The mission of the W. Szafer Institute of Botany of the Polish Academy of Sciences is to study the evolution and biological diversity of organisms traditionally classified as plants and fungi, their interactions with biotic and abiotic environments, the spatiotemporal dynamics of their distribution on the Earth, and their potential application in, e.g., biotechnology.

Making use of its outstanding achievements in classic studies on biodiversity and a wide spectrum of the newest research techniques, the Institute conducts research and experiments at all levels of organisation, from molecular to ecosystem ones, aimed to understand modern and historical (reaching some hundred millions years back) patterns and processes occurring in nature, which is essential to understand the natural environment and predict its changes. The Institute keeps and develops the largest national collection of contemporary and fossil plants and fungi, documenting the global biodiversity. In addition, the Institute disseminates the findings of its research, works for the benefit of society, and implements these findings which have practical applications.

In accordance with its mission, the most important tasks of the Institute are to:

  • develop scientific research in the area referred to in the preamble;
  • take up research topics important for the development of science through wide-scale field and in vitro studies, as well as collections-based research;
  • conduct high-level research, continuously strengthening its position among the best institutes with similar areas of activity;
  • publish research findings in international high-impact journals;
  • confer scientific degrees in accordance with its competences;
  • train research staff, organizing doctoral studies, establishing a doctoral training centre, individually or in partnership with other institutions;
  • develop and keep natural collections within the frame of National Collection of Biodiversity of Recent and Fossil Organisms of the IB PAS (NCB IB PAS);
  • cooperate with scientific institutions and undertake activities for the benefit of society and business;
  • organize scientific meetings (symposia, conferences, sessions etc.);
  • offer expert reports and opinions on matters related to the research profile of the Institute;
  • collect bibliographic data and other research records (e.g. data bases);
  • disseminate knowledge and research findings through, for example, digitization of scientific collections and publishing activity;
  • provide access to the library resources;
  • protect its intellectual property (original ideas and inventions);
  • maintain ethical standards in science.