The Buddha advised karma is intention. The Buddha also advised some forms of karma have a "trifling" result.
In my opinion, the results of karma one can only really know through meditation.
For example, when you are doing your research and, afterwards, when you meditate, do your actions come back to haunt your mind? Or does your mind feel a sense of accomplishment? Is your mind naturally at ease?
What is causing these questions on your behalf? Your inner conscience (hiri-ottappa
) or the outward teachings you read about Buddhism?
In my opinion, only you can answer your question for yourself.