The Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC) is the collective name for a set of three related classifications developed for use in the measurement and analysis of research and experimental development (R&D) undertaken in Australia and New Zealand. The three constituent classifications included in the ANZSRC are: Type of Activity (TOA), Fields of Research (FOR), and Socio-economic Objective (SEO).

The use of the three constituent classifications in the ANZSRC ensures that R&D statistics collected are useful to governments, educational institutions, international organisations, scientific, professional or business organisations, business enterprises, community groups and private individuals in Australia and New Zealand. 

More information about the ANZSRC is available on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website.


Types of Activity (TOA)

This classification allows research and experimental development (R&D) activity to be categorised according to the type of research effort. An individual research project can be classified into one or more research activity types: 

  • Pure basic research is experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge without looking for long-term benefits other than the advancement of knowledge.
  • Strategic basic research is experimental and theoretical work undertaken to acquire new knowledge directed into specified broad areas in the expectation of useful discoveries. It provides the broad base of knowledge necessary for the solution of recognised practical problems.
  • Applied research is 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 is systematic work, using existing knowledge gained from research or practical experience, which is directed to producing new materials, products, devices, policies, behaviours or outlooks. It also describes installing new processes, systems and services, or improving substantially those already produced or installed.

Most research projects are likely to be classified 100% to one type of research activity. However, where a research project is classifiable by more than one type, the proportion of resources classifiable to each should be allocated to each type.

Data on the TOA of an individual research project is collected as part of the Funding Application Coversheet submitted for all external research grant/funding proposals.