Cover photo by Ian Deary: Diffusion Tensor MRI of the White Matter Tracts of the Human Brain
MSc in Neuroscience
by Resear...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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Table of Contents
General I...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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General Information
The MSc...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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Card Entry to Buildings
For...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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Web Sites
British Neuroscie...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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Aim and Objectives
Aim
Our ...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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(the cognitive epidemiology...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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Transferable and Generic sk...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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Tutors include Professor Ka...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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Seminars
Students are expe...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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Research Centres:
Centre f...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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All hard copies must have ...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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An Interim Exam Board meet...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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Other Members of the Schoo...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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1. Tips for a Better Oral ...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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• Keep explanatory text cl...
MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh
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Advice on preparation of t...
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MSc in Neuroscience by Research 2010/2011

  1. 1. Cover photo by Ian Deary: Diffusion Tensor MRI of the White Matter Tracts of the Human Brain MSc in Neuroscience by Research 2010/2011
  2. 2. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 2 Table of Contents General Information ...........................................................................................................3 Summary of Course Structure ..........................................................................................3 Card Entry to Buildings.....................................................................................................4 Teaching at Sites other than the central area...................................................................4 Computing Facilities .........................................................................................................4 Library Facilities................................................................................................................4 Membership of the British Neuroscience Association.......................................................4 Some Useful Email Addresses .........................................................................................4 Web Sites .........................................................................................................................5 Recommended Textbooks................................................................................................5 Neuroscience....................................................................................................................5 Experimental Design, Statistics and Data Analysis ..........................................................5 Aim and Objectives............................................................................................................6 Aim....................................................................................................................................6 Objectives.........................................................................................................................6 Course Content ..................................................................................................................6 Semester 1. ......................................................................................................................7 Transferable skills courses ...............................................................................................8 Home Office Licences.......................................................................................................9 Semester 2 .......................................................................................................................9 Summer Period.................................................................................................................9 Seminars.........................................................................................................................10 Arranging your Research Projects.................................................................................10 Assessment ......................................................................................................................11 Membership of the Board of Examiners for MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience:..................13 Plagiarism .........................................................................................................................14 Tips for Good Presentations...........................................................................................14 Guidelines for Dissertations ...........................................................................................16 Advice on preparation of the dissertation .....................................................................17
  3. 3. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 3 General Information The MSc Course is co-ordinated and managed within the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine in the University of Edinburgh. Many research groups from the wider Edinburgh Neuroscience community actively contribute to the course as a whole. Students are strongly encouraged to investigate potential research projects in all neuroscience research groups throughout Edinburgh University. The administration of the MSc course is organised by Mrs Shirley Linton, who can be found during regular office hours (8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.) in the BMTO main office Teviot square. Summary of Course Structure The MSc course is full-time for twelve months, beginning in September and ending the following August. Successful MSc candidates graduate in November/December. Diploma candidates graduate in July. Both MSc and Diploma candidates follow a common course for the first eight months. Most of the work in the first semester will be done together with the first year PhD students from the Neuroinformatics Doctoral Training Centre (DTC). The aim of the first semester is to introduce students to many of the areas of neuroscience research currently active at The University of Edinburgh. Some general introductory seminars are presented, but the first semester is not intended to be a crash course in Neuroscience. A weekly book club based on the text “Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain” by Bear, Connors and Paradiso and coordinated by the DTC tutor is available to all students; copies of the text are available from Paul Skehel. Each week will be devoted to a different topic or field. In addition a series of lectures based on “The Ageing Brain” will run throughout the Semester, on Tuesday mornings. The Brain Imaging component of the course will be delivered “on-line” with on-line assessments and access to tutors and discussion groups. Access to this material will be available throughout the semester. However, students are expected to spend Tuesday afternoon participating in tutorials and assessments. Thus each week will include seminars, workshops, tutorials, literature reviews and student presentations to cover the scope and foundations of contemporary neuroscience. There are two items of assessment related to the first Semester material. The first comprises an essay based on “The Ageing Brain” lecture series, which will be set by the organiser of this module. The second is a critical review of a paper published in The Journal of Neuroscience during 2009. The choice of paper is up to you, but should be related to one of the topics that you cover during the first semester. Details of this are given below (see assessment). During the first semester students must contact Principle Investigators from the Edinburgh Neuroscience community or more widely in the University, to arrange their first project, which will commence directly on returning from the Christmas break. With the agreement of their supervisor students may begin working in the laboratory earlier, but all students will be expected to return to full-time study from 10 th January 2010. Although some laboratories may be unable to offer MSc projects in a particular academic year, with the help of the course organiser and project coordinator it is usually possible to place students in a laboratory that satisfies their research interests. The work done during the first project is reported as a Poster, which will be presented to, and discussed with, members of the research community and the examination board. At the end of the project students also submit a Research Proposal, to outline how the project just completed could be extended into a larger study. The marks gained during this period of the course determine which candidates go on to do a second laboratory based research project to be presented for an MSc dissertation, and which prepare a library based report for a Diploma degree. The second period of laboratory research follows on after the poster presentations. This will be written up as a thesis, and also presented in the form of an oral communication to the research community and examination board in late August. Towards the end of the second laboratory project, students have the opportunity to attend either the Federation of European Neuroscience or British Neuroscience Association meeting. For this year BNA will be held in Harrogate in Yorkshire, April 17 th -20 th . Research seminars by visiting speakers are also held throughout the year. Each week details of those particularly relevance to Neuroscience will be distributed through Edinburgh Neuroscience. Within the constraints of their practical work, students are encouraged to attend as many research seminars as possible.
