Aim of this survey

The survey of Research and Development Carried Out in the United Kingdom (Business Enterprises) (R&D) is a statutory survey. It collects information about employment and expenditure on research and development (R&D) performed within UK businesses, for both civil and defence purposes. The data collected contribute to estimates of the resources devoted to R&D in the UK and allows for international comparisons.

What you need to know

To complete the survey, you will need the following information:

  • expenditure on in-house R&D (this is R&D carried out within this business either for the business itself or for a third party).
  • funding received for R&D
  • purchase of R&D carried out outside this business
  • the number of employees working on in-house R&D
  • a breakdown of employment into scientists & engineers, technicians and other supporting staff

All information you provide is strictly confidential.

You still need to complete this survey even if it does not seem relevant, you will only need to complete a limited selection of questions.

It is just as important for us to know if you did not perform or purchase any R&D during the reporting period, to ensure we accurately measure R&D in the UK. All returns are important as it helps us produce better statistics.

Survey information

Selection criteria: UK trading and profit-making businesses that are registered for VAT and/or PAYE

Population: approximately: 2.5 million
Sample: approximately: 37,000
Frequency: annually
Dispatch date: 12 May
Return-by date: 30 June

Dispatch and return-by dates are a guide. They are subject to change due to national holidays and weekends.

Why you were selected

Your business has been selected from a register of businesses in the UK that have been identified as performing or intending to perform research and development (R&D). Your response ensures we accurately measure R&D in the UK.

The survey of business enterprise research and development is conducted under the provisions of the Statistics of Trade Act 1947. Once selected, your business is legally obliged to comply. You cannot appeal your selection.

How to complete this survey

The survey of Research and Development Carried Out in the United Kingdom (Business Enterprises) has moved to our online Secure Data Collection platform.

We will write to you once we are ready for you to complete your survey online. Your letter will include a unique enrolment code and explain how to register and complete the survey.

Complete this survey online

Reminders are issued automatically, so you may receive one if you submit data just before or after the return date.

If you need help

If your question is not answered above, you may be able to find the answer on the About ONS business surveys page.

You can call us on 0300 1234 931. Please enter the three-digit survey ID 002.

Er mwyn gwneud cais am ffurflen Gymraeg (to speak to someone in Welsh): 0300 1234 921.