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Research Methods (CHEN90034)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeCHEN90034
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


The aim of engineering and scientific research is to produce new knowledge. To be useful, new knowledge must be able to stand up to scrutiny, and its presentation to other researchers and/or to the public must be persuasive.
This subject is an introduction to the processes of research as they apply to chemical and biochemical engineering, including chemical and biological safety and risk assessment, locating and critically analysing relevant literature, designing experiments, analysing data, writing papers, writing research proposals giving presentations and refereeing. Underlying all of these, the subject will foster the development of critical thinking, a sceptical, scientific perspective, and professional ethics.


Topics covered include safety and risk assessments. Training in databases such as Web of Science and Scifinder scholar. Scientific ethics. Research impact measures and methods to maximise impact. Statistical analysis of data and proper reporting of data. Methods for scientific presentations; how to present engaging and entertaining scientific presentations. Guide to writing research proposals. Critically evaluating scientific manuscripts.

Intended learning outcomes


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Understand the importance of safety and risk assessment in the conduct of experimental research
  2. Describe the roles of rigour and scepticism in producing results of high impact
  3. Understand relevant statistical techniques including the use of error bars, t-statistics, ANOVA and non-linear linear regression analysis
  4. Explain the ethical guidelines governing academic research
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of and experience in research planning, conduct and analysis and in written and spoken communication.

Generic skills

  • Safety in the laboratory and in engineering/chemical research
  • Ability to communicate scientific ideas in a range of formats, inducing written and spoken
  • Ability to critically evaluate scientific research.

Last updated: 18 May 2019