Research is defined as activities that are organized to produce outcomes that contribute to new knowledge. This expansion of knowledge can lead to a better understanding of the discipline. This will also include activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where activities share facilities that are used for research and development.
Research generally has the hallmarks of data collection that may or may not occur within the confines of a laboratory. Research typically involves analysis of data that leads to a dissemination activity such as a report for the sponsor who may then use the data publicly, privately or in a presentation or publication.
Research can be divided into three categories: basic, applied or developmental.
Research undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge without any particular application or use in mind.
Examples of basic research:
- A study to determine what affects blood coagulation
- A study of the properties of molecules under various heat and cold conditions
- A study of the heart chambers of various fish species
Research conducted to gain the knowledge or understanding to meet a specific, recognized need.
Examples of applied research:
- A study on how a new chicken pox vaccine affects blood coagulation
- A study investigating the properties of particular substances under various heat and cold conditions with the objective of finding longer-lasting components for highway pavement
- A study examining various levels of a toxic substance to determine the maximum safe level for fish in a stream
The systematic use of the knowledge or understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems or methods, including the design and development of prototypes and processes.
Examples of developmental research:
- A clinical trial to test a newly developed chicken pox vaccine
- A study to test a newly developed highway pavement under various types of heat and cold conditions
- A study to develop a new stream monitoring system that will incorporate research findings on toxicity levels for fish
Instruction is defined as teaching activities that may be offered for credit towards a degree or certificate. This may include noncredit classes that are offered through a regular academic department. Generally, there will be a student to teacher relationship.
The focus of instruction generally involves the student receiving credit for the instructional activity. This credit could be in the form of actual college credits or Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits for professional students. Curriculum development and effort to improve teaching methods is included in the definition of instruction.
Examples of instruction:
- College preparation activities
- Development of college-level educational materials
- Professional instruction/education that may or may not lead to a CPE certificate
- Leadership training or activities
Other sponsored activity
Other sponsored activity is defined as any project that addresses the university's public service mission. Projects classified as "other" or "public service" are not instruction or research. Other sponsored activity projects will have hallmarks like economic development in the community, rural health or demonstration activities or techniques that focus on outreach. Often, sponsor designed testing or analysis where no reporting or analysis of data occurs.
Examples of other sponsored activities:
- Museum displays or exhibits
- Extension activities that disseminate information about conservation or agriculture
- Symposiums or lectures
- Arts programs
- Community or rural health projects where services or initiatives are directed to a particular group of people
- Sponsor designed testing or analysis where no reporting or analysis of data occurs
- K-12 education projects