Under the ISN's current fifth contract (ISN-5, active 2023–2027, pending final contractual review) research will be organized into five Strategic Research Areas (SRAs) representing the most fundamental subject areas in the ISN portfolio. SRAs are designed to address broad strategic challenges facing the Soldier, and are subdivided into specific Projects. The five SRAs — Photonics, Electronics, and Quantum Sciences; Sciences of Materials for Extreme Environments; Energy Sciences; Devices and Materials with Advanced Functionalities; and Soldier Medicine — comprise 15 projects guided by 23 distinct principal investigators (PIs).
Under the ISN's fourth contract (ISN-4, active 2018–2022), 14 research projects were arranged in three different SRAs — Soldier Protection, Battlefield Care, and Sensing; Augmenting Situational Awareness; and Transformational Nano-Optoelectronic Soldier Capabilities — overseen by 26 distinct PIs. Although research funded under non-current contracts is no longer pursued directly at the ISN as part of the core research portfolio, it may continued to be the subject of investigation by the original PIs, Army researchers, or at partner companies.