The Institute of International Studies (IIS) at the University of California, Berkeley is a multidisciplinary organized research unit (ORU).  The Institute’s mission is to support research among faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates that engages issues of global concern.  The Institute conceives of its multidisciplinary and international mission across three general activities: supporting research; facilitating dialogue; and coordinating lectures.

Supporting research is a central aim of the Institute's mission. The Institute awards seed funds for interdisciplinary faculty research and provides assistance to individual faculty through an active book manuscript grant program.  The Institute’s Simpson, Sharlin, and Bendix fellowships are a vital campus-based source of funding for graduate student research, while the Undergraduate Merit Scholarship offers the only campus-wide merit scholarship for undergraduate research.  IIS also provides support for undergraduate travel to international conferences.  

The Institute facilitates dialogue by sponsoring ongoing monthly or weekly seminars and workshops.  Currently, these seminars and workshops include: Political Economy, International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Religion and Public Affairs. Similar sponsorship encourages conversations among graduate students in diverse areas such as African Studies, Foreign Policy, and Developing Strategies for Field Work.

The Institute addresses its public mission by coordinating free and public lectures, including the Endowed Elberg Series, the US Foreign Policy Series, and the Asian Security Challenges Series.  In addition, the Institute arranges and facilitates colloquia for faculty, students, and the public on pressing contemporary international issues that have culminated in major public forums such as: The Nuclear Threat, Wars in the Middle East, and U.S. Foreign Policy After 9/11.