There are three categories of research project supported by internal funding in the Lake Biwa Museum: Comprehensive Research, Joint Research and Specialized Research. For the Comprehensive Research and Joint Research projects and some of the Specialized Research projects, a panel of referees selected mainly from outside of the museum evaluates each project proposal and decides upon its rejection or adoption and its research budget allowance.

Comprehensive Research
The museum exercises comprehensive and multidisciplinary research activities under the main theme "Lakes and People". Through such projects' wide-scope approach it is hoped that an innovative and unique perspective, which would not be obtained within a single discipline, will be gained. Such research findings will be disseminated locally, nationally, and internationally, so that the public will broadly recognize the 'value' of Lake Biwa and the significance of the museum. Thus, Comprehensive Research constitutes the most important category amongst the research projects of the museum, and also play a critical role in consideration of the future of Lake Biwa by local people and different levels of government. Comprehensive Research Projects are planned by curators of the museum, and are implemented collaboratively with scientists from within and outside the museum. The term of an individual project is 3 - 10 years.

Collaborative Research
Collaborative Research Projects focus on a more specific and limited theme than those of Comprehensive Research. Curators of the museum plan the projects, and the research is undertaken collaboratively with scientists from within and outside of the museum. The objective of this research is not only to address the topics of conventional study fields, but also to find, create, and transmit innovative and unique research themes and approaches. The research includes themes that may contribute towards or develop into Comprehensive Research Projects in the future. The term of an individual project is 1 - 4 years.

Specialized Research
Specialized Research is conducted on an individual curator basis to foster the academic abilities or curators and to expand and diversify the museum's abilities. The project term is not defined. See each researcher's individual page (Research Staff) for details of Specialized Research.