Internet Research Task Force

The Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) promotes research of importance to the evolution of the Internet by creating focused, long-term Research Groups working on topics related to 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 a composed 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 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 RFC Editor publishes documents from the IRTF and its Research Groups on the IRTF Stream (RFC 5743).

More Information

The detailed IRTF Research Group guidelines and procedures are described in RFC 2014. In RFC 4440, the Internet Architecture Board (IAB) further details the role of the IRTF. RFC 7418 provides an IRTF Primer for IETF Participants.

The procedures for publishing documents on the IRTF RFC Stream are defined in RFC 5743, with additional details found in RFC 5742. The concept of RFC Streams is defined in RFC 4844.

The IRTF follows the IETF Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) disclosure rules. Also see Section 3.2 of RFC 5743.

The IETF Anti-Harassment Policy also applies to the IRTF.

Current Research Groups

These 14 Research Groups are currently chartered or proposed for chartering:

New IRTF Chair Selected

The IAB has selected Colin Perkins as the next IRTF Chair, starting March 2019.

ANRP Awards for IETF-104

Two Applied Networking Research Prizes for 2019 will be awarded at IETF-104 to Brandon Schlinker and Florian Streibelt.


The current IRTF Chair is Colin Perkins (

Mailing Lists is a low-volume announcement list for Research Group creations and conclusions, IRTF RFC publication, etc. is the main discussion list for general IRTF topics.


A wiki with more information about the IRTF is here.