The Institute of African Studies (IAS) has several main functions: it coordinates Africa-related research and teaching at the University of Bayreuth and promotes cooperation with African universities and research institutions, as well as with national and international institutes of African studies.
African studies (formerly: Africanology) is one of the cross-discipline research priorities of the University of Bayreuth, as set out in the Mission Statement and the University Development Plan. The IAS thus seeks to promote and coordinate the research and teaching activities of approx. 100 researchers on a cross-faculty and interdisciplinary basis, as well as training for young researchers in Africa-related disciplines. There are currently about 50 professors and about 50 other researchers who are engaged in research in Africa and who teach Africa-related courses, in Faculties II (Biology, Chemistry and Earth Sciences), III (Law, Business Administration and Economics), IV (Languages and Literatures) and V (Cultural Studies).
The IAS initiates cross-disciplinary research projects and supports common Africa-related applications for external funding. The IAS budget is administered and supervised by the executive board.