Bioinformatics (block) Project
This is a 7.5 ECTS course offered in every block, where the teaching/learning is in project form. You can choose a topic for a project together with a supervisor at the Bioinformatics Centre or elsewhere. These projects are typically related to some research project at the Bioinformatics Centre. For instance, you can work to describe the theory behind a new method for solving a project, implement it and test it on real data. Project proposals are presented at beginning of the year during a larger meeting at the Bioinformatics Centre where both internal projects and projects from external partners around Denmark, are presented. But you can approach the Scientists in the Bioinformatics Centre for information about possible projects at any time. We aim to make a list of upcoming projects to be found on the Bioinformatic Centres website (http://www.binf.ku.dk/). Typically, the supervisor will fit the project to fit your particular skills and interests.
You register for the project as you do for any other course. You have to hand in your project at a specified date at the end of the block (typically the last day before the exam week) and you have to "defend it" at an oral exam (within the exam week - you agree on the date and time with your supervisor at the start of the project). The exam committee consists of the project supervisor and a censor. This is a 20 minute presentation, typically using powerpoint slides or similar, followed by up to 40 minutes of questions/discussion. Other time limits can be agreed on with your supervisor, as some subjects require longer presentations.
If you go more than 5 minutes over the deadline the committee will close the talk and go over to questions.
The individual project is similar to a block project, but it can be either 7.5 or 15 ECTS points and you are only allowed to do individual projects when you have passed the mandatory courses. It is also more free with respect to deadline, on which you agree with the supervisor at the beginning of the project. There is no exam - the grade is based entirely on the written project.
Format and guidelines
Your report should follow the format of a scientific article, including
- Be written in English language.
- A title and a short abstract that gives an overview of the project.
- An introduction that discusses the background/current state of the field and the scientific motivation of the question/challenge you are addressing in the project, with proper references.
- A materials and methods section that describes the used data sets, methods, programs and procedures, again with proper references.
- A results section, that describes the results obtained from your work. This could include the description of a novel method. In science, methods sections should be so good and detailed that somebody else could redo your analysis
- A conclusion. For obtaining a high grade it is important not only to have done technically fine work but also understand why you are doing it and what the results mean - this is the section where you can prove this.
- A Learning section. Here, you should make a brief description of the skills/experience you have acquired during the project. This is helpful since bioinformatics students have very different Bachelor education backgrounds.
References should be limited to peer-reviewed publications, conference proceedings and books. Using Wikipedia as a formal reference is NOT acceptable. If you use figures, text, tables or any other form of information from external publications in your report, always provide a clear reference to the source. For 7.5 ECTS projects, the minimum number of pages for your report is 5; for 15 ECTS pages the minimum is 10 pages. It is important to point out that the length of the report is not as important as the actual quality of the content.
Handing in late
Handing in late will result in an automatic fail grade and a subsequent re-exam: the assignment will be extended, and a novel deadline will be given based on the obtained results. As a default, this will be in the next re-exam week.
It is allowed for several students to work on a single project. However, they have to hand in separate reports, or a joint report that clearly indicates which sections are attributed to which student.
- Be sure to use clearly labeled figures with high-resolution, combined with clear and complete figure legends. Clearly define the meaning of the used colors, symbols, line formats, and so on.
- Check grammar and spelling, especially if you are not a native English speaker.
- Understanding the context of your work - that is, why is what you are doing important/meaningful - is important for all projects, including those of a technical or algorithmic nature.
- Asking questions and discussing your project with your supervisor and/or PhD students/postdocs/fellow students generally improves its quality.
- A good target audience for your report are your fellow master students - they should be able to understand the work you have done, and why you have done it.