CREST Roundup: September 2019

This is a roundup of what CREST has been up to in September 2019. You can stay up-to-date with all our work by signing up to the CREST Newsletter, and have CREST news and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Yesterday saw CREST mark its fourth birthday and there could be few better presents than seeing one of our associate researchers passing their viva – many, many congratulations to Brittany Davidson at the University of Bath.

This month we also welcome Amanda Weston to the CREST family. Amanda joins us at Lancaster University as a PA to Paul Taylor and Kim Knott.

We also have plenty of exciting developments in the pipeline. We have a new commissioning call, which we will be announcing shortly. We will also be publishing a review of CREST’s impact over the past four years, as well as our latest catalogue, which will include all our work from the past four years. Keep an eye out on our website for announcements about all of that and much more!

Issue 10: Stress and Resilience

Stress and resilience in the security spotlight

To varying degrees, stress is a factor in all our lives, but security work is inherently stressful. Individuals working in security often make high-consequence decisions, in complex and potentially dangerous situations, and sometimes whilst exposed to extreme environments. It is therefore crucial to operational success to identify sources of stress and implement effective coping strategies.

Drawing on research from a variety of experts and approaches, the 10th issue of CREST Security Review (CSR) helps develop understanding on how we can identify, learn about and apply lessons from how stress manifests as well as how resilience can be developed.

This issue has benefited from two excellent guest editors, Professor Emma Barrett and Dr Nathan Smith, both based at the University of Manchester. They’ve pulled together an issue drawn on research from a variety of experts and approaches, from sports and military applications to learning from refugees and network analyses.

Emma and Nathan have also provided an overview of the articles focusing on our special topic, which include:

  • Conflict management in extreme environments
  • Examining the impact of stress on memory for high-pressure incidents
  • Stress and resilience in al-Qaeda terrorists
  • Strengths and vulnerabilities in (covert) network structure
  • Developing more resilient sociotechnical systems
  • Cyber resilience
  • Developing resilience for sustained success
  • Resilience in refugees
  • The complexities of post-conflict reconciliation
  • Remote combat readiness and resiliency

Each issue of CREST Security Review also features articles outside of its special focus. In this issue we feature techniques to help undercover sources recall information by Jordan Nunan and Rosie Mutton warns of the dangers of underestimating the role women play in violent extremism.



CREST Catalogue
The latest issue of the catalogue will include all our guides, reports, posters and open- access journal articles published up until September 2019, indexed under three different themes.

Impact Review
A review was commissioned to better understand the impact that CREST research has achieved, in individual projects, across the core themes and in the commissioned projects.

Out and about

Presentations and awards

Professor Kim Knott attended the EU Council Presidency conference on ‘Preventing Violent Extremism‘, held in Helsinki in September, where she gave a panel presentation on ‘What has worked?’

In 2019-2020, Dr Sarah Marsden will be a 25th Anniversary Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews:

Dr Ben Lee presented ‘Learning to be a Fascist Satanist Online’ (jointly authored by Kim Knott) at the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) annual conference ‘. Rosie Mutton and James Lewis also presented papers and Ben Lee chaired a panel.

Dr Ben Lee has also joined the editorial board of Studies in Conflict & Terrorism.

Professor Wendy Moncur presented the research undertaken in Keeping Secrets Online in an invited seminar in September 2019 at the University of Edinburgh, jointly hosted by the Institite for Language, Cognition and Computation , and Design Informatics. She also delivered an invited seminar on Keeping Secrets Online at the UK Government Digital Skills Academy in London in July 2019.


CREST Communications Director

CLOSING DATE: Friday 11 October 2019

The Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) is looking for a Communications Director to lead the dissemination of its research to stakeholders. CREST not only undertakes and commissions new research on security threats but also makes sure that this research reaches the people who need it, in formats which encourage and sustain meaningful engagement. In the first three and a half years of CREST this has led to 182 guides, research briefs, reports, posters and toolkits as well as 119 articles in nine issues of the quarterly magazine, CREST Security Review.

Reporting to the Executive Director, your role will be to lead on the digital and print design and publication of CREST’s outputs as well as their promotion online, through social media and in our stakeholder networks. You should have substantial experience of communicating complex research effectively to a range of audiences, including into practice and policy recommendations.

This exciting job will see you translate cutting edge research and edit leading publications such as CREST Security Review and the website Radicalisation Research (you should have familiarity with Content Management Systems such as WordPress). In addition, you will need to use feedback from our academic and practitioner networks to ensure research outputs are conveyed in ways that are meaningful for their intended audiences.

The post will be fixed term until end December 2020, pending CREST being successful at securing funding to continue beyond that date.

Further information can be found at

Expert Fellows to join SPRITE+ 

CLOSING DATE: 7th October 2019

We invite applications for academic Expert Fellows from any disciplinary background to join SPRITE+, a new UK EPSRC-funded Digital Economy NetworkPlus.

We are seeking between 50 and 70 new Fellows to join a diverse group of expert scholars, each bringing deep expertise and creative thinking to SPRITE+ activities, and together providing a broad, challenging and informed range of viewpoints on trust, identity, privacy, and security in digital contexts.

The scope of SPRITE+’s remit is broad and can be viewed through many disciplinary lenses. The Expert Fellows group will include many with a track record of research in trust, identity, privacy, and security in digital contexts. But new insights may also come from Expert Fellows who have not previously worked specifically in this area but who may have expertise in related or pertinent topics or in methods that have not previously been applied to digital security challenges.

We welcome applications from any disciplinary background, but particularly from currently under-represented disciplines: Aerospace, Communications and signal processing (EEE), Complexity and complex systems, Creative & Performing Arts, Data Science, Design engineering, Digital humanities, Economics, Education, History, Human geography, Intelligent systems and networks (EEE), International Studies, Law and legal studies, Literature, Management and business studies, Materials, Mathematics, Mechanical engineering, Optical and semiconductor devices (EEE), Philosophy and ethics, Political Science, Psychology, Quantum technologies, Robotics and autonomy, Social anthropology, Social policy, Social statistics, Sociology, Statistics.

Nominations from those involved in running cognate organisations and networks are welcomed.

Further details and application form

PaCCS Placement with the Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

CLOSING DATE: 30 October 2019
Fixed term: 3 months between January & May 2020.

UKRI’s Partnership for Conflict, Crime & Security Research (PaCCS) is seeking a research student to undertake a placement, spending three months working with Office of the Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner (IASC) to undertake a review of research being carried out into slavery and trafficking to establish to what extent research has had an impact, and suggest ways to obtain more impact from it.

PaCCS is recruiting a postgraduate student to do a three-month research placement in the Office of Anti-Slavery Commissioner.

Further information can be found at:


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