The W. Szafer Institute of Botany, Polish Academy of Sciences, is a scientific institution whose mission is to study the diversity of contemporary and fossil floras of the world, to document them through its herbarium collections, and to disseminate botanical knowledge. Its strategic objectives are these:

- to strengthen the role of the Institute among institutions engaged in biodiversity research on contemporary and fossil floras in Poland;

- to strengthen the Institute’s international position and increase its participation in global research together with scientific consortia;

- to increase the Institute’s research capacity by facilitating its researchers’ advancement and their contact with other institutions.

The Institute’s research program involves the following:

- continuing research on evolutionary systematics, the phytogeography and geobotany of plants and fungi, and theoretical and applied ecology, using the latest scientific methods and techniques;

- advanced research in the fields of phylogenetics and phylogeography, aimed at identifying and explaining the evolutionary mechanisms of the formation of new taxa and the processes responsible for the dynamics of the geographical distribution of organisms and their migration paths;

- solving problems in palaeobotany as the basis for understanding the history of the modern ranges of plants, the composition of plant communities, the emergence and spread of species, and the role of climate change and human impacts as factors influencing the vegetation of modern and past geological epochs;

- training scientific staff at various levels and popularizing the research results.

The Institute’s strategic objectives and research program are supported by facilities including these:

- specialized laboratories (algae culture lab, mycological, genetics and environmental labs)

- Laboratory of Molecular Research

- Research Station in Szarów

- Palaeobotanical collections and herbarium

- Natural Science Book Centre

- International Centre for Doctoral Studies