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Research Classification

Research priorities and classification codes adopted within Australia, and often required for grant applications, or to classify research outputs for collections such Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

Australian Science & Research Priorities

The Australian Government has developed a set of Science & Research Priorities, and corresponding Practical Research Challenges, designed to increase investment in areas of immediate and critical importance to Australia and its place in the world:

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

ANZSRC is a compendium of three classifications developed specifically for the compilation of standardised research and development statistics. It comprises classifications for Field of Research (FoR), Socio-Economic Objective (SEO), and Type of Activity.

  • Field of Research (FoR) Codes

    The ANZSRC FoR allows R&D activity to be categorised according to the methodology used in the R&D, rather than the activity of the unit performing the R&D or the purpose of the R&D. The FoR is a hierarchical classification with three levels, namely Divisions (2 digits), Groups (4 digits) and Fields (6 digits). Each level is identified by a unique number.

    Each Division is based on a broad discipline. Groups within each Division are those which share the same broad methodology, techniques and/or perspective as others in the Division. Each Group is a collection of related Fields of research. Groups and Fields of research are categorised to the Divisions sharing the same methodology rather than the Division they support.

  • Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) Codes

    The ANZSRC SEO classification allows R&D activity in Australia and New Zealand to be categorised according to the intended purpose or outcome of the research, rather than the processes or techniques used in order to achieve this objective.

    The SEO is a hierarchical classification with four levels, namely Sector (letter), Divisions (2 digits), Groups (4 digits) and Objectives (6 digits).

  • Type of Activity Classification

    Four types of activity applicable to R&D are recognised in this classification:

    Pure Basic Research

    Experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge without looking for long term benefits other than the advancement of knowledge.

    Strategic basic research

    Experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge directed into specified broad areas in the expectation of practical discoveries. It provides the broad base of knowledge necessary for the solution of recognised practical problems.

    Applied research

    Original work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge with a specific application in view. It is undertaken either to determine possible uses for the findings of basic research or to determine new ways of achieving some specific and predetermined objectives.

    Experimental development

    Systematic work, using existing knowledge gained from research or practical experience, which is directed to producing new materials, products, devices, policies, behaviours or outlooks; to installing new processes, systems and services; or to improving substantially those already produced or installed.

Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) was developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics for use in the compilation and analysis of industry statistics in Australia and New Zealand. The ANZSIC is a hierarchical classification comprising four levels, namely Divisions (the highest level of the classification), Subdivisions, Groups and Classes (the lowest level of the classification).

  • Visit the ANZSICLink to external website website for more information.

NHMRC Research Classification Codes

The Broad Research Area, Field of Research, Broad Health Area and Socio-Economic Objectives used by the NHMRC have been developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and published as the Australian Standard Research Classification 1998 edition.

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