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 has a limited number of travel grants to support attendance of PhD students and early career researchers at our events and workshops.

Active Research Groups

These 16 Research Groups are currently chartered or proposed for chartering:

Workshops and Prizes

The ACM/IRTF Applied Networking Research Workshop is an academic workshop that provides a forum for researchers, vendors, network operators, and the Internet standards community to present and discuss emerging results in applied networking research. It co-locates with the summer IETF meeting each year.

The Applied Networking Research Prize (ANRP) is awarded for recent results in applied networking research that are relevant for transitioning into shipping Internet products and related standardization efforts. Nominations are made each Autumn, and prize winners give their award talks in the IRTF Open Meetings the following year.

More Information

RFC 7418 gives an IRTF Primer for IETF Participants. It provides a high-level description of things 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. These include Intellectual Property Rights disclosure rules. The IETF Anti-Harassment Policy also applies to the IRTF.

Applied Networking Research Prize awards for IETF-117

Congratulations to Simon Scherrer and Siva Kakarla who will receive the Applied Networking Research Prize at IETF-117 in San Francisco in July 2023.


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.