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CBMS700 – Research Frontiers in Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences

2017 – S1 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Bridget Mabbutt
Contact via bridget.mabbutt@mq.edu.au
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MRes
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit is designed to engage students with those topics currently dominating the chemical and biomolecular sciences. It will expose students to current research questions across the range of the broad discipline. Activities are based on seminar attendance, as well as directed reading of research papers and the discussion and critiquing of research topics in written and seminar forms. Students will be guided to a range of readings that engage new directions of scientific thought and break-through methodologies, such as recent Nobel Prize-winning outcomes. This unit will allow students to reflect on current trends and to communicate changes underway.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Engagement with highly advanced knowledge in molecular science through attendance at relevant research seminars
  2. Development of critical skills concerning technology trends in contemporary molecular science research
  3. Practice of a professional level of communication (written, verbal) to articulate cutting-edge achievements and the manner by which discoveries are being made in molecular science

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Seminar attendance portfolio 10% 9 June
Essay (draft)+ writing w'shop 35% 10 April
Technology essay (final) 20% 22 May
Annotated literature review 10% 22 May
Seminar reflection 25% 31 May

Seminar attendance portfolio

Due: 9 June
Weighting: 10%

Departmental research seminars occur in CBMS on selected weeks,  generally scheduled Tuesdays 1-2pm. This is a conventional forum by which visiting scientists formally convey their research findings to a peer audience, and research staff and students of the Department are expected to attend. Such seminars differ from more informal research discussions, such as occurs within research team meetings.

You will be required to attend a total of 10 seminars in the semester, usually of 1 hr duration, and confirm your attendance with sign-off from the day's seminar convenor.

You are a guest at these formal settings in which the Department shows respect and gives full attention to the speaker: always arrive on time (space is limited) and do not leave the session until after questions are completed.  Should it be essential to leave the room before others, always do so quietly at a back exit. Make sure you turn your mobile phone off and leave it in your bag. Photographing of screen presentations is not acceptable in this forum.

Research seminars held elsewhere in the University, or across the Sydney region, will also be of direct relevance to your research interest, and you are encouraged to include these in your attendance program, should they be formally endorsed by an educational organisation. Please seek permission from A/Prof. Mabbutt should you plan to include other types of seminar experiences in your portfolio: commercial technical presentations are not considered appropriate for inclusion in this research task.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Engagement with highly advanced knowledge in molecular science through attendance at relevant research seminars
  • Development of critical skills concerning technology trends in contemporary molecular science research

Essay (draft)+ writing w'shop

Due: 10 April
Weighting: 35%

You will be supervised in readings concerning a selected technology currently having breakthrough impact within molecular science.  Students  will be able to select a specific topic from a panel of emerging technologies of significance in the molecular sciences.

You are required to prepare a written review (2500 words) outlining the molecular basis of this new technology, its development and recent applications.  You may wish to include illustrative material, which must be your own original artwork.  

To prepare for this essay, you are expected to first attend (or view) a workshop addressing report writing or referencing skills.  You will be advised if this will  be a training session offered through the library or the University's HDR Unit. Your attendance is to be documented via your research Seminar Record card.  It is acceptable to view a webinar, provided the material is extensive and relevant to scientific report writing.

The first version of your report will form the basis for a viva (~20 min) with your supervising academic.  Following your viva and feedback concerning your written report, you will re-submit an improved version of your review (see below).  

The grade awarded will reflect the degree to which you demonstrate understanding of the molecular basis underlying the specific technology, and your awareness of the scientific impact and potential demonstrated by its recent application.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Development of critical skills concerning technology trends in contemporary molecular science research
  • Practice of a professional level of communication (written, verbal) to articulate cutting-edge achievements and the manner by which discoveries are being made in molecular science

Technology essay (final)

Due: 22 May
Weighting: 20%

In scientific research, most publications are a result of collaborative writing.  Thus it is normal to prepare several versions of a document, incorporating feedback and insight from fellow authors.

Thus your task is to re-submit an improved version of your review essay, incorporating feedback from your viva and your first written draft.  This resubmission will be accompanied by an annotated literature review (see below).

The grade awarded will reflect the degree to which you made improvements in response to feedback provided for your draft document.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Development of critical skills concerning technology trends in contemporary molecular science research
  • Practice of a professional level of communication (written, verbal) to articulate cutting-edge achievements and the manner by which discoveries are being made in molecular science

Annotated literature review

Due: 22 May
Weighting: 10%

You will submit an annotated review of literature you have read and analysed for the essay topic.  Generally, 20-30 papers would be cited in such a task.  Your annotated review should list each citation, in an appropriate journal style,  each accompanied by  2-3  sentences summarising the impactful data/findings reported within the publication. 

Your grade will be determined by the extent of literature covered, its relevance to the specific technology topic, and the degree of insight in your annotations.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Development of critical skills concerning technology trends in contemporary molecular science research
  • Practice of a professional level of communication (written, verbal) to articulate cutting-edge achievements and the manner by which discoveries are being made in molecular science

Seminar reflection

Due: 31 May
Weighting: 25%

A 10 min PowerPoint presentation will be delivered by each student to the CBMS700 peer group, highlighting and critiquing one research seminar attended during semester which proved to be of specific personal interest.  Your talk will be followed by questions (~10 min) from your audience of academic moderators and fellow students. 

