Joint M.Sc. Science Communication: Research Project Information

 

Overview

1. Students enrolled in M.Sc. Science Communication are required to complete a research project and written report. The research project carries 12 Modular Credits (MCs) which is equivalent to three regular NUS modules.

2. The project is the culmination of the student's experience in the programme. The project is an opportunity for students to put into practice all the skills and knowledge that they have accumulated throughout their time in the programme. The project also serves as an avenue for personal growth as students are challenged to work independently on a topic related to science communication.

3. Students are to register for the M.Sc. Science Communication Research Project module (MW5200) at the beginning of the semester they intend to submit their research project. However, students are strongly encouraged to start work on their project even before enrolling for the module. 

 

Getting Started and Seeking Approval

1. Decide on an area or topic to work on. Have a framework in mind to facilitate discussion with your potential supervisor(s).

2. All students need to seek approval (for topic and supervisor) before embarking on any work. Students are to submit the approval form, accessible from this link by the following timelines.

  • Full-Time students: 23:59, Friday, Week 06 (before recess week) of the student's first semester
  • Part-Time students: 23:59, Friday, Week 06 (before recess week) of the student's second semester

3. Some of the information needed to complete the approval form are: specific research problem, literature survey, tentative outline of the project (e.g. timeline), highlights of the science communication involved (e.g. methods, theories, etc), the benefits of the project to the science communication community, details of the supervisor, etc. 

4. Students should bear in mind that the details of their research topic will (and should) evolve throughout their candidature. This means that students are not strictly bound to the original research topic or the supervisor(s). However, it is important that students start their dissertaion project on a firm footing (i.e. with adequate thought, research and planning). This approval process is to ensure that students have done this.

5. Once the form is submitted, the Science Communication Team will internally assess, discuss and will revert to the student with feedback and a decision (which should take no more than a few days). Students should not be surprised or discouraged if they are asked to revise and re-submit. This is done to ensure that the student's project starts off with a solid foundation.

 

Supervision

1. Students have the flexbility to work with a suitable supervisor of their own choosing. However, it is mandatory that one of the NUS Science Communication staff be a co-supervisor. This is to ensure that the project maintains alighnment with the broader goals of the programme. 

2. It is the student's responsibility to make the first (unofficial) contact with any supervisor. The supervisor must also be amenable to overseeing the student's work. Once the proposal is approved, the NUS Science Communication team will officially communicate with the supervisor with details of his or her role.

 

Choice of Topic

1. The student has the flexibility to determine their choice of research topic. However, the project should be original and should include strong elements of the theory and practice of science communication.

2. Students may also opt to adopt a project offered by a supervisor. In such a situation, students should clearly demonstrate independence and ownership in implementing that project.

3. A rough guide to the appropriateness of a project is its suitability to be eventually featured in a science communication publication.

 

Research Project Schedule (for Semester 2, AY2016/2017)

Week 1: Briefing on Research Project Requirements

Attend the briefing on Research Project Requirements on Friday, 6 January 2017, 5pm at S16-05-11 Dean's Lounge. Attendance is compulsory. 

 

Week 6: Submission of Abstract for Mid-Semester Symposium

  • Use the abstract to briefly describe your topic, motivation, methodology and progress.
  • 500 word limit (12pt, single spaced)
  • List of references is not counted towards word limit.
  • Upload to 'Mid-Semester' folder in IVLE MW5200 workbin in PDF format.
  • Folder closes at 23:59

 

Recess Week: Mid-Semester Symposium (Saturday, 25 February 2017, S16 Level 3 Active Learning Room)

The mid-semester symposium is incorporated in order to ascertain how the student's project is progressing and to provide appropriate feedback. This review requires students to submit a single page abstract and present a 15-minute presentation.

  •  Prepare a 15-minute presentation (the presentation may include literature survey, methodology to be used, any analysis planned to conduct or have conducted, and results (if any).
  • Student's main supervisor (in the case of external supervisor who is not part of the NUS Science Communication staff) is welcome to the symposium. However, his or her presence is not required.
  • Please refer here for the schedule of the Semester 2, AY2016/2017 Mid-Semester Symposium.

 

Week 12: Research Project Submission

1. Submit the following by Friday, 7 April 2017:

  • Upload softcopy of report to Turnitin-integrated IVLE MW5200 Workbin in PDF format. The folder closes at 23:59For more information on submitting files to the Turnitin-Integrated IVLE Workbin, please refer to here.  
  • Upload softcopy to E-Archive.
  • 1 printed or softcopy of report to supervisor.
  • 1 printed or softcopy of report to examiner.

2. Late submissions are subject to marks penalty.

3. Students are to check with their respective supervisors and examiners if they prefer printed copies or soft copies before the submission deadline. For soft copy submission, students may either submit a thumb drive containing their report, or email their report to their respective supervisors and examiners. 

4. Information on formatting and guidelines may be obtained in the Formatting section below.

 

Week 13: End of Semester Symposium (Saturday, 15 April 2017, S16 Level 3 Active Learning Room & S16-03-07)

1. Students are to prepare a 30-minute presentation. This presentation will be the detailed account of their entire project.

2. Student's main supervisor will be required to attend the presentation. 

3. Detailed schedule of the symposium will be released nearer the date of the event.

 

Exam Week 1: Submission of Revised Project

Students are to submit the revised project (if any) by 29 April 2017.

 

Assessment and Evaluation

The project will be assessed at two junctures during the semester. This assessment will be conducted in the form of two symposia:

1. Mid-Semester Symposium

  • Written abstract [5%]
  • Presentation (15 min) [5%]
  • Q&A [5%]

2. End-of-Semester Symposium

  • Final project report [50%]
  • Presentation (30 min) [25%]
  • Q&A [10%] 

 

Formatting

Students are expected to strictly adhere to the following requirements:

Templates

Students may use either Microsoft Word or LaTeX in preparing for their final research project report.

  • For Microsoft Word, please refer here
  • For LaTeX, please access from here.

Other Requirements

1. Length

  • Between 5000 to 8000 words.
  • The upper limit of 8000 words will be strictly implemented.
  • All text (footnotes, captions) will count towards the 8000 words.
  • The research proejct report should be an article of high quality.

2. Appendices

  • The content in the appendices will not count towards the word limit.
  • The appendices must be of the same quality as the rest of the document. Students may be asked to resubmit if this criteria is not met. 

3. Numbering and Captions

  • All chapters, sections and subsections must be numbered.
  • All figures and tables must be numbered and bear a detailed caption.

4. Bibliography Style

  • Students are to use only the APA Style of referencing for all their sources. For more information on the APA Style of referencing, please refer here

5. Digital Format

  • All digital submissions must be in PDF format.

 

Electronic Archive

To view research projects submitted by other M.Sc. Science Communication students, please click here. Login is required.