The IEI is not only a graduate center that provides advanced training for graduates, it also has a comprehensive record in the fields of research and extension activities.

In the area of research it has promoted studies and analysis furthering the integration of Latin America and its incorporation in the international system, focusing on the multidisciplinary areas of international public policies, international systems, and the global civic society.

Also widely known are de IEI's research on the law of the sea, security and conflict, international economic relations, comparative Latin American and Chilean foreign policy, non-state actors and transnational civil society.

Although Latin America is the institute's main regional research area, North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific are also areas chosen by its researchers.