The Definition Of The Applied Research

Research is one of the most widely applied methods for gathering the necessary data or information for further analysis and conclusions. One of the types of research is applied research. In order to bring sufficient results, this research should include concrete steps, which should be done in a corresponding sequence.

First of all it is necessary to start from the general definition of applied research – “a form of systematic inquiry involving the practical application of science. It accesses and uses some part of the research communities’ (the academia’s) accumulated theories, knowledge, methods, and techniques, for a specific, often state-, business-, or client-driven purpose (Bickman,  Rog, 1998). If to consider the research ideas, methodologies used, programs and so on, then this research is usually contrasted to basic research.

Applied research is primary used for solving of practical problems, which explains the application of empirical methodologies. An important characteristic feature of this research – usage of free protocols – is forced by conducting of this research in the real world. Consequently using of random examples is often excluded. Very important is to have transparent methodology. It is possible to use working hypothesis or pillar questions, when doing this type of research.

As it was already mentioned, the applied research has first of all practical focus, which explains its application for individual disciplines. For example military belongs to one of the spheres, where applied research is widely used, when it is necessary to get the information about the efficacy of soldiers’ training, the operating of the recruitment, application of internet with the aim of reduction of home terrorists and so on.

To be able to carry out an objective and complete research, it is necessary to follow the sequence of steps. The first step is the selection of a problem. This is an important step, as the whole flow of the research is actually influenced by the fact, whether the problem was correctly and unambiguously formulated. Such characteristics of the problem as its actuality, urgency should be considered along with assessment of the availability of the information and certainly personal real interest of the researcher. Usually there are two major types of problems identified:

  • problems, connected to state of nature
  • problems, connected to relationships between variables (Roll-Hansen, 2009).

The formulating of the problem could also be subdivided into two steps, namely understanding of the problem and clear formulation of it for further research. In case this problem has been already studied by other researchers, it is necessary to comment briefly on their results and gaps, possible disagreements.

The second step of the applied research is review of two types of literature – the conceptual literature and the empirical literature. Literary sources are usually found in journals, books, government reports and so on.

During the third step – formulation of hypothesis, the researcher should be able to come out with working hypothesis – “Working Hypothesis is a tentative assumption made in order to draw out and test its logical or empirical assumptions” (Roll-Hansen, 2009). Hypothesis is vitally important for choosing of the correct direction of studies, of the relevant and irrelevant facts, of framework for final conclusions of the research.

The fourth step is related to preparation of a research design, actually a concrete structure for further conducting of the research. There are usually four types of research designs: descriptive, explorative, diagnostic, experimental. Descriptive research design is appropriate for presentation of the characteristics of social structure, behavior and so on. Exploratory design is based on the definition of the hypothesis with consequent studies of the meaningful variables and finally testing of the set hypothesis. Experimental design is applied for conducting of the experiments, set under concrete conditions, and summarizing of the gained results of them. Casual relationships are usually studied in the frames of diagnostic design. It also assumes the possible actions.

The fifth step of data collecting involves primary, secondary, qualitative and quantitative data, which are collected with the help of special tools, among them are observations, questionnaires, tests, checklists and so on. For the secondary data collection documentation is used, like for example reports, books, articles, surveys.

As soon as all the necessary data is gathered, it is high time to pass to the sixth step – analysis of data. At least two groups should be compared with further estimation of the parameter values and level of confidence. Measures of central tendency, of variability and relationship are involved into this step. The importance of this step should not be underestimated, as upon the correct analysis of the data, the final results are directly dependant. This step is probably on of the most difficult ones, even if it is shorter in time, than the previous ones.

The final step of the applied research is related to report writing. Report in this case – is a document, describing the outcomes of the research conducted. When writing this document, it is necessary to consider the way of presentation of the specific information, based on the target audience. In some cases, the final report included not only actual research results, but also recommendations.

Overall, this paper is concentrated on the definition of the applied research along with identification and description of the main steps for its conducting.



Bickman, L.,  Rog, D. J. (1998). Handbook of applied social research methods.

Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Roll-Hansen, N. (2009). Why the distinction between basic (theoretical) and applied ( practical) research is important in the politics of science.  The London School of Economics and Political Science

Schields, P., Rangarjan, N. (2013). A Playbook for Research Methods: Integrating Conceptual Frameworks and Project Management. Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: May 24, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: May 24, 2022] (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
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[Accessed: May 24, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 24, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 24, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 24, 2022]

"The terms offer and acceptance.", 17 May 2016

[Accessed: May 24, 2022]
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