  4. 4. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 4 Card Entry to Buildings For any card entry issues or problems, please contact the relevant building administrator. Teaching at Sites other than the central area Some teaching during the first term takes place at the Western General Hospital (WGH) and at the New Royal Edinburgh Infirmary at Little France. There is a shuttle bus running between these sites and the Central Area. The timetable is at http://www.edinburghneuroscience.ed.ac.uk/seminars/BusRoutes.html. All sites are also well served by public transport. Computing Facilities All students at the University of Edinburgh are registered with Computing Services and assigned a username, password and an electronic mailbox. This is a privilege you are required to use responsibly. Many announcements about the course are communicated by email, so it is essential for you to check your email at least once a day. There are computing facilities on the Ground and First Floor of 1 George Square, and the main open access computer suite is adjacent to the Hugh Robson Building. Some common software packages for word processing, spreadsheets, databases, statistics, graphics and presentation are site licensed and accessible over the local Edinburgh network. Library Facilities By analogy with computer networks, the University Library is also a network distributed throughout Edinburgh. The most useful “nodes” the Main University Library in George Square, and the Veterinary School (R(D)SVS) Library. You should take the trouble at an early opportunity to register access to ATHENS, which provides web-browser access to databases of medical/scientific references, citations and abstracts. Introductions to the library services on 29 th September at 16.00hrs, and to Literature searching and databases on 30 th September at 10.00hrs. Membership of the British Neuroscience Association Each student on the course will be registered a Student Member of the British Neuroscience Association (BNA). Members receive a regular newsletter, and are entitled to reduced registration fees at BNA/FENS/SfN scientific conferences. Web link. http://www.bna.umds.ac.uk As part of the course students attend an international scientific meeting. This year it will be the BNA meeting held in Harrogate in Yorkshire, April 17 th -20 th . Early registration is from December 2009, with a deadline of 1 st February 2010. Students are responsible for arranging their early registration, travel and accommodation for the meeting. An advance for expenses will be available. Some Useful Email Addresses Dr Paul Skehel (MSc Programme Organiser) : Paul.Skehel@ed.ac.uk Isabel Lavers (CMVM Postgraduate Office) : Isabel.Lavers@ed.ac.uk Medical Computing Support (for technical enquiries) : firstaid@ed.ac.uk
  5. 5. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 5 Web Sites British Neuroscience Association http://www.bna.org.uk/ Chaplaincy http://www.chaplaincy.ed.ac.uk Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) http://www.fens.org/ Institute for Applied Language Studies http://www.ials.ed.ac.uk/ American Society for Neuroscience http://www.sfn.org/ Postgraduate Information http://www.postgrad.ed.ac.uk Neurosciences on the Internet http://www.neuroguide.com/ Postgraduate Transkills http://www.transkills.ed.ac.uk/links.htm School of Biomedical Sciences http://www.sbms.mvm.ed.ac.uk/ University of Edinburgh http://www.ed.ac.uk/ Student Counselling Service http://www.student-counselling.ed.ac.uk University of Edinburgh Computing Services http://www.ucs.ed.ac.uk/ Recommended Textbooks Neuroscience Bear, Connors and Paradiso (2003) Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Longstaff, A. (2000) Instant Notes in Neuroscience. Bios, Oxford, UK. (A very useful reference for non- neuroscientists and neuroscientists alike) Kandel, E. R., Schwartz, J. H. & Jessell, T. M. (1991) Principles of neural science. 3 rd edn. Elsevier. (Comprehensive, polished overview of systems and cellular neuroscience) Nicholls, J. G., Martin, A. R. & Wallace, B. G. (2001) From neuron to brain. 4 th edn. Sinauer. (Excellent account of cellular neuroscience) Shepherd, G. M. (1990) The synaptic organization of the brain. 3 rd edn. Oxford. (Quite advanced focus on structure/function relationships in selected regions of the CNS) Carpenter, R. H. S. (1996). Neurophysiology. 3 rd edn. Edward Arnold. (Well-written, systems orientated) Purves, D., Augustine, G. J., Fitzpatrick, D., Katz, L. C., LaMantia, A.-S. & McNamara, J. O. (1997) Neuroscience. Sinauer. (Lucid alternative to Bear et al). Zigmond, M. J., Bloom, F. E., Landis, S. C., Roberts, J. L. and Squire, L. R. (1999). Fundamental Neuroscience. Academic Press. (Up-to-date and well illustrated, if somewhat selective in depth) Squire et al. (2002) Fundamental Neuroscience (2 nd edn). Academic Press. Crossman, A. R. & Neary, D. Neuroanatomy: an illustrated colour text. 2 nd edn. Churchill Livingstone. (Introductory neuroanatomy) Experimental Design, Statistics and Data Analysis There are a number of very good stats/data analysis books in the market place, but also excellent web sites, including: Swinscow, T. D. V. (1997) Statistics at Square One. (9 th edn, revised by M J Campbell) BMJ Publishing Group. Excellent introductions and applications of statistics to biology may also be found at the following sites: http://onlinestatbook.com/rvls.html and http://faculty.vassar.edu/lowry/VassarStats.html
