The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts is the highest scientific and art institution in the Republic of Serbia. It develops and encourages science, organizes and promotes basic and applied scientific research, encourages and promotes artistic activity. The Academy is an institution of national significance.
The title of the Academy was officially established by Law on November 1, 1886, though the roots of academic work in Serbia can be traced back to The Serbian Learned Society (1864-1892) an organization that bequeathed its property and merged its members with those of the Academy and which had in turn been the inheritor of the formerly suspended Society of Serbian Letters (1841-1864). Thus, the development of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts should be considered as an outcome of the evolution of the learned societies that preceded it and from which it originated.
Members of the Academy are divided into categories - full members (academicians) - 96 members, corresponding members - 57, external (non resident) members - 22 and foreign members - 115. Full members are elected from the ranks of corresponding members on the basis of their significant contribution to science or art, achieved since their election as corresponding members of the Academy. Corresponding members are Serbian citizens who distinguished themselves having achieved significant results in the field of science or art. Full and corresponding members form the corpus of active members of the Academy (those who have the right to elect members of the Academy or to be elected to the Academy’s bodies).
Prominent scientists and artists who are Serbian citizens and whose residence is outside the territory of the Republic of Serbia are external members. Foreign members of the Academy are elected from the ranks of foreign citizens recognized for the general development of science and art and for the promotion of scientific and artistic relations between the country in which they work and the Republic of Serbia. Members of the Academy are elected by the Assembly of the Academy at a special sitting. Full members are elected by the majority of votes of all full members, while other members are elected by a majority of votes of all full and corresponding members by secret ballot. Around 10% of Academy members are women, and that percentage is lower than that of women involved in research activities in the country.
The highest administrative body of the Academy is the Assembly which is made up of all of the members. The Assembly meets at least once a year. The most important tasks and decision-making falls within the mandate of the Assembly, as for instance: passing of the Statutes, work programs, and financial plan; election of Academy members; election of the President, of the members of the Executive Council and Presidency, etc.
The Academy Presidency is the executive body of the Academy's Assembly, made up of the President, two Vice Presidents, the Secretary General, the President of the Academy's Branch in Novi Sad, Department Secretaries, and one chosen member from each Department and the Branch.
The resources for the work of the Academy are secured in the budget of the Republic of Serbia. Other funds also used for the work of the Academy include those coming from endowments, funds, foundations, resources obtained through contracts with third parties, donations, and many other sources. The Academy’s programs focus on research projects carried out by members of the Academy and other researchers gathered around the Academy’s committees. The main projects of the Academy are directed towards development in the material and social sphere. There are 182 research projects headed by members of the Academy, gathering 1037 researchers. The work results are published in scientific and professional journals and monographs, or are presented at scientific meetings.
Each year SASA organizes scientific gatherings of national and international character in almost every field of scientific research. The Academy plays an important role in the cultural life of the country, offering the services of its galleries, Library, Archive and its regular musical programs devoted to the promotion of young talents.
The academy issues two publications: The Bulletin of scientific research is published once a year (in both languages: Serbian and English) as a report of the scientific activities of the Academy in all research fields. The Academy’s Annual Report is published once a year as a report of the Academy’s program activities.
The Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts establishes and promotes cooperation with the national academies of the European countries, as well as with other academies, especially those in the region close to Serbia. The SASA maintains its international cooperation through the exchange of researchers under bilateral agreements on scientific cooperation with 17 national academies organized towards the realization of 146 joint research projects. SASA is also active in multilateral cooperation, which implies the activities linked to programs financed from the European Commission’s and other funding agencies (FP 6, FP 7, SEE-ERA.NET, COST, IAP, ICSU, and UNESCO)