The Internet Research Steering Group (IRSG) manages - aka 'steers' - the activities of the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF). The IRTF is comprised of research groups - there are currently (2014) seven 'main' research groups - that conduct long term research projects to evolve the Internet's protocols, network architecture and solve congestion issues. The IRSG oversees the projects that the research groups of the IRTF work upon, and have ultimate authority to accept and offer final approval for any IRTF project.
The charter of the IRSG and the IRTF is provided by the Internet Society; the Internet Society has overall oversight for the activities of the IRSG and the IRTF. The membership of the IRSG is typically chosen by the 'chair' (chairman) of the IRTF, and usually includes the 'chairs' of all the IRTF research groups. However, consultation and final approval of new IRSG members is decided by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB); due to the overlap of long-term research projects and the IAB's responsibility to oversee the architecture of the Internet.
The IRSG currently (2014) has 24 members: