Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Our Institute

Welcome to the website of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies!

The Institute for Mediterranean Studies (IMS) – based in Rethymno, Crete – was founded in 1985 and is one of the 8 Institutes of the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), the leading research institution in Greece. IMS’s purpose is to promote research in the humanities, social sciences, as well as the application of science and technology on cultural heritage and the environment. It is distinguished for its research in history and culture and is the only research or university institution in the country to have been awarded four ERC Grants (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) ever awarded to the humanities in Greece.

The IMS research programs focus on the history and culture of Greece and other countries of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea in various historical periods, from prehistory to modern times. To date, its research focuses on three research axes, 1) Mediterranean History, 2) Mediterranean culture, 3) Geoinformatics technology for Culture and Environment, and is undertaken by ten teams of researchers based in the Institution’s research sections, centers, and labs.

The objectives of the IMS are:

  • The planning, management, and undertaking of research work in the framework of Research, Technological Development and Innovation projects, by means of seeking and attracting financial resources from European, national, and private programs.
  • The production of publications in international academic journals, Greek and international academic publishing houses.
  • The organization of international and national conferences, symposia, seminars, and exhibitions, as well as the participation of its researchers in scientific and organizational committees of international conferences.
  • The organization of lectures by Greek and foreign academics, exhibitions, and other events, addressing both the scientific community and the general public.


  • Participation in the organization of Postgraduate Programs in collaboration with Universities.
  • Participation in the supervision of research work and dissertations with the collaboration of Greek and foreign academic institutions.
  • Support of students in the form of internships.
  • Organization of educational seminars and summer schools.
Gelina Harlaftis

Excellence, collegiality, mutual support, and a friendly academic environment distinguish the Institute for Mediterranean Studies.

Gelina Harlaftis
Director of IMS

Excellence at IMS





Research Groups

Centre of Maritime History

The research team of the Centre for Maritime History explores the history of the seas and more specifically focuses on...

Centre of Art History "El Greco"

The "El Greco Center" of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies is the only center for scientific research in art history operating...

Department of Ancient and Byzantine World

So far, the research projects of the Department of Ancient and Byzantine World at IMS have focused on Modern Greek...

Department of History of Cities, Diaspora and Immigration in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea

The research teams of the Department of history of cities, diasporas and immigration in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea...

Department of History of Technology

The History of Technology Research Unit is dedicated to the study of the role of Technology and Science in Mediterranean...

Department of Mediterranean and Global Economic and Social History

The Research Group on Global and Mediterranean Economic and Social History studies the development, structure and transformations of the economies...

Department of Ottoman History

The Department of Ottoman History of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies is the only research unit in Greece exclusively dedicated...

Department of Theatre and Film Studies

The Department of Theatre and Film Studies of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies is the first research program in Greece...

Laboratory of Geophysical - Satellite Remote Sensing and Archaeo-environment

The Laboratory of Geophysics - Satellite Remote Sensing & Archaeoenvironment (GeoSat ReSeArch Lab) is active in the field of Geoinformatics,...

Laboratory of Image, Sound and Movement

The aim of the research team of the Laboratory of Image, Sound and Movement is to utilize the research findings,...

Upcoming Events

Lecture chaired by Yannis Spyropoulos with the topic "Janissaries in Ottoman Port-Cities: Muslim Financial and Political Networks in the Early Modern Mediterranean"

İrfan Kokdaş (İzmir Katip Çelebi University)
Mehmet Mert Sunar (İstanbul Medeniyet University)
Aysel Yıldız (IMS/FORTH)

Co-organised by University of Berkeley (Dept of History and Institute of European Studies), the Ottoman and Turkish Studies Association (OTSA) and the Institute for Mediterranean Studies/Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas.