This is a summary of papers presented at the conference ‘Researching internal displacement: state of the art’ held in Trondheim, Norway in February 2003. It highlights lessons learned by the growing body of scholars analysing the plight of the millions of people internally displaced by armed conflict and violence, human rights violations, natural or human-made disasters and development projects. It sets out answers to key questions facing IDP researchers: What distinguishes research on internal displacement? What are the main issues in research on internal displacement today? What are the purposes and consequences of research? How can research findings feed into policy, protection and humanitarian response?