a manner suitable for a specialist reader. Give details of the general experimental approaches, study designs, and techniques that will be used. Describe the experiments that you will do during the project to help you meet your objectives. Include a Gantt Chart on a separate sheet to indicate the timing of the different experiments. (not included in word count)

Data Handling (200 words)

Describe the data you expect to generate and give details of how the data will be handled, how the results will be presented and what statistical tests will be used to assess any significant findings.

[Cite references where appropriate (the reference list is not included in word count, but the in text citations are).]

Faculty of Health and Wellbeing - Department of Biosciences

L7 Research Proposal:  Advanced Research Practice

Instructions:

1) Complete your name.

2) Save file as: surname_RP_CW_2022.docx   eg SmithDP_RP _CW_2022.docx

3) Insert your work on the final page so that the feedback forms are at the front.

4) Submit your work to Blackboard submission tool on the Blackboard site and Turnitin as a Word-compatible file (not a pdf).

Student Name:
Number:

Learning contract? Insert details if applicable here.

Marker:

Grade:

Strengths:

Areas to improve:

Student comments for feed-forward
how will you use this feedback to improve your future work?:


Indicators

ZERO

FAIL

FAIL

Pass

Merit

Distinction

High Distinction

Objectives

Inaccurate and irrelevant content, knowledge or theory and concepts. Confused application of knowledge to problem. Very limited, inappropriate or no sources of information.

Relevance to the proposal weak.  Proposal poorly or not justified with only descriptive use of knowledge. Little indication of relevance of theory and concepts, confused application of the knowledge to topic, limited referencing.

Relevance of the content to proposal topic is generally described but is weak in places and/or lacking depth. Little justification of why it is being done.  May include unnecessary theory of techniques.  Knowledge of theory and concepts is limited in relation to the study.  A small number of relevant references.

Balanced towards the descriptive rather than critical or analytical  Introduction confined to concepts that are not at the forefront of the discipline. A adequately supported by the literature albeit descriptively rather than critically.

Relevance of the content to proposal topic is well reasoned  and relates taught facts/concepts. Introduces key background to the proposal and indicates why it is being done. Demonstrates a broad knowledge of theory and concepts, arguments and explanations are provided that are typically supported by the literature.

Clear independent insight and critical awareness of relevant concepts. Full introduction to background to the proposal, justification and gap in knowledge indicated. Broad and deep knowledge of theory and concepts, with relevant application. Draws on a wide range of sources.

Content is relevant and is fully evaluated. Full introduction to background to the proposal, justifying it and identifying a clear gap in knowledge.  Broad and deep knowledge of theory and concepts, with creative and imaginative application. Draws on a wide range of sources which may themselves be evaluated.

Little or no attempt made at posing a hypothesis, aims or objectives.

A limited and insufficient attempt made to provide a hypothesis and/or aims and/or objectives but lacking understanding and very unclear.

An  insufficient attempt made to provide a hypothesis and/or aims and objectives but lacking clarity

Defined hypothesis or clear aims and objectives or hypothesis which is not clearly addressed by aims and objectives

Defined hypothesis with aims and objectives that allow the testing of the hypothesis or very clear aims and objectives

Clearly and rationally defined hypothesis with aims and objectives.

Clearly defined  and rationally hypothesis with specific achievable aims and objectives.

Lay Description

Little or no attempt made at writing the description.

Major errors in scientifically content and the text is not readable for the target audience. Meaningless terms or phrases used. Lack of structure between aims. Aims and objectives are insufficient described.

Scientifically content is incorrect and not easily readable for the target audience. Complex or meaningless terms used. Lack of structure between aims. Text written in the passive voice.  Aims and objectives are insufficient described.

Scientifically content, but is not easily readable for the target audience. Some complex or meaningless terms used. Structure leads from point to point but maybe presented in the passive voice.  Aims and objectives are adequately described, may not be understandable by the general public. 

Scientifically content and detail, may not be easily readable for the target audience. Some complex terms used. Structure leads from point to point but maybe presented in the passive voice. Aims and objectives are described in a way the general public would understand. 

Scientifically content and has depth and detail, and is easily readable for the target audience.   Avoids complex or meaningless terms and phrase. Structure is logical from point to point but maybe presented in the passive voice. Aims and objectives are described in a way the general public would understand. 

Content is scientifically correct and written in an easily readable style for the target audience. Avoids complex or meaningless terms and phrase. Text is logically, flows and is presented in the active voice.  Aims and objectives are be clearly and understandable by the general public. 

Technical Summary

 

 

Minimal attempt made to describe experiments to be performed, No Gantt Chart provided, no details of controls or repeats.

An attempt made to describe experiments to be performed but lacking key information, details of appropriate controls.  May be disorganised and/or contain inaccuracies. A Gantt chart may be provided but is not informative.

A limited account of the experiments to be performed presented. Some information may be lacking and there may be some inaccuracies. Some information on controls and number of repeats.

A Gantt chart provided which may contain errors.

A good account of the experiments that will be performed including information on controls and number of repeats presented.

A fairly complete Gantt chart provided (may contain a few minor errors).

A very good account of the experiments that will be performed to meet your objectives, including details of specialist facilities required, with references to methods where appropriate. Details of controls and number of repeats. Appropriate Gantt chart provided.

(may miss a few aspects)

An excellent account of the experiments that will be performed to meet your objectives and test your hypothesis, including details of specialist facilities required, with references to methods where appropriate. Details of controls and number of repeats. Detailed appropriate Gantt chart providing clear evidence of multitasking (minor errors).

An exceptional concise account of the experiments that will be performed to meet your objectives and test your hypothesis, including details of specialist facilities required, with references to methods where appropriate. Details of controls and number of repeats. Detailed appropriate Gantt chart providing clear evidence of multitasking.

