Internet Research Task Force

The Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) promotes research of importance to the evolution of the Internet protocols, applications, architecture and technology.


The Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) focuses on longer term research issues related to the Internet while the parallel organization, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), focuses on the shorter term issues of engineering and standards making.

The IRTF is comprised of a number of focused and long-term Research Groups. These groups work on topics related to Internet protocols, applications, architecture and technology. Research Groups have the stable long-term membership needed to promote the development of research collaboration and teamwork in exploring research issues. Participation is by individual contributors, rather than by representatives of organizations.

The IRTF also organises the ACM/IRTF Applied Networking Research Workshop and the Applied Networking Research Prize to encourage collaboration between the academic research world and the Internet standards community.

The IRTF also makes available a number of travel grants and fee waivers to support PhD students, early career researchers, and under-represented groups to attend research group meeting, workshops, and other IRTF-related events.

Research Groups

These 15 Research Groups are currently chartered or proposed for chartering:

More Information

RFC 7418 gives an IRTF Primer for IETF Participants. It provides a high-level description of issues for IETF participants to consider when bringing proposals for new research groups into the IRTF, and emphasizes differences in expectations between the two organizations.

The IRTF is managed by the IRTF Chair in consultation with the Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG). The IRSG membership includes the IRTF Chair, the chairs of the various Research Groups, and other individuals (“members at large”) from the research community selected by the IRTF Chair.

The governance and operation of the IRTF is described by various RFCs and other policy documents including Intellectual Property Rights disclosure rules. The IETF’s Anti-Harassment Policy and Privacy Policy also apply to the IRTF.

The mailing list is a low-volume announcement mailing list for Research Group creations and conclusions, IRTF RFC publication, etc.

The mailing list is the main discussion list for general IRTF topics.

A wiki with more information about the IRTF is here.

Latest News

Applied Networking Research Prize Awards

Congratulations to Xieyang Xu, Yevheniya Nosyk, and Harjasleen Malvai who will receive Applied Networking Research Prize awards at IETF-120 in Vancouver on 22 July.

Applied Networking Research Workshop

The programme for the ACM/IRTF Applied Networking Research Workshop 2024 is now available.