  6. 6. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 6 Aim and Objectives Aim Our aim in the MSc/Diploma by Research in Neuroscience is to prepare students for a career in Neuroscience research. Objectives • To provide an overview of Neuroscience as a discipline • To provide experience and exposure to contemporary methods and techniques used in Neuroscience research • To provide instruction in good laboratory practice • To encourage a quantitative approach to the investigation of problems in Neuroscience • To provide training and practice in analysis and oral presentation of scientific data and research papers • To provide opportunities to design, execute and report original research • To provide an opportunity to attend and present work at scientific meetings Course Content During Semester 1, you will be introduced to many of the areas of neuroscience that are currently active at the University. Each week will focus on a particular aspect of Neuroscience research. In addition, “Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology” and “Brain Imaging” will run continually every Tuesday throughout the Semester. During Semester 2 and the summer period, you will conduct one or two research projects. Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology: Tuesday 9am-11am – Semester 1 – Room S37, Department of Psychology, 7 George Square 1. Cognitive ageing and cognitive epidemiology: an introduction – 21/09/10 (a general session – Ian Deary) 2. Pathological aspects of cognitive ageing – 28/09/10 (a general [clinical] session – John Starr) 3. Psychosocial predictors of cognitive ageing – 05/10/10 (the human cognitive ageing group – Alan Gow) 4. Human cognitive ageing: experimental and applied research – 12/10/10 (the human cognitive ageing group – Jennifer Foley) 5. Methodological Approaches in Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology – 19/10/10 (the genetics and statistics of brain ageing group – Wendy Johnson) 6. Animal Models of Cognitive Aging and Brain Damage – 02/11/10 (the animal models of cognitive ageing and neural health group – Jim McCulloch) 7. Stress, steroids and cognitive ageing – 09/11/10 (Stress, hormones and cognitive ageing group – Jonathan Seckl) 8. MRI, white matter and cognitive ageing – 16/11/10 (the human and animal brain imaging group – Mark Bastin) 9. Associations in (cognitive) epidemiology: four reasons to distrust what you see – 23/11/10
  7. 7. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 7 (the cognitive epidemiology group – David Batty) 10. The ageing brain: What's in our genes – 30/11/10 (the genetics and statistics of brain ageing group – Sarah Harris) Semester 1. Week 1 Introduction week Monday 20th September. Hugh Robson Building, Library. 10.00-10.30 Welcome and Introduction to course Hugh Robson Building, Library Dr. Paul Skehel. 10.30-12.00 Introduction to Neuroinformatics Hugh Robson Building, Library Dr. Peggy Series. 14.00-16.00 Introduction to Synaptic Transmission Hugh Robson Building, Library Dr. David Wyllie. Tuesday 21st September 9.00 – 11.00 Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology: Introduction Psychology Department. Room S37 Prof. Ian Deary 14.00 – 16.00 Introduction to Brian Imaging course Greenfield Computer suite. Dr. Kaska Hemple Wednesday 22nd September 10.00 – 12.00 Pharmacology/Neuroscience Primer HRB Lecture Theatre. Profs. Tony Harmar, John Kelly 14.00 – 17.00 Introduction to Human Anatomy Anatomy Teaching Lab. top floor, Old Medical School, Teviot Place - enter through doorway 3 Prof. Tom Gillingwater Thursday 23rd September 10.00 – 12.00 Embryonic development of the nervous system. Hugh Robson Building, Library Prof. Dave Price 14.00 – 16.00 Postnatal Development of the nervous system. Hugh Robson Building, Library Prof. Peter Kind Friday 24th September 10.00-12.00 Introduction to the Pain System David Hume Tower, Conference Room G.04 Dr. Carole Tornsey 2.00-5.00 Psychiatric Genetics David Hume Tower, Conference Room G.04 Dr. Kathy Evans Week 2 Diseases of the Motor system. Week 3 Neuroinformatics - Dr. Jim Bednar Week 4 Neural control systems - Prof. Mike Ludwig Week 5 Cognitive neurology – from patients to models - Dr. Thomas Week 6 Membranes and membrane protein biology - Dr. Luke Chamberlain Week 7 Disconnected Mind Project - Prof. J. McCulloch Week 8 Neural circuits and behaviour - Dr. Emma Wood and Dr. Matthew Nolan Week 9 Electrophysiology practical workshop - Dr. David Wyllie Week 10 Neurodegeneration and Regeneration - Prof. Peter Brophy Week 11 Dialogs in Neuroscience - Prof. Sue Fleetwood-Walker and Dr. Mark van Rossum Detailed timetables for each week will be e-mailed to you in advance and also posted on the MSc webpage (http://www.sbms.mvm.ed.ac.uk/postgraduate/MSc/index.htm). Please let the Programme Director or Secretary know if you have problems attending any of the classes.
