South China Normal University (SCNU) has attached great importance to research in both basic and applied sciences. Currently it has 69 key science and technology platforms, including the National Center for International Research on Green Optoelectronics, the MOE Key laboratory of Laser Life Science, the Key Laboratory of Theoretical Chemistry of Environment, the MOE Engineering Research Center of Materials and Technology for Electrochemical Energy Storage, the MOE International Laboratory of Optical Information Technology, the MOE National "111" Project for Optical Information, seven Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratories, one Guangdong Provincial Engineering Laboratory, 29 Guangdong Province-level Engineering and Technical Research centers, one Guangdong Province-level Emergency Technology Research center, one Guangdong Province-level Scientific and Technological Equipment Mobilization and Support Base, and seven Guangzhou City-level Key Laboratories.

Meanwhile, SCNU has been committed to the prosperity and development of the philosophy of the social sciences. It boasts a development network at the ministerial, provincial, city and school level, including a key MOE research base in humanities and social sciences, a key research base in humanities and social sciences for Guangdong Province, a key laboratory in philosophy of social sciences for Guangdong Province, and a key research base in humanities and social sciences for Guangzhou. A large number of landmark social science projects, such as major projects of the National Social Science Fund and major research projects of the Ministry of Education, have been approved, and the number of projects and project funds has increased year by year. Among them, five major projects of the National Social Science Fund were approved in 2017, ranking top level among national colleges and universities, and several social science outstanding achievement awards were attained such as the Excellent Scientific Achievement Award of the Ministry of Education (Humanities and Social Sciences) and the Guangdong Provincial Philosophy of Social Science Outstanding Achievement Award.