The following are the priority areas of the Institute's research interests:
- Foreign policy, security and strategic issues with specific relevance to Bangladesh;
- Regional, sub regional, inter-regional and international cooperation;
- Non-traditional security issues like human security, globalization and its impact on poverty and development process of developing countries, in general, and Bangladesh, in particular;
- Socio-economic development, environment and natural resource management;
- Conflict studies, peacekeeping, security of small states, disarmament, non-proliferation, global peace, North-South and South-South issues; and
- Area studies, particularly political and strategic developments in various parts of the world.
- Contemporary issues of South Asian politics, security and development are the focus of research activities of the Institute. Within South Asia again, Bangladesh's relations with its neighbouring countries receive key interest. Bangladesh's external relations with its development partners also receive scholarly attention.
- Research agenda of BIISS are continually adapted to the dynamics of global changes. Thus, in the post-Cold War era, attention is focused more on ethno-religious issues, regional and sub-regional cooperation, globalization and environmental issues on super-power rivalry, non-alignment and related issues of the Cold War period. BIISS has also developed some expertise on peace keeping and peace building.