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The Essays in Animal Biology (literature work) and Research Tasks in Animal Biology (practical work) are small projects on a specific subject, which can be done during the bachelor or the master programme. They need to be agreed on by a supervising lecturer from the Zoological Institute. The project will be performed by the student mostly independently and will be defined jointly with the supervising lecturer before the beginning of the project. Apart from subject proposals by the lecturer, students may also contribute their own ideas.
The effort and work required for an Essay or Research Task depends mainly on the interest and motivation of the student. Two credit points are awarded for an effort of about 5 working days. The work can be spread over a longer period of time, also in the periods between terms. Essays and Research Tasks can be combined into a larger project including both literature and practical work.
Essays and Research Tasks are not paid. Very good scientific projects can lead to publications. The language should preferably be English, but this is not mandatory. BSc students can use Essays and Research Tasks as part of the Bio5 program, and they are a good way to learn more about a particular research group before deciding on a MSc topic.
Writing an Essay is an exercise in dealing with the primary scientific literature and submitting a report on a certain subject. For example, an essay may be a review/summary of various articles on a specific subject. It can be a meta-analysis of results of publications or a detailed presentation of specific facts or theories, etc. The length of an Essay is variable, but should not normally exceed six pages. The Essay will be corrected and marked by the supervisor and reviewed with the student for correction.
The Research Task includes practical work in the laboratory or the field. The student can make small experiments or data collections in consultation with the supervisor. The results are presented in a written report. The learning objective is to obtain experience about practical methods and to collect data following a high scientific standard. Furthermore, the Research Task is an exercise to obtain experience in the display of results in statistical tables and graphics. The written report of the findings concludes the project. The task is then corrected and marked by the supervisor and reviewed with the student for correction.
Essays and Research Tasks in Animal Biology are offered by all lecturers in Zoology. After the completion of the project, the lecturer will contact Dieter Ebert who will award the credit points. The projects do not need to be approved by Dieter Ebert.