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Which clippings match 'Basic Research' keyword pg.1 of 1
12 FEBRUARY 2013

UK Arts & Humanities Research Council: A Definition of Research

"research activities should primarily be concerned with research processes, rather than outputs. This definition is built around three key features and your proposal must fully address all of these in order to be considered eligible for support:

It must define a series of research questions, issues or problems that will be addressed in the course of the research. It must also define its aims and objectives in terms of seeking to enhance knowledge and understanding relating to the questions, issues or problems to be addressed

It must specify a research context for the questions, issues or problems to be addressed. You must specify why it is important that these particular questions, issues or problems should be addressed; what other research is being or has been conducted in this area; and what particular contribution this project will make to the advancement of creativity, insights, knowledge and understanding in this area

It must specify the research methods for addressing and answering the research questions, issues or problems. You must state how, in the course of the research project, you will seek to answer the questions, address the issues or solve the problems. You should also explain the rationale for your chosen research methods and why you think they provide the most appropriate means by which to address the research questions, issues or problems.

Our primary concern is to ensure that the research we fund addresses clearly–articulated research questions, issues or problems, set in a clear context of other research in that area, and using appropriate research methods and/or approaches.

The precise nature of the research questions, issues or problems, approaches to the research and outputs of the work may vary considerably, embracing basic, strategic and applied research. The research questions, issues, problems, methods and/or approaches may range from intellectual questions that require critical, historical or theoretical investigation, to practical issues or problems that require other approaches such as testing, prototyping, experimental development and evaluation. The outputs of the research may include, for example, monographs, editions or articles; electronic data, including sound or images; performances, films or broadcasts; or exhibitions. Teaching materials may also be an appropriate outcome from a research project provided that it fulfils the definition above.

The research should be conceived as broadly as possible and so consideration should also be given to the outcomes of, and audiences for, the research. The outcomes of the research may only benefit other researchers and influence future research, but consideration must be given to potential opportunities for the transfer of knowledge into new contexts where the research could have an impact.

Creative output can be produced, or practice undertaken, as an integral part of a research process as defined above. The Council would expect, however, this practice to be accompanied by some form of documentation of the research process, as well as some form of textual analysis or explanation to support its position and as a record of your critical reflection. Equally, creativity or practice may involve no such process at all, in which case it would be ineligible for funding from the Council."

(Arts and Humanities Research Council)


academic research • accompanying documentation • advancement of creativity • AHRCapplied researchartwork and exegesisbasic researchclinical researchcontribution to knowledge • creative output • critical investigationcritical reflection • definition of research • experimental development • historical investigation • impact and engagement • knowledge and understandingknowledge transfer • new contexts • new insights • problem for action • problems to be addressed • prototyping • record and reflect • research activities • research aims and objectives • research context • research impactresearch methodsresearch outcomeresearch processesresearch projectresearch questions • strategic research • testingtextual analysis • theoretical investigation • transfer of knowledgeUK


Simon Perkins

Innovation and the Developing System of Knowledge Production

"The relevant contrast here is between problem solving which is carried out following the codes of practice relevant to a particular discipline and problem solving which is organised around a particular application. In the former, the context is defined in relation to the cognitive and social norms that govern basic research or academic science. Latterly, this has tended to imply knowledge production carried out in the absence of some practical goal. In Mode 2, by contrast, knowledge results from a broader range of considerations. Such knowledge is intended to be useful to someone whether in industry or government, or society more generally and this imperative is present from the beginning. Knowledge thus produced is always produced under an aspect of continuous negotiation, i.e. it will not be produced unless and until the interest of the various actors are included. Such is the context of application. Application, in this sense is not product development carried out for industry and the processes or markets that operate to determine what knowledge is produced are much broader than is normally implied when one speaks about taking ideas to the market place. Nonetheless, knowledge production in Mode 2 is the outcome of a process in which supply and demand factors can be said to operate, but the sources of supply are increasingly diverse, as are the demands for differentiated forms of specialist knowledge Such processes or markets specify what we mean by the context of application. Because they include much more than commercial considerations, it might be said that in Mode 2 science is both in the market but also gone beyond it! In the process, knowledge production becomes diffused throughout society. That is why we also speak of socially distributed knowledge. Research carried out in the context of application might be said to characterise a number of disciplines in the applied sciences and engineering – e.g. chemical engineering, aeronautical engineering or, more recently, computer science. Historically these sciences became established in universities but, strictly speaking, they cannot be called applied sciences, because it was precisely the lack of the relevant science that called them into being. They were genuinely new forms of knowledge though not necessarily of knowledge production because, they too, soon became the sites of disciplinary–based knowledge production in the style of Mode 1. These applied disciplines share with Mode 2 some aspects of the attribute of knowledge produced in the context of application. But, in Mode 2 the context is more complex. It is shaped by a more diverse set of intellectual and social demands than was the case in many applied sciences while it may give rise to genuine basic research."

(Michael Gibbons)


academic disciplines • academic science • aeronautical engineering • applied disciplines • applied sciencesbasic researchchemical engineering • codes of practice • cognitive norms • computer science • diffused throughout society • disciplinary-based knowledge production • engineeringforms of knowledgeinnovationknowledgeknowledge production • Michael Gibbons • Mode 1Mode 2 • Mode 2 science • new forms of knowledge • problem-solvingproduction of knowledgescience • sciences • social demands • social norms • socially distributed knowledge • specialist knowledge • system of knowledge production


Simon Perkins
26 MAY 2005

Research designs: basic, applied, clinical

"an important distinction that is employed by universities as well as corporate and governmental funding agencies. From the perspective of the type of problem addressed, research may be clinical, applied, or basic. ... Clinical research is, as the name suggests, directed toward an individual case. ... Clinical research focuses on the problem for action that the designer faces. To solve a particular, individual design problem, it is essential to gather whatever information or understanding may be relevant in its solution....applied research is directed towards problems that are discovered in a general class of products or situations. ... The common trait of applied research in design is the attempt to gather from many individual cases a hypothesis or several hypotheses that may explain how the design of a class of products takes place, the kind of reasoning that is effective in design for that class, and so forth. The third type of research is basic. It is research directed towards fundamental problems in understanding the principles–and sometimes the first principles–which govern and explain phenomena."
(Richard Buchanan, 2001)

[2] Buchanan, R. (2001). 'Design Research and the New Learning.' Design Issues 17(4, Autumn): 10, 17–18.



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