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BIO8416 Biotechnology Project

Semester 2, 2011 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Biological & Physical Sciences

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Examiner: Michael Kotiw
Moderator: John Dearnaley


The project provides students with an opportunity to carry out a small research project in an area related to biotechnology. The project may be based on workplace learning, industry work experience, a laboratory-based research project or a literature-based research report.


This course provides students with an opportunity to carry out research work in a situation which resembles, as closely as possible, that in which they may find themselves when they begin a career in science. Students are required to thoroughly research and plan their project in consultation with an academic supervisor and submit a detailed report on completion of the project. Placements in this course depend on availability of a supervisor in the chosen area.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an awareness of modern information search strategies and techniques, including the use of computer-based literature searching, if applicable;
  2. evaluate and relate previous published research to their project topic;
  3. demonstrate research skills and techniques appropriate to the project undertaken;
  4. demonstrate advanced written communication skills by writing a report which summarises previous work relevant to the project, explains the method used in the project, and summarises and evaluates the results of the project;
  5. demonstrate advanced oral communication skills by presenting a seminar describing the conduct and outcomes of their project.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Each student will normally select a research topic based on workplace learning,
industry work experience, a laboratory-based research project or a literature-based research report.

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There are no texts or materials required for this course.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Project Work 100.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
PROGRESS REPORT 15 15 19 Jul 2011 (see note 1)
SEMINAR 15 15 19 Jul 2011 (see note 2)
WRITTEN REPORT 70 70 19 Jul 2011 (see note 3)

  1. Examiner will advise (via USQStudyDesk) of details for Progress Report.
  2. Examiner will advise (via USQStudyDesk) due date for Seminar.
  3. Examiner will advise (via USQStudyDesk) the due date for Written Report.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To complete each of the assessment items satisfactorily, students must obtain at least 50% of the marks available for each assessment item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. PROJECT DESCRIPTION FORM - When a topic has been chosen a Project Description Form must be completed and submitted to the examiner for approval NO LATER THAN THE END OF WEEK 1. The Project Description Form must be downloaded from the USQStudy desk. The student's project can be cancelled if this deadline is not met. Students should seek assistance from their proposed Project Supervisor when completing this form, and obtain their signature. On receipt of approval the student will complete the project using his/her own effort, with advice from the project supervisor and other staff. (NOTE: The project does not formally begin until the Examiner has signed the Project Description Form).

  2. Students must complete Department and Faculty safety induction prior to commencing any project work, and must comply with the undergraduate and Research Biological/Chemical Laboratories safety Policy and Procedures and the Faculty of Sciences Field Work Safety Manual at all times.

  3. THE ROLE OF EXAMINER - The examiner will be responsible for all activities associated with administering the course. The examiner will only approve a student's enrolment upon submission of a completed and signed Project Description form. The examiner has final responsibility for the grading of marks.

  4. THE ROLE OF THE PROJECT SUPERVISOR - The principal project supervisor should be a staff member of the Department of Biological & Physical Sciences. It is the principal project supervisor's or student's (with approval from principal project supervisor) responsibility to appoint and/or organise Associate/External Supervisors. The supervisor will provide advice and
    guidance to the student. The student and supervisor should by mutual agreement organise a schedule for consultation.

  5. THE ROLE OF THE ASSOCIATE OR EXTERNAL SUPERVISOR - The primary role of the Associate/External supervisor is to monitor day-to-day activities and to guide students towards successful submission of assessment items.

  6. PROGRESS REPORT - Half-way through the prescribed time allowed for the project, students are required to submit a progress report on the project to the examiner. This report should contain: (a) The overall structure of the Project (see 15 below) with a clear indication that the relevant literature has been reviewed. Include a bibliography as well as references; (b) Details of methods used to date and evaluation of these methods; (c) Results obtained and a discussion of future work required to achieve all the aims of the project. At this time, the Supervisor and Student should decide if a revision of the Project Description Form is necessary.

  7. PROJECT REPORT - The project report shall be submitted, preferably electronically, to the examiner on or before the deadline advised by the Examiner. Students are urged to submit a draft report to their supervisor for comments before submitting the final report. The general layout or format of the report must be similar to that found in a scientific journal. (The library
    services unit have a number guides to help you in writing your report. See the recommended reference material section). If you are uncertain regarding the required format seek advice from your supervisor before starting the report. Your supervisor may be able to show you an example of a project report.

  8. INCOMPLETE GRADES - A final project report that is graded Incomplete (Make-up) may be re-submitted for grading only once at the discretion of the Supervisor (a copy of the requirements, possible final mark and completion date must be supplied to both the student and the examiner!) Students should therefore heed the supervisors suggestions for improvement or the final grade shall be a "fail". It will be necessary for students re-enrolling in the course to
    undertake a new topic for their project.

  9. Projects which involve Animals or Human Subject will need to be considered by either the Animal Ethics Committee or the Ethics Committee for Research involving Human Subjects. (Reference: University Calendar 3.3.7-2 and 3.3.7-3).

  10. In accordance with University's Assignment Extension Policy (Regulation 5.6.1), the examiner of a course may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.