You’ll earn a number of Research Points (RPs) per day from research agents. Currently, research points are used to buy datacores, at a set rate of 50 RPs per one datacore. In the past, the RPs were used in a blueprint lottery (this concept has been eliminated from EVE with the introduction of the invention system).
The number of RPs you earn is based on this formula: ((Agent Skill + Your Skill)^2 * (1 + Effective Quality / 100)) * Area Bonus
Agent Skill: Determined by the Level of the agent. Level 3 agents will have Level III of the appropriate research skill. Your Skill: Determined by your training in the research skill. Effective Quality: is your effective quality (after Negotiation, Connection, etc.) with the Agent. Area Bonus: Depends on the research field. Most fields have no modifier (e.g. 1), weapon-area research is doubled (2), and ship research is tripled (3).
The "theoretical max" (since the highest R&D agent in the game right now is L4Q18) per day is somewhere around 117 or 118 (before the field modifier). But that's with maxed skills in the field, Connections, and Negotiations.
A more practical number is somewhere around 75-90 before the field modifier, depending on how dedicated your character is to research. If you're using an alt, and don't have else to train, you can push it higher.
Fractional RPs DO accrue, but can't be spent or used as tickets.
It is possible, however, to get more than your base RPs per day. There are three main methods to do this:
- Research Missions
See Research Agent for more details.