Develop your Research & Innovation skills by collaborating on an interdisciplinary project

I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet and learn, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people. There is much we can learn from the oldest continuous culture about how we understand our place in this world, and how we can work collaboratively to create change. I pay my respects to the Elders, past and present, and emerging leaders in the communities we live in, and welcome people from all backgrounds to learn together on this short journey we share.

Welcome… Group Research & Innovation Project

Group R&I Project (GRIP) GRIP gives ANU students from all disciplines the opportunity to collaborate on a project outside of their disciplinary offerings. This is not a research project; rather, a way for students to apply disciplinary expertise in a collaborative research & innovation context.

Students join an endorsed Host Project and make a defined contribution in relation to the scope, requirements and deliverables of the team. Students will enhance the Host Project through their disciplinary skill set, but will be assessed independently.

At the conclusion of the project, students submit a portfolio demonstrating the five areas of activity in the GRIP course learning outcomes against their contribution to the Host Project.

Group R&I Projects#

Any organisation, group project course, student project or initiative can become a GRIP Host. Where the GRIP Partner is itself a course, you may wish instead to just complete the course(!) However, defining the activity as a GRIP Project may allow you to scope a bespoke project that is customised to your unique contribution to the collaborative task at hand.

The Host Project needs to meet the following requirements:

  • the activities with the Host requires you to collaborate with people from multiple skill sets and/or disciplines
  • your contribution can be defined and planned for ~100 project hours, to the further benefit of the Host Project
  • you can identify an ANU academic who is willing to become your Academic Supervisor and can independently evaluate the quality of work and your contribution
  • you can identify a Host Supervisor what can independently validate your contribution to the Host Project

See the VC’s Courses Website for a list of known GRIP Partners and Champions.

Project Initiation and Enrolment#

To initiate a project and enrol in Group R&I Project, you should:

  1. Identify a suitable collaborative project that meets the requirements for a Group R&I Project
  2. Apply through submitting an Expression of Interest on the VC’s Courses website
  3. Once your EoI has been approved, complete the GRIP Project Agreement and ANU Enrolment Change Form for approval from the Course Convenor.
  4. Once your Project Agreement has been approved, complete your GRIP Project
  5. Upon completion of your GRIP, organise to complete the GRIP Completion form

Course Deliverables#

Once an application for GRIP has been endorsed by the convenor, the Project Deliverables are to be agreed with the Host and Academic Supervisor prior to the start of the project through the Project Agreement. In most cases, the work that is undertaken should be towards the project goals and not merely for the purpose of assessment.

To allow evaluation of your project work, you are required to complete:

Weeks Activity
Before Week 1 of Semester Apply for and receive approval for GRIP Course
By end of Week 2 Complete GRIP Project Agreement and ANU Enrolment Change Form
Between Weeks 6-7 Many Eyes Feedback organised by the GRIP Convenor*
By end of Week 12 Portfolio submission*
By end of Week 12+1 Project Presentation*
By end of Week 12+1 Complete the GRIP Completion form

*Activities with an asterisk may be replaced with alternative tasks in consultation with your Host and Academic supervisors and the Course Convenor. For example, if there are tasks in the class (i.e. a Project Presentation) that you are contributing to, these may be switched in. In the absence of any strong reason, the suggested deliverables should be followed.

Research-led Teaching#

The entire course is centred on practicing collaborative research skills and conducting original research for application. Students will learn core knowledge about conducting collaborative research and will implement that in a scoped project with an academic and host supervisor.

Learning Outcomes#

By the end of this course, you should be capable of demonstrating:

  • Synthesise knowledge and approaches to generate solutions to a complex interdisciplinary project.
  • Develop, analyse, and critically evaluate alternative options in order to justify and generate deliverables in a real-world project.
  • Apply management and organisational skills to produce time-sensitive deliverables as part of an interdisciplinary team.
  • Demonstrate and reflect on leadership and creativity as an individual and within interdisciplinary team.
  • Transparent transmission of decisions and solutions using appropriate media to professional and lay audiences.

Expected Workload#

Students undertaking a GRIP should anticipate the time commitment:

Description 6-unit 12-unit Notes
Collaborative Project Work ~100 hours ~200 hours Suggested 1 day/week over duration, or equivalent
Independent Research/Study ~30 hours ~60 hours As needed for activities that support project work
Total ~130 hours ~260 hours Unit scope should be determined
at the start of the defined project

An agreement around placement hours and pattern (ie if this is to be a more intensive activity) should be discussed with your Host supervisor and ANU supervisor prior to commencing the GRIP.