  8. 8. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 8 Transferable and Generic skills Training • Effective Presentations • Project Planning • Writing Up Science A key element of your Research Masters degree is the development of a broad base of skills useful in a research career. These transferable (or generic) skills are independent of the precise specialist subject of study. Support for the development of these skills is provided through a series of three compulsory courses and by access to the extensive College Postgraduate Transferable Skills Programme for PhD students (transkills). Please note that changes in the course programme may take place subject to staff availability and timetabling constraints. Please register on-line for the Transkills sessions here: http://www.transkills.ed.ac.uk/services/mscr/mscrmvm.cfm Effective Presentations - 13th October 2010 Students will book on-line into ONE of these dates to fit in with their other timetabled commitments. Venue: Room G43, Patersons Land, Holyrood (registration and coffee from 09:00) • Introduction to course • Preparation • Introductions and Conclusions Ten steps to success. Five ways to gain the interest of your audience. Practice sessions and feedback. Inventive intros and clear conclusions. • Dealing with Stage Fright Controlling nerves, voice, etc. • Individual Presentations • Action plans and course evaluation. (Participants will be asked to prepare a 5 minute presentation in advance of the course) Writing Up Science - Wednesday 24 November 2010 Time/Venue: 9.45-13:00: Godfrey Thomson Hall, Holyrood This course will cover the key issues that you need to address when writing up science, for Masters course assignments, research theses or academic papers. Course content includes: • What readers, examiners and referees are looking for • Basic statistics and presenting quantitative data • Writing up a scientific research project (diagrams, style and structure) Tutors include Professor Jamie Davies and Dr Martin Simmen (Division of Biomedical Sciences). Project Planning and Ethics in Scientific Research – Wednesday 23 March 2011 Time/Venue: 14:-00-17:00: Godfrey Thomson Hall, Thomson’s Land, Holyrood The topics covered will include: • Research project planning and design • Health & safety and risk assessment • Preparing your Research Masters dissertation project plan • Research ethics Participants will be asked to submit an outline project plan, key research questions and risk assessment in advance of the course.
  9. 9. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 9 Tutors include Professor Karen Chapman (Molecular Medicine Centre), Lawrence Dickson (Health & Safety), and Professor Jeremy Bradshaw, (Director of Taught Postgraduate Studies). Home Office Licences PIL Animal Licence course – all students are required to do Modules 1-3 of the Personal Licensee Training Course for the use of animals in scientific research. Very occasionally an MSc research project may require that a student also take the Module 4 Surgery course. Special arrangements will be made in these cases. Once you have arranged such a project with your supervisor it is essential that you contact Biological Services to arrange this as soon as possible, Biological.Services@ed.ac.uk. Module 1: Wednesday 3 rd November 2010 Chancellor’s Building, Little France Crescent, Lecture Theatre B Modules 2&3: Wednesday 10 th November 2010 Chancellor’s Building, Little France Crescent, Lecture Theatre B Semester 2 During Semester 2, students conduct their first research project between January 11 th and March 26 th 2010. This will be assessed in two ways. First, your project supervisor will assign a mark based on your lab work. Second, you will present a poster based on the first project, which will be assessed. The poster presentations will be on 22 nd April 2010. In addition, you are required to prepare a written piece of work based on one of the topics covered during Semester 1. This should take the form of a “News and Views” article and lay summary of a paper published in “The Journal of Neuroscience” in 2009. The choice of paper is up to the student, but should be related to a topic covered during the weekly topics presented during the first Semester. The “News and Views” article is a critical appraisal of the paper (see News and Views articles in Nature for style and format) of up to 1000 words, excluding references. The “lay summary” of the paper is a brief description of 180-200 words, targeted at an intelligent and interested non-scientist (e.g. Barack Obama). This item of assessment is due in on 1st February 2010. Finally, you should prepare a research proposal, in which you describe work that would develop your findings from your first project to a longer three-year project. This should be submitted in electronic form to Anne Aitken, one week after the poster presentations (Friday 30 th April 2010). Consider carefully how the project you have done in the first practical session could be continued and developed into a more substantial body of work. The aim of this exercise is both for academic assessment and to help you consider how you wish to proceed with the second period of practical work. The proposal should be presented with the following sections, and word limits strictly adhered to. Lay abstract, 200 words. Scientific abstract, 200 words Introduction and Background. Experimental Design Total word limit 1500, not including references or figure legends. Summer Period From 26 th April to 23 rd July 2010, students conduct a second research project. This could be an extension of the first research project, or a new project in the same or a different research group. The written MSc dissertation should be based on this project. In addition, students present their findings in an oral communication. Assessment is based on the written dissertation, the oral presentation, and the supervisor’s report.
