The Bureau of Research serves as a policy planning, research/information resource, inter-governmental aid, and special projects unit for all City departments. The Bureau researches and maintains information concerning national, state and city demographics, programs, and trends. The Bureau initiates and responds to departmental, sub-cabinet and Mayor's Office requests for information studies or planning efforts directed toward improving city services and quality of life through innovative program approaches, new technologies, or city policy revisions.

The Bureau is responsible for identifying sources of inter-governmental or private aid, preparing and negotiating grant applications, and monitoring and administering some grant programs. The Bureau also provides grant information, advice, and technical assistance to not-for-profit agencies and community-based organizations.

The Bureau provides staff support for the City's compliance with the Local Government Records Law and the Heritage Area/Urban Cultural Parks program. The Bureau also supports and staffs various City promotional activities such as the City of Syracuse web site, special events, several committees, task forces, and commissions.