In the world of academia, chances are, at some point, you will be asked to research a particular topic or subject. However, when you’re researching, would you say you’re doing “research on” or “research in”?
In this article, we’ll be looking at the differences between doing research on and research in. Next time, you’ll know the correct word to use.
Should I say “research on” or “research in”?
You do research IN your field- such are biology, history, auto-mechanics, etc.
You do research ON a particular topic- Covid-19, Henry VII, hydro-electric vehicles.
What do you do “Research in”?
When you sign up for a course, you will pick one based upon what interests you or what you want to go into when you’re older.
This course can be rather broad or more defined. For example, you might choose to study biology or just one part of biology, such as Virology or Microbiology. However, so long as the whole course (or career) covers just that one area, you can say that you “do research in microbiology”.
Notice how we said “do” and not “doing”. This is because “do” implies it happens regularly, whereas “doing” suggests you’re doing it right now.
What do you do “Research on”?
If you do research in Virology, you might currently be doing research on Covid-19.
“Research on” is to focus on one particular topic. Most of the time, it would only be for a short time. This is why you would say that “I am doing research on” and not “I do research on”.
Suppose you do research in something, most of the time. In that case, you will also be doing research on a particular area of whatever you’re doing research in.
So, if you do research in history, you might be doing research on Henry VIII.
The lines between “Research in” and “Research on” can get blurred.
There might be times where the lines get a little bit blurred. For example, with the topic of “Egypt”. This is something you can do research in or be doing research on.
For example, someone might do research in history, geography, or politics. And this person might be doing research on Egypt.
On the other hand, someone else might do research in Egypt. This person could be doing research on the history, geography, or politics of Egypt.
This is why it’s so important to get it right. Because you might make people think your whole course is about a particular topic, when in fact, it’s just one small part of it.
9 Examples of “Research on” and “Research in”
5 Examples of Research on
“The Advisory Committee on Research on Women’s Health (ACRWH), ‘ in collaboration with the Coordinating Committee on Research on Women’s Health”
“But not all of the research on faculty in higher education has this narrow character.”
“beautiful piece, and nice research on the traditional jewellery, these are some really interesting and beautiful jewel designs: D.”
“Cohersion not necessary. You might do a research on the extent of UN member nations and what that membership requires.”
“I told them that they should do some research on how Japan deals with abusers and how the law works there. They really should stop using their western views and try to educate themselves first.”
4 Examples of Research in
“I do research in Virology. I knew the Covid-19 Pandemic would happen. But I had no idea the government would be so terrible at dealing with it”.
“She does research in human biology. I always enjoy talking to her, although I keep on leaving questioning if I even exist”
“He does research in geology. Because of him, the government was able to predict a volcanic eruption before it happened, and the whole town got evacuated”.
Alternatives to both research on and in
As well as “on” or “in”, you might also say that some people are doing/do research “into” a particular topic. This is where they don’t collect data from primary sources, but they just look at data collected from other people.
Instead of saying “I do research in”, you could just say “I research”.
So instead of “I do research in history, and I work for the BBC”, just say, “I research history for the BBC”.
Likewise, instead of “I am doing research on”, you can say “researching”.
“I am doing research on Covid-19” might be turned into “I am researching Covid-19”.