  10. 10. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 10 Seminars Students are expected to attend neuroscience related research seminars whenever possible. The Seminar series of the Centre for Neuroregeneration (CNR) and The Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neuron Research (EMC) is on alternate Mondays during Semester 1 and the Centre for Integrative Physiology (CIP) seminars are held every Friday in the HRB. The Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems hold one seminar each month and these are timed to avoid clashing with other seminars in SBMS and the wider neuroscience community. The programmes for each of these will be available on the course web site, and will also be distributed through Edinburgh Neuroscience. Attendance at seminars is at the discretion of individual students, but topics highlighted in the CNR EMC, CCNS and CIP seminars will be considered legitimate areas for discussion by the examination board. ERASMUS exchange This year there is the possibility to participate in an ERASMUS exchange with the University of Magdeburg. Students interested in this should contact Dr. Vassilis Sboros, Vassilis.Sboros@ed.ac.uk, at the earlies possible opportunity. Arranging your Research Projects Our intention is that you should do your research projects in areas of neuroscience that interest you. We do not therefore assign you to projects – instead, you should approach members of Edinburgh Neuroscience (or any other lab doing neuroscience research in Edinburgh), if you are interested in their area of research. Discuss what project(s) might be available for you, what techniques and materials they would involve, what skills you would need and how you would be trained in these skills. You may, of course, go and see several people, but please make sure you keep them informed about your intentions. All the labs involved are very busy places and they have important projects underway all year around; taking on a student often involves shifting resources, time commitments and people. If you have approached several labs and ultimately decide on one of them, please let the other labs know as soon as you can of your decision. If you would like some help in project selection, contact the Course Organiser, the earlier the better. Before the end of the first term (i.e. before Christmas) you should have firmly organised your first Research Project. You must obtain confirmation in writing (email normally) from the lab concerned, that you will be able to do your project with them. Please copy this to the Course Secretary. Similarly, by the end of the second term you should have firmly organised your second research project. Again, confirm this in writing, and let any other labs concerned know of your selection. One of the aims of the course is to give a broad exposure to the field of Neuroscience Research, so you are encouraged to do two separate projects in different laboratories. We do, however, appreciate that the time available is limited and projects often come to an end just as experimental results are becoming available. With the agreement of the Principle Investigator, therefore, it is possible to spend both projects periods in the same laboratory working on a single project in more depth. In most cases, you will be able to find projects to suit your interests. However it is possible that, for a variety of perfectly understandable reasons, a particular lab will not be able to take you. If you have any difficulties, or you would like to discuss your interests and possible project, please contact the Project Co-ordinator, Dr Paul Skehel. In the past most MSc Neuroscience projects have come form the Research Centres listed bellow. However, you are not restricted to the laboratories hosted by these Centres.
  11. 11. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 11 Research Centres: Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems Centre for Integrative Physiology Centre for Neuroregeneration Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences Centre for Molecular Medicine Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology The Euan MacDonald Centre for Motor Neurone disease Centre for Regenerative Medicine Institute for Adaptive and Neural Computation Edinburgh Neuroscience Assessment The course is assessed as detailed below. Student performance in “Review of Neuroscience”, “Research Training 1”, “Research Proposal” and “Presenting Neuroscience Data” will be considered in April at the Interim meeting of the Examination Board. At this point individual progression to MSc Dissertation or Diploma will be decided upon. Exact times and dates for hand in will be confirmed by email. General guidelines for submitting work for assessment (but see additional information regarding Review of Neuroscience below): • One electronic copy (pdf version) and two hardcopies of all work must be submitted, unless specified otherwise below. • All hard copies must have page numbers, and each page must have the student’s examination number. Please do not include your name or matriculation number on any piece of assessed work. Please note that you can find your examination number on your student card. • All hardcopies must be accompanied by a cover sheet. The coversheet can be obtained from http://www.sbms.mvm.ed.ac.uk/postgraduate/MSc/PlagiarismCoverSheet.pdf • All items of assessment should be submitted, by the deadline, to the Programme Administrator in the BMTO Office, Teviot. • If you are unable to meet the deadline, please let the Programme Administrator know as soon as possible. If you have special circumstances pertaining to any item of assessment, please contact your Director of Studies (Dr Paul Skehel) as soon as possible. 1. Review of neuroscience (P02048) – 20 credits. This comprises an essay (max 3000 words) based on the series of lectures on Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology which is run by the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences (PPLS). PPLS requirements on submission of work are given in full below. One hard copy and one electronic copy of all coursework must be submitted, some courses require two hard copies but you will be informed of this during your lectures if this applies to you. All hard copies must have page numbers on it, as well as your examination number. Please note that your examination number and your matriculation number, you can find the correct version on your student card. Any coursework submitted with your matriculation number on it will be returned and you must submit an updated version.
