Since its institution as a discipline, research in translation studies has been overwhelmingly empirical in nature and overflows with case studies. While not undermining these scholarly efforts that developed the discipline, this chapter argues that this situation may be mitigated by demystifying conceptual research and demonstrating its value in the wider framework of the ongoing promotion of interdisciplinarity in the humanities and social sciences. After some historical and terminological considerations on basic and conceptual research, the chapter goes on to show the constitutive elements of this methodological approach and its epistemological foundations. The chapter ends on an overview of the current and more recent trends of conceptual research in translation studies as well as of possible future ones. Finally, this author believes that, if better promoted in translation studies graduate programmes, conceptual research could lead to the opening of a new research space in the discipline, one which could eventually allow the creation of a subdiscipline like the philosophy of translation.