Research at IEC focuses on four strategic research programs:

1. Language and Communication
2. Social and Collective cognition
3. Perception, Attention and Consciousness
4. Decision making and Rationality

Each program is represented in at least three of the six research units.

Since 2011, these programs have been supported by some of the following means:

- Start-up grants for new Faculty

- Creation of nine thematic programs, "New ideas in Cognitive Science". They serve among other things to organize international events (conferences, workshops, thematic schools) and seminar series with invited researchers from foreign institutions.

- Post-doctoral fellowships