  12. 12. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 12 All hard copies must have a coversheet, but please do not put your name on hard copies of submitted work. This coversheet is attached but you can also find it online here – http://www.ppls.ed.ac.uk/students/postgraduate/taught_research_masters.php#Assessment – and it is available on the submission board outside the PG Office. Full instructions on how to fill this form out correctly can be taught by the PG Office staff. The postboxes to submit your coursework are just outside the PG Office (School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences, Dugald Stewart Building, 3 Charles Street). A table of what coursework relates to what box number is also available on the submission information board. All electronic copies must be submitted through Submit.ac.uk and full instructions on how to use Submit.ac.uk will be given by e-mail. Please note that all deadlines must be strictly adhered too, due to the new UKBA Regulations we must monitor all students' attendance and as detailed during Freshers Week we will be monitoring your attendance through coursework submissions. Any deadline that is not met by a student we will contact you ASAP to query whether or not you will be submitting or have an extension that we might not know about. However, you should keep the PG Office as informed as possible to ensure that no reporting action is taken. Please note that late submission penalties apply as detailed in the PPLS Handbooks. 2. Research Training Assessment 1 (P02046) – 20 credits. This is made up of two parts: a) “News and Views” and lay summary of a paper published in The Journal of Neuroscience in 2009 – 10 credits. The choice of paper is up to the student, but should be related to a topic covered during the first Semester. The student should prepare a “News and Views” style critical appraisal of the paper (see News and Views articles in Nature for format) of up to 1000 words. In addition, they should prepare a “lay summary” of the paper, of 180-200 words, targeted at an intelligent and interested non-scientist (e.g. Barack Obama). b) Supervisor report of Project 1 – 10 credits. This comprises a report from the project supervisor on the standard of your laboratory work. 3. Presenting Neuroscience data (P02047) – 20 credits This comprises a poster presentation based on research project 1. The poster should be A0 and Portrait. Printing should be arranged through the University graphics facilities at George Square or Kings Buildings. All posters will be presented during a poster presentation session in the Common and Seminar rooms in 1 George Square. Students should be available describe their work to members of the examination board, class colleagues and other members of the University. Each student will then have 3 minutes to briefly summarise the main conclusions of their studies. This year’s poster presentations will take place on 4. Research Proposal (P02049) – 20 credits This comprises a research proposal, in which you describe work that would develop your findings from your first project to a longer three-year project. This should be submitted in electronic form (pdf format) to Anne Aitken, one week after the poster presentations Consider carefully how the project you have done in the first practical session could be continued and developed into a more substantial body of work. The proposal should be presented with the following sections, and word limits strictly adhered to. • Lay abstract, 200 words • Scientific abstract, 200 words • Introduction and Background • Experimental Design • Total word limit 1500, not including references or figure legends
  13. 13. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 13 An Interim Exam Board meeting will be held during April, at which the marks for the Review of Neuroscience, Research Training Assessment 1 and Presenting Neuroscience Data are considered. At this point, a decision will be made regarding whether each candidate should progress to the MSc or Diploma. The criteria for this decision are as follows: The student must achieve a mark of at least 50% in each item of assessment to progress to the MSc. Candidates not achieving these criteria will be recommended for a Diploma. Candidates who satisfy these criteria then proceed to undertake a second 12-week research project towards their MSc. Diploma candidates work on a library dissertation of up to 5,000 words, which is submitted for examination in June. MSc candidates undertake two further items of assessment: 5. Masters Dissertation (P01052) – 80 credits This comprises a written Dissertation (up to 10,000 words) based on the research project. Three hard copies and an electronic copy are to be submitted to the Programme Secretary. The Dissertation should comprise: Contribution to mark. Abstract (Professional) (No more than 250 words) 5% Abstract (Layman’s) (No more than 250 words) 5% Introduction 12. 5% Aims, 7.5% Material and Methods 10% Results 30% Discussion. 5% General presentation 5%. 6. Research Training Assessment II (P02048) – 20 credits This is made up of two parts: a) An illustrated oral presentation of the project work, 15 minutes in duration, followed by open questions (15 credits) b) Supervisor report of project 2 (5 credits). This comprises a report from the project supervisor on the standard of your laboratory work. A final exam board meeting will be held on the day of the oral presentations. At this meeting, marks for all units of assessment will be considered, approved and sent to Registry. Candidates who do not perform satisfactorily for an MSc may be recommended by the Postgraduate Studies Committee of the Faculty of Medicine for award of a Diploma in Neuroscience. Candidates performing exceptionally well throughout the course, and scoring more than 70% overall in the final examination, will be recommended for award of an MSc in Neuroscience with Distinction. Exemption from the Diploma or MSc examinations will normally be allowed only on medical grounds, supported by a medical certificate. The decision to award MSc or Diploma to such candidates will be determined by the Postgraduate Studies Committee of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, after submission of reports from the Board of Examiners. Membership of the Board of Examiners for MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience: Dr. Emma Wood (Convenor of Board of Examiners) Dr Catherina Becker Professor Peter Brophy Dr Paul Skehel (Programme Organiser) Dr. David Wyllie Prof. Keith Sillar, St. Andrews University (External Examiner)
