The strength of the Nationalmuseum lies in the wealth of its collections and the erudition and expertise of its staff. It is important to enable its curators, conservators and educational experts to enhance their study of the collections and to develop methods that will help to extend the sum of knowledge about the works they contain.
The research department was established in 1997 with the task of organising research and development work at the Nationalmuseum. This is organised on a project basis and each project has its own budget. The projects involve both external and in-house researchers. The research projects are discussed at seminars to which students from university departments of art history are invited. In the main this research is subject specific but some projects involve art education and research in the natural sciences.
Research is mainly funded from external sources. Research scholarships established by the Friends of the Nationalmuseum enable its professional staff to study the collections in greater depth.