The Zoological Institute is a part of the General Biology Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The Institute is headed by Director who is nominated by the Scientific Council of the institute. The nomination is supported by the General Biology Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences and is approved at the General Meeting of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Director is elected for 5 years. Director performs general administration of the institute, develops major research directions, and is responsible for preparing plans of scientific research work, their logistics and obtaining financial support. Director realizes resolutions of the General Biology Department, Presidium and General Meeting of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Director represents the Institute in administrative bodies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in state institutions and international organizations. Director reports to the scientific staff of the Institute and superior bodies on the course and results of fulfillment of plans and also on other issues of scientific and financial-economic activity. Director announces competitions for vacancies in administration and research, supervises post-graduate training of scientific staff, which includes research and defending thesis for the degrees of Kandidat of Sciences and Dr. of Sciences; concludes and denounces agreements.
Another administrative body of the institute in the area of planning and supervising scientific research is Scientific Council of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which is elected for 5 years by the General Meeting of the institute’s scientific staff. Scientific Council taking into account proposals of Director and structural subdivisions of the institute develops and adopts the major directions of scientific research, programs, and plans of research, principles of logistics and financial support of research projects, training of researchers and improvement of the institute structure and also plans of international scientific cooperation, meetings and conferences. Scientific Council represents outstanding works and individual scientists for conferment of different awards and other distinctions, including scientific and honorary titles.
Two Deputy Directors of the institute prepare proposals on long-term and annual plans of scientific research, conduct coordination of thematic plans of different units, supervise editorial activity and staff training policy of the institute. Scientific Secretary controls fulfillment of scientific research plans and prepares reports on the institute activities, prepares draft plans of the Scientific Council activities, controls fulfillment of its resolutions, prepares proposals to plans of publication of scientific works and also promotes organization of scientific conferences, meetings, seminars. Assistant Director for Institute Services designated by Institute Director upon agreement with the trade union committee coordinates activities of auxiliary units, supervises establishment and development of material technical base, prepares proposals on social issues of the institute staff. Material-financial issues are resolved by Chief Economist and Chief Accountant, and also staff of the Account Department.
The institute includes 16 units: 13 laboratories, Zoological Museum, White Sea Biological Station (Cape Kartesh, Karelia) and Biological Station in Rybachy settlement (Kaliningradskaya Oblast). Moreover, for the purpose of ordering development of a number of research topics there function several provisional units, specialized units or divisions within a number of laboratories specializing in research using modern techniques.
At the institute there are:
The Zoological Institute holds Annual Report Sessions summarizing results of the preceding year and Sessions dedicated to the memory of Academicians E.N. Pavlovsky and A.V. Ivanov, Professors V.A. Dogiel, A.S. Danilevsky, and N.A. Kholodkovsky.