By exploring relevant background literature, you will be expected to demonstrate insight into the concepts and findings presented by the seminar speaker. You will also be required to reflect on the impact the particular piece of research successfully brings to the molecular sciences.

Grading of this task will be determined by the critical depth and scientific understanding articulated in your reflection and answers to questions.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Engagement with highly advanced knowledge in molecular science through attendance at relevant research seminars
  • Practice of a professional level of communication (written, verbal) to articulate cutting-edge achievements and the manner by which discoveries are being made in molecular science

Delivery and Resources

Seminar attendance and critique

Departmental research seminars generally occur in CBMS on selected Tuesdays. Seminars within formal series sponsored within University/Medical Research Departments serve as an excellent educational opportunity to become aware of areas of current research focus.

You must obtain record for a total of 10 seminar experiences by June 9. It is your responsibility to retain and collate sign-off on the Unit-approved class sheet as participation record. A  printed card will be distributed to all students in Week 1. 

Your final week presentation must focus on one selection from the 10 seminar experiences documented on your personal attendance record.

News of seminars on offer around Sydney and of relevance in the molecular sciences will be regularly placed on the iLearn site.  You may wish to include seminars held in other university departments or Research Institutes, as well as those formally hosted in the metropolitan area by professional organisations such as Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Joint Microbiological Associations (JAMS) or the Sydney Protein Group. 

 

Technology essay and viva

As noted within the semester schedule above, once you have selected your technology topic from those offered in 2017, it is your responsibility to contact and arrange interview and viva times with the relevant supervising academic.

 

 

 

Unit Schedule

This Unit consists of self-directed tasks, with formal classroom experience only occuring in the last weeks of semester.  It is your responsibility to organise your work according to the following schedule:

Week 1-12:

We will hold an introductory briefing during Week 1 (as scheduled in the University timetable) to outline Unit organisation.  

Following this, you will attend ~1 research seminar weekly as part of your research training in this Unit.  Seminars will most likely be selected from the CBMS Research Seminar series at Macquarie, generally held on Tuesdays at 1pm, as advertised on the Departmental website.  However, you are invited to attend other departmental/institutional research seminars that interest you. 

Week 2:

 You will be notified within iLearn of the panel of Breakthrough Technology topics available for review, together with the supervisory staff leading each topic.  Once you have selected your area of interest, it is your responsibility to directly contact the supervising academic in Week 2 for direction concerning appropriate reading literature.  You must compile a written critical review of background methodology and contemporary applications of this breakthrough technology (as detailed in assessment tasks).

Week 7, mid-semester task (April 10):

4pm deadline for electronic submission of draft technology review to Unit Convenor (A/Prof. Mabbutt) via Turnitin portal on the iLearn site.  Late submissions will be subject to penalty.  

Weeks 8- 10:

 Viva covering your technology topic with designated supervising academic.  It is your responsibility to arrange and schedule this interview in advance at a mutually convenient time.

Week 11 (May 22):

4pm deadline for electronic submission of (i) revised technology review, and (ii) annotated literature review,  to Unit Convenor (A/Prof. Mabbutt) via iLearn site. Late submissions will be subject to penalty.

Week12 (May 31):

Student presentations and discussion sessions will be held  within a 3hr session, scheduled to be accessible to the entire CBMS700 group. Your contribution to peer discussion during this seminar session will be graded, as well as your own presentation.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Engagement with highly advanced knowledge in molecular science through attendance at relevant research seminars

Assessment tasks

  • Seminar attendance portfolio
  • Seminar reflection

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Development of critical skills concerning technology trends in contemporary molecular science research
  • Practice of a professional level of communication (written, verbal) to articulate cutting-edge achievements and the manner by which discoveries are being made in molecular science

Assessment tasks

  • Seminar attendance portfolio
  • Essay (draft)+ writing w'shop
  • Technology essay (final)
  • Annotated literature review
  • Seminar reflection

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Engagement with highly advanced knowledge in molecular science through attendance at relevant research seminars
  • Development of critical skills concerning technology trends in contemporary molecular science research

Assessment tasks

  • Seminar attendance portfolio
  • Essay (draft)+ writing w'shop
  • Technology essay (final)
  • Seminar reflection

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Development of critical skills concerning technology trends in contemporary molecular science research
  • Practice of a professional level of communication (written, verbal) to articulate cutting-edge achievements and the manner by which discoveries are being made in molecular science

Assessment tasks

  • Seminar attendance portfolio
  • Essay (draft)+ writing w'shop
  • Technology essay (final)
  • Annotated literature review
  • Seminar reflection

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Practice of a professional level of communication (written, verbal) to articulate cutting-edge achievements and the manner by which discoveries are being made in molecular science

Assessment tasks

  • Essay (draft)+ writing w'shop
  • Technology essay (final)
  • Annotated literature review
  • Seminar reflection

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Engagement with highly advanced knowledge in molecular science through attendance at relevant research seminars

Assessment tasks

  • Seminar attendance portfolio
  • Seminar reflection

Changes from Previous Offering

Changes for 2017

  • The attendance of a writing skills workshop is now included within seminar attendance, to address a need for explicit training in scientific writing.
  • The practice of writing is now also more specifically assessed through an annotated literature review, a newly introduced task for 2017