The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
What is research?
At present there is no simple or universal definition of research which is applicable to all circumstances, however there are three common definitions.
Please note in determining whether a proposal falls within the adminstrative ambit of Research Services or alternatively Kent Enterprise, the Frascati definition will be applied.
The definition of research which applies to all income from externally sponsored research carried out by the institution that conforms to the conventions of the Frascati definition which reads as follows:
Research and experimental development (R&D) comprise creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications.
R&D is a term covering three activities: basic research, applied research, and experimental development. Basic research is experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundation of phenomena and observable facts, without any particular application or use in view. Applied research is also original investigation undertaken to acquire new knowledge. It is, however, directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective.
Experimental development is systematic work, drawing on existing knowledge gained from research and/or practical experience, that is directed to producing new materials, products or devices, to installing new processes, systems and services, or to improving substantially those already produced or installed.
Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
The definition of research which applies in the exercise is as follows:
'Research' for the purpose of the RAE is to be understood as original investigation undertaken in order to gain knowledge and understanding. It includes work of direct relevance to the needs of commerce, industry, and to the public and voluntary sectors; scholarship [*]; the invention and generation of ideas, images, performances, artefacts including design, where these lead to new or substantially improved insights; and the use of existing knowledge in experimental development to produce new or substantially improved materials, devices, products and processes, including design and construction. It excludes routine testing and routine analysis of materials, components and processes such as for the maintenance of national standards, as distinct from the development of new analytical techniques. It also excludes the development of teaching materials that do not embody original research.
[*] scholarship for the RAE is defined as the creation, development and maintenance of the intellectual infrastructure of subjects and disciplines, in forms such as dictionaries, scholarly editions, catalogues and contributions to major research databases.
The definition of research which applies to VAT is as follows:
'Research' is to be understood as original investigation undertaken in order to gain knowledge and understanding. It includes the use of existing knowledge in experimental development to produce new or substantially improved materials, devices, products and processes including design and construction. It excludes routine testing and analysis of materials, components and processes, - e.g.- for the maintenance of national standards – as distinct from the development of new analytical techniques. In the humanities it includes scholarship which leads to new or substantially improved understandings