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HERD Survey

Higher Education Research And Development (HERD) Survey 

ASRSP submits data on Northwestern's research and development (R&D) activities to the National Science Foundation on an annual basis through the HERD Survey.  This nationwide survey is used to collect information on research funding, growth, and trends from institutions that expend at least $150,000 in R&D in a fiscal year.  Submission of accurate data strengthens the validity of the analysis as well as Northwestern’s ranking among peer institutions.      

Overview of the HERD Survey

Reports and Data Tables from HERD Survey

Research & Development Activities

The following definitions are used by NSF to distinguish among research activities. 

Research and Development (R&D) means all research activities, both basic and applied, and all development activities that are performed by non-federal entities. The term research also includes activities involving the training of individuals in research techniques where such activities utilize the same facilities as other research and development activities and where such activities are not included in the instruction function.

“Research” is defined as a systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. “Development” is the systematic use of knowledge and understanding gained from research directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes.

  • Basic research is experimental or theoretical work undertaken primarily to acquire new knowledge of the underlying foundations of phenomena and observable facts, without any particular application or use in view.

  • Applied research is original investigation undertaken in order to acquire new knowledge. It is directed primarily towards a specific, practical aim or objective.

  • Experimental development (labeled "Developmental" in CERES) is systematic work, drawing on knowledge gained from research and practical experience and producing additional knowledge, which is directed to producing new products or processes or to improving existing products or processes. 

Examples of categories