Research at ELIS is organized in smaller units, called research teams or groups. Each group is headed by one or more permanent teaching staff members, and may further consist of postdoctoral researchers, doctoral students and students working on their graduation thesis. A research group obviously addresses a more limited range of topics. Furthermore, several research groups collaborate intensively with other groups inside or outside ELIS. Research is funded in a variety of ways. Individual doctoral students can have scholarships provided by the FWO, the IWT, or the university research fund BOF. Research is mostly done in the context of projects, which can be funded by the same sources, but also by the European Community or as a bilateral collaboration with industry. Research groups are responsible for their own funding and, as a result, operate quite autonomously. The Department offers them a common infrastructure and a forum for coordination and collaboration.

ELIS is member of DSP Valley en CMSE. There is also cooperation with IMEC.