Research and Development (R&D) and Research and Technology Development (R&TD) can be defined as the following: “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.”[1]

According to the OECD’s Frascati Manual, R&D is divided into three main types: “basic research,” “applied research,” and “experimental development.”[2] Basic research can be defined as experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge, while applied research is original investigation undertaken to acquire new knowledge which is directed primarily towards a specific practical aim or objective. Experimental development is systematic research which draws on existing knowledge gained from research or practical experience with the aim of producing new products, materials, or devices and to putting to use new processes, systems, and services, or to improving substantially those already which have already produced or put to use.

Research projects, as defined in the TÜBİTAK Regulations for Research Support Programs, are “scientific and technical activities that are conducted with a separate budget, specific conditions and a definite deadline around a pre-determined purpose and content and which yield new knowledge, analysis and solutions for social/technological problems complying with scientific principles.” A development Project is the “sum of all activities that aim to convert scientific findings into functional devices, products, services, systems and production techniques and/or the improvement of those and transmission/application of new technology.”[3]

In the same regulation, it is indicated that research and development projects are conducted by a project team which consists of a project coordinator, researcher, bursars, support personnel and consultants.

The project coordinator is the person who has the necessary scientific and/or technical expertise as well as project preparation and management skills and experience. This person is in charge of all the legal, technical, managerial, financial, and scientific responsibilities and is the signatory for any related agreements. The project coordinator also assesses and disseminates the project findings. The researcher has the necessary scientific and/or technical expertise for the project and shares scientific and technical responsibilities, in addition to writing the final report together with the project coordinator.

The bursar is a post-graduate student or individual holding a doctorate degree who takes part in the conducting of the project. Support personnel are technicians, laboratory staff, and other support staff who are employed part-time or full-time by the host institution; they are charged with carrying out project activities under the supervision of the coordinator or researcher but are not named in the project’s final report. Lastly,consultants are researchers or experts who offer their specialized knowledge based on the needs of the project.



[1] OECD Factbook 2008: Economic Environmental and Social Statistics, Paris, OECD Publishing, 2008.
[2] Frascati Manual: Proposed Standard Practice for Surveys on Research and Experimental Development, Paris, OECD Publishing, 2002.
[3] http://www.tubitak.gov.tr. (Access date: 03.02.2012).