Fundamental research (basic research) is the most common type of research used in school - it is considered the most academic because its main purpose is to improve knowledge and understanding without emphasis on application. Fundamental research employs discovery, invention or reflection - and is usually produced for the greater good.
Empirical research uses experimentation and observation (in other words, evidence) in order to answer a specific question or test a hypothesis.
Qualitative and quantitative are terms used to describe methods of research. They are not mutually exclusive (meaning, a research project is not necessarily one or the other) because many research projects draw from both methods.
Quantitative research is a little more scientific in nature. It draws information from things like conclusive experiments, statistics and mathematical analysis of information.
Qualitative research is more social in nature. This kind of research allows for case studies, informal interviews, and observations. While quantitative tends to be more absolute and conclusive, qualitative research tends to show patterns and present theories.
Fundamental research or basic research refers to the research conducted with the primary purposes of advancing the knowledge or understanding in the area or subject being researched, without any attempt to produce any knowledge that can be put to any other practical use such as developing a new product or process, or to aid in economic or business decision making.
Empirical research is defined as research that is based on experimentation or observation. Usually such research is conducted to test the validity of a predefined hypothesis. In such research empirical data is produced by experimentation and observation, and this data is then analysed to draw conclusions.
Quantitative research generates numerical data of information that can be converted into numbers. Thus in this type of research primarily primarily only measurable data id gathered and analysed.
Qualitative research primarily collects and analyzes non-numerical or qualitative data. It relies on verbal descriptions of facts observed. In general there in no numerical measurements involved in the research. The qualitative data so gathered is evaluated and analysed using processes such as interpretation, subjective evaluation, and impressionistic diagnosis.