This unit aims to expose students to an actual hands-on research on animal, plant, or microbial biotechnology using a capstone project of their choice, directly mentored by research experts in the field. This unit will train students to conduct biotechnology experiments in an unstructured environment, with the aim of developing research skills related to experimental design and interpretation through to writing about their research outcome and presenting them to their peers.


BIO70003 Minor Research Project

Assumed Knowledge
Biology, microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology

Teaching periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 2
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 1
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Formulate a project proposal, incorporating an in-depth review of the scientific literature
  • Maintain an accurate and useful record of activities in the laboratory, focusing on the development of experimental design, as well as generation, analysis and interpretation of data
  • Demonstrate practical skills in a number of laboratory techniques used in biotechnology
  • Exhibit an understanding of the use of these techniques in developing new applications in biotechnology
  • Show awareness of the scientific concerns, the need for critical thinking, and the ethical, legal and social issues associated with some of the technology
  • Recognise the relevance of their study to current developments and future trends in biotechnology

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
On Campus
9.00  12 weeks  108
Unspecified Learning Activities
Independent Learning
16.00  12 weeks  192
TOTAL     300


Type Task Weighting ULO's
Oral PresentationIndividual 10 - 20% 1,2,3,4,5,6 
Problem SolvingIndividual 10 - 30% 2,3 
Project ProposalIndividual 10 - 20% 1,4,5,6 
Project WorkbookIndividual 5 - 10% 
ReportIndividual 30 - 40% 1,2,3,4,5,6 


As the minimum requirements of assessment to pass a unit and meet all ULOs to a minimum standard, an undergraduate student must have achieved:

(i) an aggregate mark of 50% or more, and(ii) must complete a minimum of 80% of laboratory work based on the criteria for successful completion as explained in the lab handout(s), and(iii) obtain at least 40% of the possible marks for the above laboratory hurdle.Students who do not successfully achieve hurdle requirement (ii) and (iii) in full, will receive a maximum of 45% as the total mark for the unit.


  • The subject consists of a research project in an area of biotechnology addressing a research problem, by laboratory work and/or alternative approaches such as critical analysis of literature and/or computer modelling or bioinformatics analysis
  • Techniques or methods used range across practical microbiology, molecular biology and biochemistry, including gel electrophoresis, spectrophotometry, spectrofluorimetry, chromatography, PCR, DNA sequencing, bioinformatics, isolation, identification or characterization of microorganisms, natural products
  • The projects will be at the level at least two-fold that of the Minor Research Project (BIO70003) in terms of the amount and depth of work required and expectations of outcomes

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.