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 a composed 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 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.
For more information, see the IRTF website.