Upon successful completion of GRIP, students will be awarded a grade of ‘CRS’ (course requirements satisfied). This is not merely a ‘pass/fail’; it is to recognise that students are intrinsically determined to effect change within their Host Project and to alleviate the pressure that grades place on creating change that is outside of your control. The academic quality and commitment to the work needs to meet the ‘Superior’ description in the ANU’s Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy; that is, your work should be at a Distinction level, and we will work with you to make it so.

The following are standard roles and responsibilities for grading tasks.

Task Coordinator Submission
Project Agreement Student Submitted this as part of the project
initiation and enrolment process
Many Eyes Feedback Convenor to organise Student to provide email addresses via Wattle
Portfolio ANU Supervisor to review
Host supervisor to contribute
Submission via Wattle and email
to your ANU and Host Supervisors
Oral Presentation ANU Supervisor to review
Host supervisor to contribute
Submission of slides via Wattle and email
to your ANU and Host Supervisors

Roles of the Supervisors#

During your GRIP, you will have an ANU supervisor and a Host supervisor (the project champion). It is your responsibility to find an appropriate ANU supervisor before the commencement of your GRIP, but the Course Convenor may assist if needed. It is expected that a meeting between the two supervisors and the student takes place within the first week of commencement of the placement to align expectations around the project.

The ANU Supervisor should be someone who is familiar with and interested in the area of your GRIP. They will form the link between the Host organisation and the University and guide you as an academic mentor throughout the placement. It is expected that consultation between the ANU supervisor and the student occurs at least 4 times during the GRIP. This can be through real-time meetings, or appropriate alternatives. The ANU supervisor is expected to uphold ANU policies and procedures regarding coursework assessment. The ANU Supervisor may be an Academic or a Professional staff member if this is in the interest of the project. In circumstances where the ANU supervisor is not an ANU Academic, the responsibilities of ANU policies and procedures may be transferred to the Host Project supervisor (if an ANU Academic) or ultimately the Course Convenor. Agreement on this must be made as part of the Project Agreement.

The Host Project supervisor will provide the hands-on supervision and guidance in the workplace for the duration of the GRIP, and guide students through the appropriate processes and any induction within the Host Project. It is expected that the supervisor will provide regular feedback on the student’s progress, directly to the student as a form of professional development. The Host Project supervisor may be an ANU Academic (especially where the project is based in a Course), an Academic from another Australian University, a Professional staff member. With approval from the Course Convenor, the Host Project Supervisor may be a student leader responsible for the delivery of the project.

You may nominate an Advisor for your project, either from ANU or elsewhere, who may bring specialist knowledge that can help you with your placement. The Advisor does not take on an assessment role, but can contribute to these discussions as needed.

The Course Convenor is responsible for scoping and approving Projects and ensuring that the Many Eyes Feedback occurs and that final assessment and feedback is given. The Course Convenor is ultimately responsible for the academic integrity of the course, and the finalisation of grades.

Responsibility of students#

Students will be required to attend a compulsory induction session prior to commencing the GRIP, run by the Course Convenor. If you are uncertain about working in a collaborative project, you can also organise to consult with the ANU Careers Centre, who can provide further guidance in professional behaviour in teams and effective communication. Induction sessions will be organised at a time before your placement.

During the GRIP, students will be expected to act in a professional manner, be in good standing with the project centre, and work under the guidance of the Host supervisor. Students should liaise with the Host supervisor on a regular basis while completing the GRIP.

Students will align there work to the defined goals of the Host Project. Students will be expected to follow any business conduct guidelines, induction processes, safety procedures or workplace directions as required by the Host Project.

Students encountering any problems during their Project should, if appropriate, first address these with their Host Project. If students feel this is not appropriate under certain circumstances then issues should be raised with the ANU supervisor or the Course Convenor.

Guidance for Assessment Tasks

The advice below is intended to help you align expectations between yourself and your supervisors within the broad scope of this course.

The GRIP is a defined, independent project associated with a collaborative effort. Students are expected to participate and be in good standing with their project team, as determined by the Project Agreement, and the expectations set by the GRIP team.