Data handling and statistical analysis

 

 

 

No or minimal attempt made on presentation and organization of data.  May not be the most appropriate.

An attempt made for presentation and organization of data although not the most appropriate.

Some reasonable suggestions made for presentation and organization of data.  Some omissions.  May not consider statistical analysis.

Reasonable suggestions made for presentation and organization of data, may not consider statistical analysis fully.

An appreciation of appropriate presentation and organization of data and consideration of statistical analysis, which is mainly correct.

An appreciation of appropriate presentation and organization of data and consideration of statistical analysis with consideration given to the distribution of the data sets to be generated, which is mainly correct.

An appreciation of appropriate presentation and organization of data and correct statistical analysis with consideration given to the distribution of the data sets to be generated.

Scientific Integrity, ethics, health and safety including risk assessment

 

 

Few aspects covered, may include mention of risk assessment. No risk assessment carried out.  Inaccuracies present.

  No risk assessment carried out or incomplete or inaccurate. Other aspects, eg ethical considerations incomplete or missing.  May be inaccuracies.

An incomplete consideration of ethical implications.

Risk assessment attempted but contains omissions or inaccuracies.

An incomplete but thought out consideration of ethical implications. 

Risk assessment carried with few omissions or inaccuracies.

An fairly complete, thought out consideration of ethical implications of the project.

Risk assessment carried with minor omissions or inaccuracies.

A consideration of ethical implications of the project. 

Risk assessment complete.

A complete consideration of all aspects of ethical implications of the project.

Risk assessment considered relevant to materials used.  Detailed, complete risk assessment provided

 

Class

Category

Grade

%

General Characteristics

 

Distinction

(Exceptional)

Exceptional Distinction

16

82

Exceptional breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding evidenced by own independent insight and critical awareness of relevant literature and concepts at the forefront of the discipline; evidence of extensive and appropriate independent inquiry operating with advanced concepts, methods and techniques to solve problems in unfamiliar contexts; Cogent arguments and explanations are consistently provided using a range of media demonstrating an ability to communicate effectively in a variety of formats using a sophisticated level of the English language in an eloquent and professional manner to both technical and non-technical audiences; a sustained academic approach to all aspects of the tasks is evidenced; academic work extends boundaries of the disciplines and is beyond expectation of the level and may achieve publishable or commercial standard.

Distinction

(Excellent)

High Distinction

15

78

Excellent knowledge and understanding evidenced by some clear independent insight and critical awareness of relevant concepts some of which are at the forefront of the discipline; evidence of appropriate independent inquiry operating with core concepts, methods and techniques to solve complex problems in mostly familiar contexts; Arguments and explanations are provided that is well-supported by the literature and in some cases uses a range of media demonstrating an ability to communicate effectively in a limited number of formats using own style that is suited to both technical and non-technical audiences; a sustained academic approach to most aspects of the tasks is evidenced; one or more aspects of the academic work is beyond the prescribed range and evidences a competent understanding of all of the relevant taught content.

Mid Distinction

14

75

Low Distinction

13

72

Merit

(Good)

High Merit

12

68

Very good knowledge and understanding is evidenced as the student is typically able to independently relate taught facts/concepts together some of which are at the forefront of the discipline; evidence of some competent independent inquiry operating with core concepts, methods and techniques to solve familiar problems; Arguments and explanations are provided that are typically supported by the literature and in some cases may challenge some received wisdoms; competently uses all taught media and communication methods to communicate effectively in a familiar settings; an academically rigorous approach applied to some aspects of the tasks is evidenced; some beyond the prescribed range, may rely on set sources to advance work/direct arguments; demonstrates autonomy in approach to learning.

Mid Merit

11

65

Low Merit

10

62

Pass

(Sufficient)

High Pass

9

58

Satisfactory knowledge and understanding of the area of study balanced towards the descriptive rather than critical or analytical and mostly confined to concepts that are not at the forefront of the discipline; evidence of some independent reading and research to advance work and inform arguments and approaches; Arguments and explanations are limited in range and depth although some are adequately supported by the literature albeit descriptively rather than critically; competently uses at least one taught media and communication method to communicate appropriately in familiar settings; although the approach applied to some aspects of the tasks may lack academic rigour, there are some clear areas of competence within the prescribed range. Relies on set sources to advance work/direct arguments and communicated in a way which shows clarity but structure may not always be coherent.

Mid Pass

8

55

Low Pass

7

52

 

 

FAIL

(Insufficient)

Borderline Fail

6

48

Knowledge and understanding is insufficient as the student only evidences an understanding of small subset of the taught concepts and techniques; fails to make sufficient links between known concepts and facts to adequately solve relevant aspects of the brief/problem; little ability to independently select and evaluate reading/research with almost total reliance on set sources and unsubstantiated arguments/methods; communication/presentation may be competent in places but fails to demonstrate structure, clarity and/or focus; inability to adequately define problems and make reasoned judgements; the general approach to tasks lacks rigor and competence.

Mid Fail

4

45

Low Fail

2

42

FAIL

(Incompetent)

Very Low Fail

1

38

Knowledge and understanding is highly insufficient as the student is unable to evidence any meaningful understanding of taught concepts or methods; very limited evidence of reading and research to advance work; inadequate technical and practical skills as the student is unable to use and apply such skills to address problems or make judgements; limited or lack of understanding of the boundaries of the discipline and does not question received wisdom; approach to learning lacks autonomy and approach to tasks is not sustained; inability to communicate coherently.

ZERO

Zero

0

0

Work not submitted, work of no merit, penalty in some misconduct cases.


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