Applied research is the practical application of science. It accesses and uses accumulated theories, knowledge, methods, and techniques, for a specific, state-, business-, or client-driven purpose. Applied research is contrasted with pure research (basic research) in discussion about research ideals, methodologies, programs, and projects. Applied research deals with solving practical problems and generally employs empirical methodologies. Because applied research resides in the messy real world, strict research protocols may need to be relaxed. For example, it may be impossible to use a random sample. Thus, transparency in the methodology is crucial. Implications for interpretation of results brought about by relaxing an otherwise strict canon of methodology should also be considered. Since applied research has a provisional close-to-the-problem and close-to-the-data orientation, it may also use a more provisional conceptual framework such as working hypotheses or pillar questions The OECD’s Frascati Manual describes applied research as one of the three forms of research, along with basic research & experimental development.

Due to its practical focus, applied research information will be found in the literature associated with individual disciplines.