Commissioning call – awards announced


Announcement of successful awards for CREST first commissioning call

We are delighted to be able to announce the successful projects for CREST’s Broad Topic Solicitation. We received 136 applications, requesting in total £11.6m of funding. 26% of the applications came from outside of the UK. 428 reviews were provided by 260 international experts and ten projects of between six and twelve months length were selected for funding.

List of awards

The successful projects (subject to contracts being finalised) are listed below. Further information about all of these will be given on the CREST website in due course.

Principal Investigator Project Full Title Lead Institution
Prof. Laurence Alison ‘The Birkenhead Drill’: An Exploratory Study of Expertise and Inertia in Emergency Service Responses University of Liverpool
Dr Stephane Baele How Does Isis’ Online Propaganda Demonstrate Mechanisms of Radicalisation? Assessing Cognitive Mechanisms of Radicalisation With A Quantitative Analysis Of Isis’ Online Propaganda University of Exeter
Prof. Nick Donnelly Differences in the Ability to Spot Rare, Non-salient or Hidden Targets University of Southampton
Prof. Karen Douglas Why do people adopt conspiracy theories, how are they communicated, and what are their risks? Perspectives from psychology, information engineering, political science, and sociology University of Kent
Prof. Neil Ferguson Learning and unlearning terrorism: The transition from civilian life into paramilitarism and back again during the conflict and peace process in Northern Ireland Liverpool Hope University
Dr Paul Gill Applying Criminological Paradigms to Terrorist Decision Making Regarding Security and Risk UCL
Prof. Par Anders Granhag Minimal Social Exclusion: A Means to Increased Information Gain in Human Intelligence Interviews? University of Gothenburg
Dr Christopher McDowell From the Diasporisation to the Transnationalisation of Exile Politics: Understanding When Extremism Gives Way to Moderate Politics – The Case of Sri Lanka, 1983-2016 City University London
Dr Jasjit Singh Ethno-national, religio-cultural or anti-Muslim? Investigating Sikh radicalisation in Britain. University of Leeds
Prof. Paul Thomas, Huddersfield / Prof. Michele Grossman, Victoria, Aus. Community Reporting Thresholds: Sharing information with authorities concerning violent extremist activity and involvement in foreign conflict: A UK Replication Study University of Huddersfield


CREST’s Broad Topic Solicitation offered £1.25M for proposals that addressed one of 15 questions identified as having theoretical and practical importance (see here for the 15 topics). Applicants were invited to submit workshop, short-project (6 months) and long-project proposals (12 months).

Applications were sent to four reviewers (one of whom the applicants nominated) and these reviews informed the decisions of the Commissioning Panel, which comprised four professorial researchers from UK Universities, two senior representatives from the wider stakeholder community, and CREST’s Director as Chair.

Application Profile

A total of 136 submissions were received requesting over £11.6M in funding. The following charts give a breakdown of the applications received as a function of type and topic focus (see initial call here for the topics).

Commissioning-proposal typesCommissioning-topic focus

The reviewers were asked to rate the proposal on criteria of quality, track record, pathway to impact, value for money, and overall assessment. They were also asked to provide a narrative review. We received 428 reviews in total over three weeks.

Our thanks

Speaking about the commissioning process, the Director of CREST, Professor Paul Taylor, said:

“We’re delighted with the outstanding response to the call. Standing out against stiff competition, the successful projects promise innovation, rigour, and results that will make a difference to how we understand and counter security threats. I’m looking forward to working with them. The standard of applications was exceptionally high. I’m thus very grateful to all the applicants for committing time to produce bids of such quality. I’m also very grateful to the 260 reviewers who did an excellent and essential job in producing reviews, which I know from applicant feedback have proven valuable to research teams. Ours is an intellectually rich and supportive community that CREST will continue to support in our next call later in 2016.”

Information about the projects and their findings will be published on this website in due course. The CREST newsletter will also contain further information on the commissioned projects – sign up to receive it here.

Tags from the story