The Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS), founded in 1953 and formerly a member through the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, comprises institutes covering six basic research orientations: engineering, technology materials and applied sciences (8 institutes), physical, chemical and earth sciences (11), agriculture, biology and environmental sciences (10), life and medical sciences (9), social and behavioural sciences (10), and arts and humanities (10).
At present the SAS is seen as a non-university type institution fostering the advancement of science in the area of basic and strategic applied research. However, the SAS has had substantial experience with both professional and organizational aspects of scientific education. In 2003, the SAS had a total of 896 PhD students. Moreover, its institutes provide various forms of pedagogical activities at Slovak and foreign universities.
Scientific activities of the institutes are mainly based on the research projects supported by the Grant Agency for Sciences. The SAS cooperates with partner institutions in more than 40 countries. International scientific cooperation is based on: i) inter-academic agreements, ii) participation in international cultural agreements, agreements on scientific and technical cooperation, intergovernmental and non-governmental scientific programmes, iii) direct cooperation between the SAS institutes and their counterparts abroad, and iv) organization of events with international participation. There are 46 scientific societies associated within the SAS. Their prime scientific objective is to promote and publicize scientific knowledge by organizing various scientific activities. The SAS coordinates the activities of 38 National Committees, 24 of which are affiliated through international unions with ISC.