Research environment

Research is at the heart of Sussex, where research centres are international leaders in their fields, and an interdisciplinary environment thrives across the university.

Research with Impact Forums

Our Research with Impact webinar series launched in January 2021 to showcase some of the brilliant work that is undertaken at Sussex and explore issues which are of particular relevance to our research community, from PhDs to professors.

Find out more and join upcoming webinars.

Our performance

An academic at the University of Sussex

Sussex research has produced three Nobel Prize winners, developed radical theories, and created important innovations. It has had extensive impact on business, government, the third sector, health and culture.

We are proud of our performance in the Research Excellence Framework – the UK-wide system for assessing the quality of research in higher education institutions.

Many Sussex research projects and findings also create specific benefits for businesses, public sector organisations, charities, and cultural organisations, as our discoveries generate new products, services, and transferable knowledge. These achievements are grounded in the fundamental originality, significance and rigour of our research.

The discovery of a third form of carbon, the microscopic "footballs" known as ‘buckyballs’, by chemist Sir Harry Kroto, who was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in chemistry, is just one of the historically-significant research findings to have taken place at the University of Sussex. Others include the work of economist Mariana Mazzucato on the entrepreneurial state and economics of innovation, and the academically and socially influential work by Professor of Biology Dave Goulson (pictured above) and colleagues on the conservation of bumblebees.

Leading in research

We have more than 2,100 staff, including around 1,000 teaching and research staff, of which over 300 are research-only.

Sussex research centres and groups widely recognised as leading their fields and as having significantly affected the direction of research internationally include:

World rankings

In the QS World Rankings 2020, we have been:

  • rated number one in the world for Development Studies
  • rated high for research output.

According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014-15, Sussex was ranked among the top 15 universities in the UK, and joint 34th globally for research influence.

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