Targeted at major issues on international advanced science as well as Chinese economic and social progress, SESE has been conducting special theoretical research and developing technologies in response to both national and local needs on the basis of the construction of relevant platforms. So far, SESE has undertaken the Major Science and Technology Program for Water Pollution Control and Treatment representative of Erhai program, a total of 7 programs and projects on air and soil of national key research and development program, 7 key programs and 73 general programs funded by NSFC (the National Natural Science Foundation of China), 10 projects of 973 Program (National Program on Key Basic Research Project of China) and 863 Program (National High-tech R&D Program of China). Furthermore, SESE has been awarded 11 provincial-level prizes for science and technology including the First Prize for Progress in Science and Technology of Yunnan Province and the First Prize for Technological Invention of the Ministry of Education, etc.
In addition to the abundant programs and projects, SESE has always been at the top list among domestic universities of paper numbers published on SCI journals. In recent years, SESE has succeeded in making breakthroughs first in Nature, then in Science as more than 800 papers were published on excellent journals like PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America), JACS (Journal of the American Chemical Society), ES & T (Environmental Science & Technology), etc. (31 of them were published on ES & T from 2013 to 2015) on the one hand, and 29 ESI papers get high citation rates on the other hand.