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Research Opportunities

The South Downs National Park Authority aims to facilitate innovative research to underpin evidence based policy and techniques for the conservation and enhancement of the special qualities of the South Downs National Park and beyond.

We are keen to collaborate with a wide range of students, universities, organisations and individual sector specialists both in the UK and overseas.

Some ideas for collaboration include:

  • Partnering on research bids
  • Sharing existing research findings
  • Undertaking research projects
  • Setting up or participating in foundation/undergraduate/Masters and PhD student research placements with the SDNPA

Our priorities for research for this academic year are set out on this page. If you wish to undertake a research project with the South Downs National Park please complete the Research project application form and return to We are also happy to discuss potential placement opportunities with you so again, please email and we will endeavour to respond to you within five working days.

Note for work experience opportunities for school and college–aged young people, please visit the Learning Zone.

South Downs Research Priorities

At present, our strategic leads are finalising their five year research strategies and corresponding action plans which will highlight key areas of research focus for 2019/20. Therefore, our research priorities for 2017/18 still stand, with two additional projects added on SUDS and Telecommunications – please see links below.

SDNPA Research Priorities 2017-18

SUDS Research Project

Telecommunication Research Project

Brighton ChaMP

Brighton ChaMP for Water (ChaMP) is a partnership project designed in response to rising nitrate trends observed at Southern Water abstraction boreholes in the Brighton Chalk Block. The principal aim of the project is to protect and improve the quality of groundwater in the Brighton Chalk, to ensure it remains a sustainable resource for public water supply.

There are several immediate research opportunities for further investigation within this project, view them below:

Brighton ChaMP for Water research opportunities

Research Strategy

The South Downs National Park Research Strategy sets out our vision for research up to 2019.

SDNPA Research Strategy 2015-2019

Note that we are in the process of revising our research strategy and will upload our new strategy in 2019.