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Food and nutritional sciences research project guidance: Home

Resources and links to guide you through your research project.

Welcome to this guide which includes resources and help for doing your project. It supplements information provided in your project handbook available via Blackboard. Use the tabs above to explore guidance on specific topics.

You are encouraged to develop your own project in discussion with your potential supervisor. Projects can take the following forms:

  • Lab-based projects - these will involve laboratory experimental work. Ethical clearance will be required for any studies involving humans.
  • Desk-based projects - these involve other forms of data acquisition, such as data analysis (using provided or self-generated data, such as survey results), and/or a critical analysis of published literature (such as a systematic review). Data driven projects typically involve statistically analysing a data set as the main part of the project and as such you may not have been involved in the data collection process. Ethical clearance will be required for any studies involving surveys or data from human participants.
  • Education projects - these give students experience of science and food technology education through a mentoring scheme with local schools. This type of project is not supported by this guide, please consult materials provided on Blackboard.
Consult the project handbook on Blackboard for specific guidance on doing your project, especially requirements for writing the report, such as structure and word counts.

About your project


The primary aim of the project is to promote the academic and intellectual development of the student through an extended period of primarily self-motivated work, which will build on the more formal taught parts of that student’s programme.

The importance of this work will be reflected in the contribution of the assessment mark to the final degree classification.

A suitable research topic should test a scientific hypothesis or be hypothesis generating by reviewing existing data/literature or conducting a pilot study.

As a result of doing a project you will...

  • develop practical skills and competencies necessary to carry out independent research
  • read and evaluate scientific publications
  • formulate and critically evaluate a scientific argument
  • design and carry out a scientific project in consultation with others, responding to any changing circumstances that may arise
  • understand basic statistics and their application on the evaluation of experimental data
  • draw on knowledge and data to set the research in context and to evaluate its contribution to food or biotechnology
  • report development of the project and its outcomes in the form of a report.

Useful books on doing your project

Support for doing your project

Your supervisor

Working with your supervisor is a partnership and you need to negotiate a way to work that suits both of you. See the Project management section of this guide for more information:

Your librarian

Jackie Skinner can help with doing your literature search, doing a systematic review, citing references, and using EndNote or Mendeley for reference management. She can offer one-to-one support via email or online, or come to the weekly Library & ASK drop-in (time will be advertised by email and on posters). See her contact page for email and booking details:

Your ASK Adviser

The ASK Adviser is a PhD student who has been trained by the Library's Study Advice Team to offer advice on study skills such as writing your literature review, using references in your work and time management. Come along to the weekly drop-in to talk to them.

Study Advice & Maths Support

Support for using Microsoft Office

If you need guidance on using Microsoft Office products such as Word, Excel, Access or PowerPoint try these online tutorials: