Sussex Sustainability Research Programme

Our mission

The Sussex Sustainability Research Programme: "Science for the SDGs”

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide both an extraordinary chance and extraordinary challenge to society. If these goals are met, the payoff is likely to be a higher level of well-being throughout the world and a more sustainable planet. Achieving the SDGs would be equivalent to fulfilling some of the fondest dreams of humanity – ending hunger, providing education for all, attaining a high level of environmental quality. Among other things, these goals will profoundly influence decisions about where and how public and private institutions invest their resources.

But achieving the SDGs will require resources from all parts of the globe – financial, political and scientific. Science and research have an important part to play by providing stakeholders and policymakers with the evaluations, strategies, and general know-how to make the SDGs happen.

With this in mind, the vision of the Sussex Sustainability Research Programme (SSRP) is to be a key global centre for delivering “Science for the SDGs”. We aspire to be one of the lead organizations in the world providing international, national, and local stakeholders with integrated research results (encompassing natural science, social science, and the humanities). Our research in particular focuses on possible trade-offs among SDGs, and solutions that avoid these trade-offs, enabling many SDGs to be accomplished at the same time. The SSRP builds on two threads of excellence at the University of Sussex and Institute of Development Studies: a long, distinguished record in sustainability science and worldwide leadership in development studies (globally ranked #1).

As a first step towards providing "Science for the SDGs”, the SSRP has funded 20 interdisciplinary research projects that address interactions among the goals, and how trade-offs can be minimised or synergies maximised. Research projects are grouped into 6 clusters: Biodiversity and Food, Climate and Food Insecurity, Global Health and Environment, the Peri-Urban Environment, Sustainability Perspectives, and Trade Debt and the SDGs

Achieving global goals will require an unprecedented global partnership between civil society, government, the private sector and the research community. The SSRP will help mobilize the research community to do its vital part.