Project Agreement#

The Project Agreement is produced after your application for the course has been approved. Much of the information is similar to the application form, but this becomes the formal agreement and identification of supervisors within the project. The Project Agreement itself provides guidance, but you may submit a addendum that is tailored for your project.

The Project Agreement can outline the scope of the project to be undertaken. It is recognised that the direction and focus of the project may change during the collaborative project, depending on factors outside of your control. The plan should be seen as an indication of intent, not necessarily the final outcome.

Your Host Project may have an internal process for scoping a defined project, and it would be valuable for your experience to follow and tailor these processes for your project. Use it as an opportunity to scope the project you will undertake, and set up the expectations with your Supervisors and Host Project.

Each project will cover different topics, but place to start could be considering the following prompts. These are not required, and should be tailored to your situation:

  • A proposed project summary or outline (required)
  • Identification of your goals and skill development within the project (required)
  • Confirmation of assessment and deliverables (required)
  • Outline of roles and responsibilities of supervisors, collaborators and yourself
  • Indication of other stakeholders or other project-enabling resources
  • An indication of project methodology, including understanding academic or practical considerations
  • An indicative timeline of milestones or project phases
  • A contingency plan in case milestones are not or cannot be met, or stretch goals
  • Consideration of how difficult or sensitive situations could be resolved
  • Identification of an outlet for your oral presentation

Many Eyes Feedback#

The Many Eyes Feedback will be a way to get feedback on your contribution to the Host Project. You will be required to organise at least five people (preferably more!) involved with your project to provide feedback on your progress. Feedback will be collated in four categories: self-review, reviews from people who you report to (if applicable), reviews from your peers/colleagues, and reviews from people you report to, such as team leads or your supervisors.

The purpose of this feedback process is to give you information about your progress, and to provide areas of growth for you within the scope of your project. This process will be held during the semester break. The Convenor will facilitate collection of the feedback, and provide it back to you after the break.

Project Portfolio#

The purpose of the Portfolio is to demonstrate your learning and activity in the experience as a launching point for the next part of your career. This should be developed in consultation with your Host and ANU Supervisor and outlined in your Project Agreement. Ideally, this is a piece of work that is built up during semester and a record of your contribution.

Your portfolio might take the form of:

  • A portfolio of work, highlighting the various artefacts you have developed and how they piece together
  • A collaborative report, where you can highlight your contribution through a rationale or explainer
  • A repository of work, where the repository details the work undertaken and how someone can navigate the resource
  • A handover document, so that someone else can continue your project into the future
  • A business proposal, that outlines the case for a business proposal based on your work
  • A position paper, providing recommendations or insights you’ve developed through the project for a broader audience
  • A scientific report, including executive summary, rationale, methods, results, conclusions, recommendations and future research
  • A research paper, written in the style of a literature research paper or essay
  • A scientific analysis, prepared for scientists looking to understand and repeat your analysis. This might include artefacts that you have developed, such as apparatus, methodology or code
  • Any combination or extension of these relevant to your Host or your discipline

Size: 3000-5000 words or equivalent

Due: At the completion of Project, in line with semester/session dates

Submission: Please submit your Portfolio via Wattle as a record. You should provide a copy to your Supervisor for the purposes of assessment.

Variations: If you are completing GRIP as part of a scheduled course, you may prefer to complete an equivalent task required in that course.

Oral Presentation#

GRIP requires the completion of an oral presentation to a professional and academic audience. Your presentation is an opportunity to showcase the work that you have done within the Host, and is a great opportunity for all the stakeholders of the project to meet and appreciate your work. Generally, it is expected that the oral presentation will take place with the Host to allow attendance and participation from students and staff not directly involved in the project.

Size: 20-30 minutes or as appropriate

Due: At a time convenient to the Host and ANU supervisors. Preferably at the Host Organisation. Ideally given in your final week of your project, or shortly after project completion.

Submission: Please submit a copy of your oral presentation slides via Wattle as a record. Your ANU and Host Supervisors for the purposes of assessment.

Variations: If you are completing GRIP as part of a scheduled course, you may prefer to complete an equivalent task required in that course.


Dr Chris Browne (he/him)
Convenor, ANU Vice-Chancellor’s Courses

You can book a time with me (by Zoom or in person) by sending an email or invite through the Outlook calendar. Please feel free to get in touch the course, or about whatever is on your mind.

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