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Research Methodology and Grant Proposal

Module titleResearch Methodology and Grant Proposal
Module codeBIOM710Z
Academic year2022/3
Module staff

Professor Mark Ramsdale (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module introduces you to the processes required for undertaking an independent, but supervised, research project at postgraduate level. Specifically, this module prepares you for your MSc Medical Mycology project by supporting your own research into the background literature, allowing you to formulate a hypotheses relating to your research project. You will then develop a research proposal, through which you will plan your BIOM711Z research project, identifying achievable aims and objectives, considering aspects such as experimental design, data handling and time management. In the module, the current landscape for funding of Medical Mycology research projects and how to write a competitive research grant proposal will also be examined. The practicalities of managing a research project, including time management and the collection and storing of small and large datasets, will also be covered.

As part of this module you will further develop the following academic and professional skills:

  • Ability to navigate the medical mycology (and related) research landscape
  • Identifying research priorities and define a research question
  • Undertake and interpret systematic reviews
  • Designing and managing a research project
  • Write a research proposal

Possible topics for the MSc Research Project include scientific research in any of the subjects being taught on the MSc, from studies of molecular and cellular events to patient outcomes, provided that the project involves original data collection / collation.

The election of the MSc Research Project topic and supervisor(s) should be the result of an agreement between the student, the local British Society for Medical Mycology (BSMM) supervisor and the designated course tutor. The criteria for the MSc Research Project evaluation will be clearly stated in the MSc handbook, and they will include at least the following items:

  • The originality of the research
  • The degree of difficulty of the original work carried out
  • The robustness of the methodological approach
  • The quality of the written dissertation
  • The quality of the oral presentation
  • The arguments used in its defence.

Students should have completed four modules from a selection of BIOM703Z-BIOM709Z prior to taking this module.


Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will introduce the theory and skills required for the successful completion of research in biomedical or medical science with particular reference to Medical Mycology. Requirements for funding, ethical design of a project, identifying the appropriate statistical tools and software resources for data management, selection of appropriate experimental design, will be specifically addressed.

The project is the final module of the MSc programme but many students will wish to start organising and initiating their project earlier on in the course. Following discussion with the course tutor and local supervisor, topic titles and a short outline of the research activity will need to be submitted for approval to the Committee before the work commences. The project should be original work conducted in the student’s base laboratory or within the clinical environment but involving supervision by their course tutor and a local supervisor.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Critically and independently assess the field in which your research project will be conducted
  • 2. Independently define a clear research hypothesis that can be tested within the research project
  • 3. Identify appropriate research methodologies, experimental design, data analysis, and time management plans

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Analyse and critically evaluate essential facts and theory across a sub-discipline of the biosciences (specifically medical mycology), and embed research-informed examples from the literature in written work
  • 5. Evaluate, in detail, approaches to our understanding of the biosciences with reference to primary literature, reviews and research articles
  • 6. Identify appropriate methodologies and theories for solving a range of problems in the biosciences

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Devise and sustain, with little guidance, a logical and reasoned argument with convincing conclusions
  • 8. Communicate effectively arguments, evidence and conclusions using a variety of formats in a manner appropriate to the intended audience
  • 9. Analyse and evaluate appropriate data and complete a range of research-like tasks with very limited guidance
  • 10. Evaluate strengths and weaknesses in relation to graduate-level professional and practical skills, and act autonomously to develop new areas of skill as necessary

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Preliminary sessions will focus on current funding agencies supporting medical mycology and related topics in the biomedical sciences, this will include a consideration of the types of funding available, and how to write a competitive research grant proposal. In addition, the module will also focus on the challenges associated with managing a research project, including time management and the collection and storing of data. The development of the research proposal will then be conducted in conjunction with the local research supervisor, and the nominated course tutor who will provide individual guidance through regular discussion meetings.


Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching4General introductory guidance on development of a project proposal
Scheduled Learning and Teaching12Development of the project proposal in conjunction with a research supervisor, who will provide individual guidance through discussion meetings
Guided independent study134Independent study, including directed reading, literature research, investigating potential experimental designs and proposal writing


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Short answer questions during meetings with the project supervisorOngoing throughout the moduleAllOral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Paper from collated data401500 wordsAllWritten
Project proposal602500 words AllWritten


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Paper from collated dataPaper from collated dataAll8 weeks from the date feedback was given
Project proposalProject proposalAll8 weeks from the date feedback was given

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. In all cases re-assessment will be the same as the original assessment. Where you have been referred/deferred for any form of assessment detailed above you will have the opportunity to retake within the period specified above from the date that feedback was provided.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of deferral, your re-assessment will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment and the overall module mark will not be capped.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), the overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

Please refer to the Teaching Quality Assurance (TQA) manual section on Referral/Deferral:



Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

As agreed between you and your project supervisors. Reference will be made to the most recent articles and reports in the field and will focus on the primary literature.

Also of use when planning and writing the proposal will be:

  • Ruxton, G.D. and Colegrave, N. (2006) Experimental Design for the Life Sciences. OUP. ISBN 01992 52327
  • Barass, R (2002) Scientists Must Write: A Guide to Better Writing for Scientists, Engineers and Students

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • Relevant papers will be included within each section of the module

Key words search

Medical Mycology, Independent research, data analysis, experimental design, literature review, data collection, project management, time management, research methodologies, critical evaluation

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

Four modules from BIOM704 – BIOM709

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date