Applied Research – Meaning, Types, Examples, Challenges

Applied research is a classification of research design that affects innovative solutions and looks to solve any practical problem. This research is a scientific method of inspection because it quickly provides methods to solve daily life problems. It aims in finding a solution for a problem of society or any organization and generally, it is a follow-up research design for basic or pure research.

There are many examples of the use of Applied research in the real world are as follows:

  • A hospital can use this research to prepare the patients for any surgical procedure.
  • In a business, an applied psychologist is hired to design a workplace that maximizes efficiency and productivity with minimizing worker fatigue and error in the business.
  • An applied researcher is hired in an organization to decide how the employees are selected that should be best suited to positions of the company.

What is Applied Research?

Applied research is a research methodology conducted by the researchers to recognize any problem or develop any research using an experimental method for practical application. It is examined as a non-systematic inquiry because it directly approaches to find the solution to any problem.

An example of Applied research is to investigate the different ways to improve employees’ motivation in various industries or to study the different ways of improving the customer’s level in any company.

This research can be found in various fields of study, such as science, social science, business, engineering, psychology, or other educational fields.

Types of Applied Research

Types of Applied Research

The three types of Applied research are evaluation research, research and development, and action research. The briefs of each type are discussed below:

1. Evaluation Research

One type of applied research is evaluation research, which analyses the information in a research subject. This type of research transpires at objective research or reaches to informed decisions made earlier. Evaluation research is mainly applied in business contexts in which the organization adopts this research to decide how the overhead costs can be reduced or cut down drastically.

2. Research and Development

The second type of applied research is Research and Development, whose main aim is to focus on developing or designing new products, goods, or services according to the need of target markets in society. It collects information about the needs of the market. It concentrates on finding other ways to improve the existing products that satisfy the recognized needs of any organization.

3. Action Research

The third type of applied research is Action Research which focuses on providing solutions practically to business problems by determining the business in the right direction. Action research is a process of inquiry that is limited to contexts and situations in daily life and nature.

How To Conduct Applied Research for Practical Problems

Applied Research involves both qualitative and quantitative data collection processes to accumulate data. And further analysis and experiments are done on those accumulated data to achieve the expected results.

Data accumulation methods followed while conducting applied research are provided below –

1. Interview

Involves one-to-one interaction or discussion with the predetermined sample to gather relevant information or data related to the research topic.

Falls under the qualitative method of data collection and allowed the researchers to accumulate relevant data for further analysis. Researchers tend to use audio recorders, digital cameras, and camcorders to accumulate accurate data. But this process can be costly as well as time taking process.

2. Survey/ Questionnaire

Falls under the quantitative method of data collection category, the surveyor questionnaire method is all about accumulating responses against a series of questions related to the research subject. Starting from close, open-ended questions, fixed alternatives to rating scale questions, the questionnaire contains different types of questions.

3. Data Reporting

Relevant information or data concerning a research topic is often collected from not-for-profit reports, newspapers, website articles, journals, etc.

Researchers often come across the problem of bias-ness while following this data reporting method. Biasness occurs due to the exaggeration of information by the researcher or group involved in the information gathering process.

4. Observation

Observation is often called the foundation for the hypothesis and is a very efficient method for the accumulation of empirical data. The researchers require to keep a close watch on the sample set for the research to gather information through this method.

Examples of Applied Research in various fields

In Business

This research is used to improve an organization’s hiring process and improve the workplace efficiently by bridging the workplace’s skill gaps.

In Education

This research is a study to improve the teacher-student relationship in the classroom; it is a way that improves a school’s readiness of students and is a study that helps in building the student’s interest in Mathematics especially.

In Science

This research is applied here that improves the agricultural production of crops, and it also helps in treating or curing a specific disease efficiently.

Challenges faced by Applied Research

When Applied research is applied in psychology, then the potential challenges arise, such as:

Ethical Challenges – When this research is applied in real places, its settings get to deal with ethical challenges, making it more challenging such as they may get concerns related to privacy or informed consent. In some workplaces, it is conducted by industrial-organizational psychologists, where the participants feel pressured for participating in employment.

Problems with Validity – It is complicated to handle this research to maintain control over the variables. It focuses on taking the result of scientific research by utilizing it directly during real-world situations. External validity is having important in applied research where the findings are applied to real people.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Applied Research

The positive side of applied research can then solve and configure specific problems in educational or other fields of society. The negative side of this research is to find it as not generalized, or new knowledge is generated as a result of this result which is limited to research. Some more advantages and disadvantages of this research are


  • It is unbiased as it tests the evidence to get good outcomes during the research, and it designs the mapped-out procedures very carefully and efficiently. Altogether qualities make the research a much valid approach of researches.
  • Applied research is beneficial and applicable in finding or solving any specific problems that help organizations or individuals find the solution efficiently and accurately.


  • This research is not considered flexible because it is not bounded by a stipulated deadline or limitation.
  • It is limited in nature which is not considered generalized because finding the solution is not generalized properly.

Applied Research vs Basic/Pure Research

Applied Research vs Pure Research

Applied research is very different from basic research. It is designed to admit only the specific practical problems by solving them practically; new knowledge is gained because it has specific commercial objectives as products, procedures, or services.

While, basic research is theory-based and designed to expand the knowledge by involving the addition of knowledge for its sake and aims to answer why, how, and what questions.

The basic research process is entirely theoretical. It aims at improving or expanding the knowledge base of a particular study field. Basic or pure research focuses on “knowledge for its own sake” which is mainly driven by curiosity. On the other hand, applied research processes are made to focus on offering practical solutions to a specific problem. Applied research is a type of investigation that entails solution-oriented inquiries by employing empirical methodologies.

Applied Research Wrap Up!

Now, it is clear that the applied research process is solution-specific, which solves specific problems compared to primary research whose aim is to expand the knowledge. This research focuses on solving problems with a range of science-based solutions.

It is not theoretical and is not directly connected with the expansion of knowledge. Applied Research is based on the collection of information to achieve research goals. It achieves its goals by experimenting, analyzing gathered information. It is considered descriptive research in nature as it describes and explains research results in detail.

How effective do you find the applied research process in providing solutions to practical problems?