Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) is a foundation with legal capacity under the German Civil Code. The purpose of the Foundation is “to conduct scholarly research in the fields of international politics and foreign and security policy, in consultation with the German Bundestag and the German government, with the objective of providing independent research-based policy advice and publishing the findings where appropriate” (§2  of the Statutes). To this end the Foundation maintains the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. It does not provide funding for external projects.
The organs of the Foundation are the Council and the Board. For the purpose of obtaining expertise for its research projects the Council, in consultation with the Board, appoints a Research Advisory Board.
An orientation framework for the Institute’s research work is prepared every three years. This document provides the Bundestag and German government an overview of the research topics covered by SWP’s expertise. Researchers from all Research Divisions are involved in preparing the orientation framework. Consultations are also held with the SWP’s Research Advisory Board and a Dialogue Group comprising staff from the parliamentary groups in the Bundestag and representatives of the ministries represented in the Council. The Board presents the orientation framework to the Council for formal acceptance.
SWP possesses a non-profit status under German tax law (»promotion of science and research«). The Foundation’s endowment capital is €53,000.00 (as of 2015). The responsible oversight authority is the Senatsverwaltung für Justiz in Berlin.