  14. 14. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 14 Other Members of the School of Biomedical Sciences who have supervised research projects undertaken by the candidates may be co-opted onto the Board. Plagiarism Please note that the University and the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine treat deliberate plagiarism as a serious offence. If you are in any doubt as to what constitutes an act of plagiarism please see the University web site: http://www.aaps.ed.ac.uk/regulations/plagiarism/intro.htm The University of Edinburgh regulations (http://www.aaps.ed.ac.uk/regulations/Asst/2006/Reg14.htm)state: Suspected plagiarism 14.1 Plagiarism is the act of copying or including in one’s own work, without adequate acknowledgement, intentionally or unintentionally, the work of another. It is academically fraudulent and an offence against University discipline. Plagiarism, at whatever stage of a student’s course, whether discovered before or after graduation, will be investigated and dealt with appropriately by the University. 14.2 All work submitted for assessment by students is accepted on the understanding that it is the student’s own effort without falsification of any kind. Students are expected to offer their own analysis and presentation of information gleaned from research, even when group exercises are carried out. In so far as students rely on sources, they should indicate what these are according to the appropriate convention in their discipline. The innocent misuse or citation of material without formal and proper acknowledgement can constitute plagiarism, even when there is no deliberate intent to cheat. Work may be plagiarised if it consists of close paraphrase or unacknowledged summary of a source, as well as word-for-word transcription. Any failure adequately to acknowledge or properly reference other sources in submitted work could lead to lower marks and to disciplinary action being taken. Students undertaking the MSc Neuroscience by Research programme should note the following: The plagiarism detection service is an online service hosted at www.submit.ac.uk that enables institutions and staff to carry out electronic comparison of students' work against electronic sources including other students' work. The service is managed by The University of Northumbria on behalf of the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and is available to all UK tertiary education institutions by subscription. The plagiarism detection service works by executing searches of the world wide web, and extensive databases of reference material, as well as content previously submitted by other users. Each new submission is compared with all the existing information. The software makes no decisions as to whether a student has plagiarised, it simply highlights sections of text that are duplicated in other sources. All work will continue to be reviewed by the course tutor. Once work has been submitted to the system it becomes part of the ever growing database of material against which subsequent submissions are checked. The software is used as a tool to highlight any instance where there is a possible case of plagiarism. Passages copied directly or very closely from existing sources will be identified by the software and both the original and the potential copy will be displayed for the tutor to view. Where any direct quotations are relevant and appropriately referenced, the course tutor will be able to see this and will continue to consider the next highlighted case. There is an on-line demonstration of the system available at https://www.submit.ac.uk/ All pieces of work must be accompanied by a signed statement of originality, that can be obtained from the programme secretary as an electronic file. Tips for Good Presentations Adapted from US-IALE’97 meeting guidelines, Twelfth Annual Symposium (United States Regional Association, International Association for Landscape Ecology)
  15. 15. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 15 1. Tips for a Better Oral Presentation For a 20 minute talk, limit yourself to 15 minutes to allow time for questions from the audience. Some tips that will help you give a better talk: • Plan your talk carefully around a few “take home messages”. • Most people agree that you can package one or two main ideas or “bullets” per 15 minutes in an oral presentation. Choosing your “bullet” ideas carefully will focus your talk. Make your main ideas clear to the audience. • Practice your talk: often, both alone and in front of critical friends. Friends outside your area of expertise will be especially good at catching undefined or unclear jargon. • Pay special attention to highly technical or novel items, to make sure that you convey these clearly and concisely to an audience who may not have come across them before. • Avoid distracting mannerisms, such as waving the pointer or pacing. • Talk to your audience, don’t read to them. • Know your talk well enough to give it, without notes, in easy-to-follow conversational sentences. If necessary, bring your notes to the podium for security, but if you know your talk well enough, it will come automatically despite your nervousness. Remember, your slides or overheads will serve as a visual outline to help you through your talk. • Use a loud clear, enthusiastic voice. If you don’t seem to care about your topic, why should your audience? 2. Tips for Producing Effective Slides or Overheads The cardinal rule for making slides is to include only the relevant information and to make sure your audience can read your slides. • Include only necessary information on slides. • Avoid tables but, if necessary, simplify them by including only the data you will need to make your point. • Use numbers with only a few significant digits; round if necessary. If there is some graphical way to present the same information, do so, because your audience will be more likely to grasp it. • Include on each slide only information that you will discuss. Other information is distracting and confusing. Limit each slide to one main idea, and just a few sentences. • Make sure your slides are readable. If you can read 2x2” slide without a magnifier, those in the rear seats will be able to see everything that is projected. Font sizes of 18-24 pt seem to work well in most cases. • Slides with light backgrounds may be more legible than slides with dark backgrounds, particularly if any room light is present. Most computer-generated slides project much darker than they appear on the computer screen. Choose colour combinations that contrast well, and remember that there will be colour-blind people in the audience. • Organise your slideshow. If you refer to the same slide more than once, use duplicates. Do not torment the audience by “rewinding” or “fast-forwarding” through your slides to find the one you want to recall. • If you have a lot to say about a table or figure, reproduce it and highlight the specific parts you’ll talk about in turn. This will pace your talk as well, rather than having your talk stall on a single slide. • Horizontal slides are best, since the size of the screen may result in cropped vertical slides. In addition, viewers at the rear of the audience in a large room will probably not be able to see the bottom of vertical slides. 3. Tips for Preparing a Better Poster Posters are A0 size (841 × 1189 mm), and while this may seem like a large area, the format is surprisingly restrictive. Careful design is essential. • The poster is primarily a visual display. Begin by preparing a scale model layout as an outline for the poster. This allows you to determine the number and size of figures, tables, headings and length of text before making any final products. • The organisation and flow of the poster needs to be very clear. Visually subordinate those things that are less important and draw attention to those of greater importance. Make clear the sequence in which the poster is to be viewed.
