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Unit information: Core skills for Life Scientists in 2015/16

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Unit name Core skills for Life Scientists
Unit code BIOLM0007
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Andy Bailey
Open unit status Not open



Statistical methods for Life Scientists, Complexity for Life Scientists, SWDTP Research Project 1

School/department School of Biological Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit aims to develop the core skills needed to be an effective research scientist, many of which are also directly applicable to the wider business community and hence to the employability of such students. This will cover many of the aspects highlighted within the research development statement by Vitae.

For Knowledge and intellectual ability, this will include aspects such as information seeking and information management, academic literacy and the academic language.

For personal effectiveness this will include development of self-management including the role of academic integrity and critical self-reflection, along with managing the student:supervisor relationship.

Research governance will include how science is funded, the concept of peer review, plus research ethics. It will also include an exercise in grant writing and the assessment mechanisms for such research grants.

Engagement and Influence will cover communication of science to different audiences, as posters, talks, papers. Engagement with the general public, and with business (including intellectual property etc).

Intended Learning Outcomes

Knowledge of how to undertake research and how to access information including a critical assessment of information quality. An appreciation of the scientific language and how this differs from other styles used to communicate to different audiences.

Understanding the personal qualities needed to be an effective researcher such as enthusiasm, perseverance, integrity etc. An appreciation of how to best manage your research time to achieve suitable prioritization of commitments including work-life balance.

An understanding of the professional conduct expected in science in relation to aspects such as health & safety, ethics and integrity in recording and communicating findings.

Understanding how science is managed and funded and a critical appreciation of the role of peer review in this process.

An appreciation of the balance between publication of science and the commercial exploitation of findings, with an understanding that sometimes there may be conflict between these and how to best manage such issues.

Demonstrable ability to communicate science to different audiences and in different ways (visual, oral and written).

Teaching Information

Seminars and workshops

Assessment Information

Poster about a particular method: 30% Oral presentation of the poster: 10%

Mock research-grant application in BBSRC format relating to the PhD subject area: 40% Peer review of grant applications: 20%

The poster, its presentation and the peer review process will be marked by members of the implementation group. The grant application will be marked by the PhD supervisor.

Reading and References