The institute is subdivided into six research/work groups with the focus on research on quantifying the radiation risk in medical applications of ionizing radiation to protect the population:

The ISS collaborates closely with other scientific institutions both in Germany and other countries, to a high extent within several cooperative projects in the BMBF “Kompetenzverbund Strahlenforschung” and in the Radiation Protection Programme of the Commission of the European Communities.

The ISS is founding member of the Department of Radiation Sciences at Helmholtz Zentrum München.