The Institute was one of several experimental stations created by the High Council of Time Lords to study a number of important scientific projects.

One of these was the feasibility of the placement of time agents in lesser species. This was to monitor the development of Time travel technology of less responsible species in the best interest of Gallifrey. Such an act involved the Gallifreyan time agents steering away progress in temporal mechanics to limit the spread of such technology. Furthermore, the Institute included some species that served as hosts for complex artificial intelligences, created by Block Transfer Computation generators. A side effect of the process involved the erasure of the host's original mind. This led to the Institute only selecting those that were approaching death to protect the integrity of the Web of Time. Typically, such hosts went mad as their minds were meant to hold the artificial intelligence consciousnesses of non humanoid TARDISes.

There were time sensitives from almost fifty worlds Institute. There was a hothouse wing for amphibians. The Time Lord Helgrim once kept Dalek mutants in the Institute as part of an experiment, but this ended in a disaster that led to the passage of a new law that forbade the study of Daleks. Another race represented within the Institute were the Feledrin. (AUDIO: Unregenerate!)