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ANSC40280: Construct a coherent nutrition-based research project: Advanced Animal Nutrition Project, Research Paper, UCD, Ireland

University University College Dublin (UCD)
Subject ANSC40280: Advanced Animal Nutrition Project

A main objective of this module is to equip learners with relevant content to understand how livestock are currently fed in modern production systems and how practices may change in the future. This learning objective will be aided by the completion of a student-led project which involves the planning, execution, and communication of a relevant research question. A systematic review of the literature on a topic related to animal nutrition will be performed and the findings will be presented in two forms: a written literature review and a short presentation. To increase the opportunity for peer-to-peer learning, students will work in small groups according to the research area chosen. In addition, to foster communication and collaborative engagement, students will be required to evaluate other group members’ outputs and submit several short reviews.

What is a systematic review?
A systematic review should contain the following elements:
• A clearly and tightly defined research question
• A review of relevant literature to establish current state of knowledge based on a defined search strategy, including explicit exclusion and inclusion criteria in order to determine what types of studies will be evaluated
• Consideration of the quality of the evidence/data collected
• Data extraction and synthesis, in addition to critical appraisal of the evidence
• Compilation of available data and analysis to provide further insights
• Identification of knowledge gaps and research needs
• Succinct recommendations for future work

Good research is rarely carried out on an ad hoc basis. From the outset, you need
to be clear about why you are carrying out your systematic review. For example,
you may want to evaluate the current state of knowledge about a particular topic
of interest, contribute to the development of specific theories or the establishment
of a new evidence base and/or make recommendations for future research.
However, you need to think about what you want to learn from your systematic
review. You might find that balancing your learning objectives with the
objectives of the review may be challenging at times; this is most likely to be true
when you are reviewing a topic of interest in your field.

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  1. Assess the literature in an area of relevance to livestock nutrition
  2.  Construct a coherent nutrition-based research project in a confident manner by applying relevant tools in data collection, management, analysis and reporting;
  3.  Evaluate a particular aspect of animal nutrition and its current effectiveness, areas for improvement and most importantly explore ongoing research in the area to establish its potential utilisation in production systems.
  4.  Communicate effectively to peers regarding avenues of relevance for
    future research in the topic under investigation

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Skills developed
✓ Develop organisational and writing skills
✓ Locate, synthesise and critically review scientific information and data from a
wide range of sources and construct and defend reasoned conclusions
✓ Design and undertake research using appropriate data collection and analysis
✓ Develop an ability to use and interpret a wide range of datasets
✓ Communicate findings, ideas and solutions clearly and effectively
✓ Address the gap between science and policy
✓ Develop strategies for continuous professional development and continue selfdirected learning required to enhance their career ambitions
✓ Develop an ability to critically evaluate data reliability, quality and utility

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