Basic Vs Applied Research: Know The Key Differences

Basic And Applied Research


What is central research in modern universities? Many researchers have surveyed to define the pessimistic terms applied and basic research. Based on the utility, a research proposal can distinguish between basic and applied research. Though both of the terms are contradictory, the higher education pieces of literature undertake the primary research for the advancement of knowledge.

Basic research has been seen as a fundamental vision for the universities as it acknowledges the advancement of knowledge through traditional funding and innovation. Basic research is entirely theoretical and aimed at improving the existing knowledge and primarily driven by curiosity and the need to explore the unknown research dimension. Many researchers also considered it pure research. On the other side applied research is focused on driving the practical solution to a specific problem. It is a systematic approach to get the solution via applying empirical methodologies. Applied and basic research both are in continuum and thus independent. A few research believed the demarcation of basic and applied research is not clear cut at all in fact the combination of both basic and applied research is crucial to solving the developmental problem of products and services(Kaldewey&Schauz, 2018). This article attempt to saturate the difference between basic and applied research with a reason to undertake the most effective aspect of the study.

Basic And Applied Research

Post-1945 era, the linear model of innovation has shown basic research as a primary contributor toanalyze economic growth. Basic research is motivated by research expansion and seeking answers to the question that are not applied directly. 

Fundamental research doesn’t usually generate the findings that imply practical areas. On the other side applied research focuses on solving problems that do have immediate practical implications(Bentley, 2018)

No doubt major innovation are not drawn by without prior research. There must be strong collaboration and connection established between both basic vs applied research for the generation of new knowledge and adhering to its application. New scientific knowledge is essential to foster innovation and formulating good development national policies and procedure. Therefore research scientist quantifies applied and basic research implied areas.

To What Extent Basic Research Defining The Characteristics Of The Entire Universities

Nowotny et al. 2003 clearly generalize the three identical causes for the decline rate of basic research in the commercial region. And the deduced outcomes surrounded huge importance given to increased commercialization, increased steering research priorities, and broader accountability of the science.

There are limited evidence showing how an individual seeing basic research as the primary tool to prove the point, thereby research in these regions continues to be sustained. A Finnish investigation revealed a strong foundation of basic research strongly emphasizes interdisciplinary academic areas. As per the Gulbrandsen and Kyvik research, 90% of the Norway academician go for basic research with slightly less than half confirming basic research remains identical to the market. 

The implication of engagement of basic research is not clear yet, however at the country level, universities are funding more on the basic research usually lead to greater diversity in the research areas. 

What Can Explain Individual Differences Among Basic Vs Applied Research

Few universities nowadays completely insulated from steering increased research priorities, accountability pressure and research compilation. This doesn’t show individual will show consistent choice in making researching decisions. With time academician majorly source the business to fulfill the demand of universities to outrun the research activities(Dissanayake, Lakshman, 2016). In terms of modern competition, universities are capable to choose which stakeholder they might respond and in what areas they want to curve their research practices. Since applied view as a professional obligation will be lead more people to engage in applied research areas. To know more take research paper help from SourceEssay experts anytime.

Fundamental Differences Between Applied And Basic Research

Basic researchApplied Research
It more theoretical also explores the information that have not applied yetApplied research is more practical and descriptive in nature
The scope of basic research is often universal can be applied in diverse conceptsThe scope of applied research is largely focused on the particular topic to get the answer(Gulbrandsen, 2010)
It is lesser involved in improvement of technologyIt is comparatively highly applied to improve the technology and covers the larger areas
It aims to predict future research and analyze the gap between the researches prior doneApplied seeking to prevent the predicted problem having potential to create challenges in the future
It is driven by curiosityIt is usually driven by clients and conducted to understand the fundamental concept required to solve the peoples problem
In case of basic research, it is primarily applicable to academic areasIt is closely linked to commercial products
Basic research occurs in highly sterile and controlled environmentIt takes place in world setting where other unexpected variable may intervene
Example- Research on identifying secondary symptoms of human papilloma virusExample- Research into marijuana healing properties
It approaches flexible time scales where choices of the topic is determined by the researchersIt approaches tight time scale where objectives are negotiated with originator

There is a large number of dissimilarities that are yet to explored and haven’t mentioned in the article often prioritizes under universities rule. For this purpose, you can also ask online essay help experts of SourceEssay.

Similarities Between Basic And Applied Research

  • It has been analyzed both the research process uses the same methods for data collection. This may include quantitative and quantitative data collection using survey, interview, and focus groups
  • The results gained from the basic research is the basis for the applied research
  • In both the research process, inductive and deductive research used to support the research hypothesis. Inductive reasoning describes the moving of the ideas from researcher to observer whereas deductive reasoning entails moving of observation to an idea
  • At a certain level, both the researches behave similarly and aiming to prove the hypothesis. 


Categorization of the research has come into existence for long period and seen influence since the first century. The most prominent characterization discussed in the paper is applied and basic research. It is concluded in the study, that Basic research has seen as a fundamental vision for the universities as it acknowledges advancement of knowledge traditional funding and innovation whereas applied research focuses on driving the practical solution to a specific problem. It is a systematic approach to get the solution via applying empirical methodologies. This paper also discussed few similarities between applied and basic research such as both the research process uses the same methods for data collection that include quantitative and quantitative data collection using survey, interview, and focus groups. However, when both compared, it is identified basic research has wider scope in comparison to applied research.


Bentley, P. J., Gulbrandsen, M., &Kyvik, S. (2015). The relationship between basic and applied research in universities. Higher Education, 70(4), 689-709.

Dissanayake, Lakshman. (2016). Basic and applied scientific research, innovation and economic development. Ceylon Journal of Science. 45. 1. 10.4038/cjs.v45i1.7368.

Gulbrandsen, Magnus &Kyvik, Svein. (2010). Are the concepts basic research, applied research and experimental development still useful? An empirical investigation among Norwegian academics. Science & Public Policy – SCI PUBLIC POLICY. 37. 343-353. 10.3152/030234210X501171.

Kaldewey, D., &Schauz, D. (Eds.). (2018). Basic and Applied Research: The Language of Science Policy in the Twentieth Century (Vol. 4). Berghahn Books.

Nowotny, H., Scott, P., & Gibbons, M. (2003). Introduction: ‘Mode 2’ revisited: The new production of knowledge. Minerva, 41(3), 179–194. doi:10.1023/a:1025505528250.

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