Setting Your R&D Hypothesis

Setting Your R&D Hypothesis


Setting your R&D hypothesis can often be difficult and time-consuming. You have to identify a problem in your field of research, then determine how you will solve that problem. While it seems easy in theory, it might take time to phrase the specifics of your hypothesis.

A sound hypothesis is integral to conducting a core R&D activity. It drives the experiment, giving you and your research team something to prove or disprove. Your hypothesis also gives you a clear goal for your project.

In this article, we examine how to set your R&D hypothesis and its importance in the context of your research.

What is a R&D Hypothesis?

Your hypothesis is the foundation of your R&D project. It reflects an idea and a relationship between two variables that can be proven or disproven.

The R&D hypothesis will dictate how you will design and conduct your research program. Having a hypothesis is an eligibility requirement for the R&D Tax Incentive, as your research must be driven by a hypothesis.

While you can test more than one hypothesis as part of one core R&D activity, the additional hypotheses must be variations on your field of research.

How to Set your R&D Hypothesis

The R&D hypothesis can be written as a single sentence or a paragraph that will guide your experiment. It must convey what results you want to achieve, as well as how and why you believe you can achieve it.

As you’re developing your R&D hypothesis prior to experimentation, it should connect to the specific experiment you intend to undertake, rather than your research project as a whole.

It’s crucial that you undergo initial research that you will investigate as part of your core R&D activity. Having a baseline understanding of the existing literature and gaps in the area of research can inform what you intend to prove or disprove. This includes identifying existing solutions that can shape the design of your experiment.

Revising Your Hypothesis

If you need to revise your hypothesis for whatever reason, it can be considered as either a core R&D activity or a supporting R&D activity.

For example, if you review and update your hypothesis based on evidence from your experiment, the hypothesis review can be considered a core R&D activity as long as you conduct a follow-up experiment.

By contrast, if you change your hypothesis based on additional research and emerging literature before doing another experiment, this can be classified as a supporting R&D activity.

It’s integral to your R&D project that you document the evolution of your hypothesis. This will bolster your research and demonstrate your growing knowledge about your experiment.

Your core R&D activity will commence once you’ve finalised your hypothesis, as developing your hypothesis isn’t experimental in nature and thus not as a core activity.

Why is a R&D Hypothesis Important?

Your R&D hypothesis is the driving force of your experiment. It gives you something to prove or disprove, variables to work with and results you can work towards achieving.

All good research has a strong and sound hypothesis at its core. To get your hypothesis right, you can collaborate with other researchers to gain a new perspective on your statement.

Your R&D hypothesis is just the beginning of your research journey. Once you’ve finalised and established your hypothesis, you can confidently navigate the R&D landscape.


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