The concept of "research work" has been defined by the OECD and will be applied when determining whether a person fulfils the conditions for being taxed under the special tax scheme for researchers. The work must be of a type covered by OECD's guidelines for basic research and applied research. Development work does not entitle a person to be taxed under the special tax scheme.

No distinction is made between research work in public research institutions and similar work in private enterprises. Thus, research activities undertaken in, for example, the pharmaceutical sector or the IT business can also be included.