The Institute for Byzantine Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SASA) was founded in March 1948 by Georgije Ostrogorski. The same year marks the beginning of the International Association of Byzantine Studies (AIEB), which emerged from the first international Byzantine studies congress after the II World War. 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 Georgije Ostrogorski 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, 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, Srđan Rajković, Vlada Stanković and Marko Drašković.

The Institute for Byzantine Studies has made a significant contribution to the development of Byzantine studies in the world, especially in the research fields concerning Byzantine state institutions and ideology, Byzantine society and, most importantly, Byzantine–Serbian relations.

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

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