The Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (IFiS) PAN conducts academic research and develops theoretical thought. Unlike many academic centres – in this respect being a unique institution in – the Institute has made primary research its priority. Despite the fact that we are engaged in educational and popularisation activities, the continuation and development of the analysis in such classic areas as sociology of culture, sociology of social structures, epistemology and history of philosophy have prior significance for us. Moreover, we attempt combining theoretical reflection with research in two basic aspects – theory and research methodology. The human resource policy of the Directors is aimed at making the structure of the Institute more flexible by means of departing from the department model and moving towards a less stiff model of research groups that are being created on the initiative of the employees who work on certain topics or implement research projects. The employment of the new staff is based on the principle of open competition. Since several years it is the only mode of recruitment of new employees to the positions of Professor, Associate Professor, Assistant Professor and Assistants. Together with the Scientific Council the Directors hope for attracting young talented people to philosophy and sociology and preventing their mass drain from science.
The mission of the Institute is not only to provide scientific results but also to organise the academic life in through over a dozen national seminars. Since 2003 the Institute organizes a series of open public debates devoted to the problems and events of contemporary . The scholars as well as the representatives of politics and media take part in these discussions. Several hundred of young scholars from and other countries work on their doctoral theses in Graduate School for Social Research, which is affiliated at IFiS PAN. In partnership with Warsaw University, the Institute runs the largest Polish library of social sciences as well as implements large-scale bibliographic, cataloguing and editorial projects.