IISERs were created through a proclamation of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, to promote quality education and research in science and related areas. The first two IISERs (Pune and Kolkata) were established in 2006. This was followed by an Institute at Mohali (2007), Bhopal & Trivandrum (2008), Tirupati (2015), and Berhampur (2016). IISERs were incorporated as Institutions of National Importance under the umbrella of the NIT (Amendment) Act, 2012 (NIT Act 2007). The Act was further amended in 2014, entitled the NITSER ACT 2014. Each IISER is a degree-granting autonomous institute.
IISER Bhopal aims to provide quality science education to UG and PG students. The prime focus of the Institute is to integrate science education with research. Also, the Institute is committed to impart high ethical values and create social and environment awareness.