Rovira y Virgili
Educational guide 
School of Chemical Engineering
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Nanoscience, Materials and Processes: Chemical Technology at the Frontier
Topic Sub-topic
This course aims to improve key skills needed for the successful development of research projects. We introduce and apply concepts and tools for defining research project objectives, planning a research or thesis
project, and communicating the work orally and in writing.
Students' participation in class is mandatory. Grading is based on homework and on an oral presentation towards the end of the course. The homework consists of exercises that develop different stages of a students' own research project, chosen at the start of the course. The final homework is the presentation of a formal report about the project.
1 Course objectives. Research project Overview of this course's objectives and syllabus. How these objectives fit in your program. What characteristics define research. Approaching research. Different kinds of research. Defining scientific objectives.
2 Project planning and execution Considerations when planning your project. Resources, objectives, tasks, Gantt charts. Discussion: Students will explain their research projects; roadblocks (perceived or real) at this stage.
3 Reviewing the technical literature Why is it necessary? How much knowledge of the prior art is needed before defining a research objective? Searching relevant literature (scholar, patents): tools and considerations. Organizing and digesting information.
4 Evaluating research and technical literature Introduction to scientometrics and science of science. Impact metrics.
5 Scientific integrity Responsible conduct of research. Mentoring. Collaborative research and authorship. Ownership of data and intellectual property.
6 Presentations primer You can and will do it! Fear of public. Most important first steps in preparing an oral presentation. Slides as a support, not an end. Wise use of slides. Tips borne in experience. Handling questions.
7 Technical writing Before writing: Defining your contribution. Where to begin: Constraints and stylistic tools. Structure. Language: Being precise, being clear, being forthright, being familiar, being concise, being fluid. Illustration. Importance of the title and the abstract. Authorship and peer review.