Currently, the Forum is organised into five departments: Department for Comparative Research on Democracies, Department for Science Studies, Department for Digital Society, Department for Strategic Partnerships and Department for Comparative Research on Religions. The Forum's theoretical hypotheses connect with the theory of the world society, and with that theory's interrelationships with a range of major function systems: economics, politics, science, law, health, religion, education, mass media, family and intimate relationships.
The FIW's Department for Science Studies studies the sociology and policies of the science system. It focuses on the science system's changing forms of communication and action, in heterogeneous contexts, along with the resonances that various societal function systems generate within the science system. It also considers the extent to whether different world regions exhibit tangible differences with regard to the ways in which science sectors interact with their surrounding contexts.
In sum, its research programme highlights the following questions: How does the science system react to various performance expectations, such as those formulated by policymakers, industry, the education system or the health system? What mechanisms facilitate translation between societal problems and scientific research questions? How do scientific communities develop their research agendas, and what role do requirements imposed by the surrounding society play in such agendas? What impacts does scientific research have on institutions that are outside of the science sector and that seek to analyse and solve societal problems?