Research is the number one task of the IIR, and research staff belong to one of four research divisions, two dealing with international affairs and two with mainland China.
Conducts research into the countries of America, Europe, and Africa, including their international political and economic relations and international organizations.
Covers similar topics in Asia, Oceania, and the Pacific Rim.
Conducts research into mainland China affairs, specializing in ideology, politics, law, foreign relations, and military affairs, as well as Taiwan-mainland relations and Hong Kong and Macao
Focuses on the social, economic, cultural, and minority affairs aspects of mainland China.