The Institute of Preventive Medicine was established in 1992 as a research institute at the Copenhagen Health Services. According to the by-laws established by the City Council, it is the overall aim of the Institute to conduct research and education regarding psychiatric and somatic disease and health, and other epidemiological problems in Denmark, as well as internationally. More specifically, the research of the institute aims at improving the knowledge that allows prevention of disease and promotion of health. The research may be basic as well as applied, and should achieve a quality that makes it compatible with international standards. There are no limitations as to the aspects that may be included in the research, e.g., genetic, biological, clinical, psychological, behavioral, social, and societal aspects. The activities at the Institute rest on the assumption that the best research, both in terms of quality and quantity, is achieved with full scientific freedom within the overall established goals and conditions. Thus, the specific research project is not defined by the authorities of the Copenhagen Health Services.
The director of the institute has a chair as full professor in clinical epidemiology at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Copenhagen. The relationship with the Faculty includes hosting a number of Ph.D-,students and ad hoc teaching provided by senior researchers at the Institute.
The staff of the Institute includes 30 - 40 full time persons, mostly researchers. The research is mainly based on programme-specific or project-specific grants from public and private foundations in Denmark and abroad, and the current annual turnover is about 10 million Dkr. The Copenhagen Health Services provide basic supplies, and positions for the core staff, including the director of the Institute.