The Institute for Byzantine Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA) was founded in March 1948 by George Ostrogorsky (director 1948–1976), as a research institution of the SASA. Since its foundation, the scholarly activities at the Institute were based on team work of the associates, engaged in various scientific projects. Besides researchers with full time employment, the associates of the Institute were colleagues from other closely related institutions. Apart from George Ostrogorsky first associates of the Institute were Ivanka Nikolajević, Franjo Barišić, Lidija Tomić, Mila Rajković, Bariša Krekić, as well as employees Zdenko Marinković and Borislav Radojčić. The associates of the Institute, with full or part time engagement, were Jadran Ferluga, Božidar Ferjančić (director of the Institute 1976–1998), Sima Ćirković, Jovanka Kalić, Ninoslava Radošević, Ivan Djurić, Dušan Korać and Radivoj Radić. Younger associates of the Institute were Sanja Mešanović, Ida Toth, Nada Zečević and Srdjan Rajković.

The Institute for Byzantine Studies has made a significant contribution to the development of Byzantine studies in the world, especially in the field of research of Byzantine state institutions and ideology, Byzantine society of the late centuries (XIIth–XVth century), and, mainly, of Byzantine–Serbian relations.

During more than sixty years of its existence, the Institute has been closely related to the Department of Historical Sciences of the SASA and its members, having always been the organizational core of all scientific events concerning Byzantine studies. The institute has remained a unique research and scholarly organization of this profile in our country (Yugoslavia as well as Republic of Serbia)

The Institute has been managed by three directors so far: George Ostrogorsky (1948–1976), Božidar Ferjančić (1976–1998) and Ljubomir Maksimović (since 1998).