20.109(F21):Develop Research proposal ideas and draft presentation

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20.109(F21): Laboratory Fundamentals of Biological Engineering
Drawing provided by Marissa A., 20.109 student in Sp21 term.  Schematic generated using BioRender.

Fall 2021 schedule        FYI        Assignments        Homework        Class data        Communication        Accessibility

       Module 1: Genomic instability                          Module 2: Drug discovery       

Part 1: Participate in Communication Lab workshop

Our communication instructor, Dr. Prerna Bhargava, will join us today for a discussion on preparing your Research proposal presentation.

Part 2: Draft aims for your Research proposal presentation

Now that you have a research question / goal, what experimental steps will you use to get your answer? The approaches that you include in your Research proposal presentation should be divided into aims and objectives.

Aims: are broad statements that provide the intended outcome for each major step in your proposal. The purpose is to tell the audience what you will accomplish without the details of how. For each aim, there should be a list of specific objectives that detail how you will achieve the aim.

Objectives: are the steps that you will use to accomplish your aim. The purpose is to tell the audience the details regarding how you will accomplish the aim. For each objective, there should be a specific method that achieves the objective.

For your Research proposal presentation, you will present 2-3 aims that address your research question / goal. To get you started on this task you will work with your co-investigator to draft the aims and objectives for your project in class.

Hint: you can find the information provided during the Comm Lab workshop on the Communication page for help!

In your laboratory notebook, complete the following:

  • Write 2-3 aims for your research project.
  • Draft the objectives that will be used to accomplish each aim.

Part 3: Consider the societal implications of your Research proposal

Thus far we have focused on the problem that you are addressing as part of the Research proposal presentation; however, another important aspect of this assignment is defining the societal impacts of your proposed work. In recent years, funding agencies have placed increased emphasis on societal impact when reviewing grant applications and the public has been more critical of the use of government funds toward research that does not benefit the population. This sentiment is expressed in a recently published editorial:

"...research funding agencies will no longer be satisfied with claims that our research has impact merely because we use it in training of our students, because it is well-cited by other academics, or because it is published in reputable journals...it seems reasonable that at least some discernible societal value should emerge from research." (Davison and Bjorn-Anderson. Info Systems J. 2019;29:989-993)

Read and discuss the following perspective with your co-investigator:

Frodeman and Holbrook. "Science's social effects." Issues in Science and Technology. Vol. XXIII, No. 3, Spring 2007.

Questions to guide your discussion:

  1. What are the societal implications of your proposed research?
    • Which populations benefit from your research? Is it possible any populations will be negatively impacted by your research?
    • Will cost limitations impede / bias which populations are benefited?
    • Is your research applicable to all populations?
  2. What are the ethical implications of your proposed research?

In your laboratory notebook, complete the following:

  • Based on your discussion with your co-investigator, answer the questions above.