  16. 16. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 16 • Keep explanatory text close to the figure it is explaining. Group related information together, and make the groupings clear, perhaps by surrounding each group with some blank space and labelling them with a heading. A visually clear presentation will have a substantial amount of blank space. If elements are crammed too tightly, the poster will appear chaotic and be hard to follow. • Show rather than tell the story. Tables and figures should hold the main content of a successful poster. Graphics must dominate. Do not use extensive text. Edit ruthlessly. It may help to have someone else help edit, since they are less emotionally attached to your work. • Use a simple font, such as Helvetica. A mix of caps and lower case is easier to read than all caps. • The title should be legible from 5 – 7m away (type>25mm high). It should be assertive, clear, and catch the eye of the viewer. • Concisely state the main conclusion. Leave the reader no doubts about the take-home message. • Posters are on display for several hours, and therefore they allow time for lengthy discussion with colleagues. Be prepared to answer questions and discuss ideas with the poster viewers. Some viewers may ask you to identify the key ideas you are trying to convey, so it is helpful to think about what to say as a brief introductory overview of the poster to open the discussion. Guidelines for Dissertations Your Dissertation must consist of an original analysis of a topic in Neuroscience, based on your project work and on published scientific literature. The text should not exceed 10,000 words, excluding a reference list which may contain up to 100 references, and any illustrations and their figure legends. A first class dissertation (Distinction) should be an original analysis, that is clearly presented, cogently argued, critical, rigorous, balances, and authoritative. It should also contain evidence of originality of thought and/or analysis of your own data or others published data. Presentation: The style should be concise yet fluent. It should be readily understood, and enjoyed, by an interested neuroscientist who is not an expert in the particular topic of the dissertation. Illustrations should be carefully selected to amplify the text appropriately. Cogently argued: The dissertation should have a clear structure. The topic should be introduced thoughtfully, displaying an awareness of the history of the evolution of relevant concepts or ideas, and developed carefully and convincingly. Critical: The dissertation should make clear what experimental evidence underlies key points in the argument; you should show a keen awareness of the strengths and limitations of the available experimental evidence, including your own. Balanced: You should show an appreciation of alternative interpretations of the evidence; inconsistencies or omissions in the evidence – including your own original data – should be exposed and, if possible, resolved through a process of critical consideration. Rigorous: Conclusions at each stage of the analysis should be drawn logically from this experimental evidence available. The material included in the thesis should be relevant and necessary for the development of this logical process. Quantitative data should be subject to appropriate numerical and/or statistical analysis. Authoritative: The references chosen should appropriately reflect the best work done on the topic of the dissertation; they should be carefully selected and accurately cited. Many more papers will have been read than are eventually cited. Originality: The examiners will be looking for a display of originality in any of the above aspects, and indeed a dissertation that fully satisfies the above may be deemed to be highly original on this basis alone, assuming that the elements of the dissertation do not simply comprise a compilation or re-statement of arguments and statements available in the published literature. You may also display originality in other ways, for instance by drawing novel analogies or comparisons between systems or between phenomena, or by suggesting a route for further investigation to test a key hypothesis in the argument, or by proposing a novel hypothesis or explanation. Originality in all of these aspects must be tempered by the absolute need to retain a critical rigour in all that is written.
  17. 17. MSc/Diploma in Neuroscience 2010-2011 School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh 17 Advice on preparation of the Dissertation Your supervisor is allowed to give you advice on the presentation and content of the dissertation. You are therefore strongly urged to seek your supervisor’s opinion on a first draft of the dissertation. He or she will point out any fundamental flaws in the approach and the methods of data analysis. You are advised to submit your first draft for appraisal by your supervisor not later than two weeks before the submission deadline for the final version. Marking: A dissertation which displays minor errors or omissions, or minor flaws in presentation, may still satisfy the examiners as being of a first class (Distinction) standard overall. A dissertation will receive a Merit mark if it displays the above aspects generally, but is judged to be overly derivative of material, ideas and arguments published in the literature. A dissertation will also receive a Merit mark if despite a generally high standard, it displays a clear deficiency in any of the above aspects. A dissertation will receive a Satisfactory mark if it reaches a high standard in some of the above aspects, but displays a serious deficiency in any, or a clear deficiency in several. Declaration: The first page of your Dissertation should comprise a signed declaration that the work presented is entirely your own work; or where the dissertation includes data, illustrations or text provided by others, that this is clearly indicated and the source acknowledged. Note that the University and the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine treat deliberate plagiarism as a serious offence: any text copied verbatim from the work of others should be enclosed by quotation marks and the source credited. This includes the work of student colleagues. (based on an original document by Professor G. Leng, School of Biomedical Sciences)

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