Research and publications on the Holocaust have always been high priorities of Yad Vashem since its official founding by the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) in 1953. Due to the increase of international interest in the Shoah and the desire to encourage and support worldwide scholarly research on the Shoah and related topics, Yad Vashem established the International Institute for Holocaust Research in 1993.

The Institute is active in the development and coordination of International research, the planning and undertaking of scholarly projects, and the organization of symposia, conference and seminars in Israel and around the world. The Institute fosters cooperative projects among other research institutions across the globe, provides financial and academic support for scholars and students of the Shoah, offering MA, PhD and postdoctoral fellowships, and publishes academic research studies, documentation, conference anthologies, diaries, memoirs, and albums about the Holocaust.