About us

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is a leading global institution for development research, teaching and learning, and impact and communications, based at the University of Sussex.

Our vision is of equal and sustainable societies, locally and globally, where everyone can live secure, fulfilling lives free from poverty and injustice. We believe passionately that cutting-edge research, knowledge and evidence are crucial in shaping the changes needed for our broader vision to be realised, and to support people, societies and institutions to navigate the challenges ahead.

Through our commitment to engaged excellence we work towards transformations that reduce inequalities, accelerate sustainability and build more inclusive and secure societies. We do this neither as a university organisation nor a thinktank, but by combining elements of both in a unique mix that is articulated in our engaged excellence approach.  

Since 1966 IDS has been working with partners to tackle complex development challenges and contribute the evidence, analysis, theory and facilitated learning that can help communities, practitioners and decision-makers at all levels work together for practical, positive change. Our partnership with the University of Sussex supports and accredits our teaching and learning programmes, where in PhD studies and a range of high-level Masters’ courses we aim to produce a new generation of development thought, policy and practice leaders.

The Institute is home to approximately 100 researchers affiliated to thematic research clusters, 70 knowledge professionals, 65 professional staff and about 200 students at any one time. But the IDS community extends far beyond, encompassing an extensive network of over over 360 partners, 3,000 alumni and hundreds of former staff.

As a charity, IDS receives no core funding. Find out more about how we are governed, and funded and how to support us.

Find out more about our work