CREST funds research projects through its core programmes and commissioning calls. This research is disseminated through papers and CREST resources.
CREST’s work is structured by five programmes of activity. At the core of these programmes are researchers in criminology, computer science, international relations, law, management, politics and religion, and psychology at six UK universities (Lancaster, Bath, Birmingham, Cranfield, Portsmouth, and the West of England [UWE]). Each of these institutions houses large, established communities and infrastructure for conducting social science research into security threats.
Our current programmes:
- Actors and Ideologies in Social Context led by Professor Kim Knott at Lancaster University*
- Understanding and Countering Online Behaviour led by Professor Adam Joinson at University of Bath
- Eliciting Information led by Professor Aldert Vrij at University of Portsmouth
- Protective Security and Risk Assessment led by Professor Debi Ashenden at University of Portsmouth
- Behavioural Analytics led by Professor Paul Taylor at Lancaster University.
To complement the research within each programme, CREST fosters an active community of doctoral researchers. These studentships are defined by three principles, they:
- undertake longer-term, high-quality research more associated with a sense of ‘unknown’
- focus on topics and issues at the intersection of two or more programme areas
- are constructed to give the best possible start to an academic career.
Our focus on topics at the intersection of programme areas reflects CREST’s interdisciplinary focus and our belief that the greatest opportunities for novel contributions lie at the boundaries of existing literature.
As part of its activities, CREST identifies and funds innovative and forward-looking economic, behavioural and social science research that contributes to our understanding of contemporary security threats. These commissioned projects run for a maximum of 12 months. They become part of CREST’s larger research programme, benefiting from resources for translating and communicating evidence for impact, and opportunities for sustained interaction with stakeholders.
The projects below were commissioned in our Home Office call and commenced in 2020:
- Dr Stephane Baele at University of Exeter; Mining the Chans: Exposing the Visual and Linguistic Dynamics of Radicalization in Far-right Image-boards (MineChans)
- Professor Paul Gill at University College London; Development of Risk Assessment Schemes for Channel
- Dr Noemie Bouhana at University College London; State of the Union: A Synthesis of Recent Evidence for Multilevel Drivers of Involvement in Terrorism
- Shiraz Maher at International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation; Mapping terrorist exploitation of and migration between online communication and content-hosting platforms
- Dr Guillermo Suarez de Tangil at King’s College London; Memetic Irony and the Promotion of Violence within Chan Cultures
- John Morrison at Royal Holloway, University of London; Disengagement and Desistance: A Systematic Review
- Dr Sarah Marsden at Lancaster University; Knowledge Management Across The Four Counter-Terrorism ‘Ps’
The projects below were commissioned in our third call and commenced in 2019:
- Dr Emma Williams at University of Bristol; Understanding the role of individual differences in the adoption, use and exploitation of smart home technology
- Professor Stephan Lewandowsky at University of Bristol; Inoculating against the spread of Islamophobic and extremist Islamist disinformation
- Dr Ewout Meijer at Maastricht University; Rapport Building: Culture And Online Vs. In-Person Interviews
- Professor Chris Baber at University of Birmingham; Human Engagement Through Artificial / Augmented Intelligence
- Dr Simon Oleszkiewicz at University of Twente; The Adaptable Law Enforcement Officer: Developing a Measure of Adaptive Effectiveness
- Professor Nigel Copsey at Teesside University; Understanding Twenty-First Century Militant Anti-Fascism: An Analytical Framework And Matrix
- Dr John Blythe at CybSafe; Simulated phishing and employee cybersecurity behaviour (SPEC)
- Professor Tom Buchanan at University of Westminster; Why do people spread disinformation on social media?
- Dr Oliver Buckley at University of East Anglia; Collecting and Leveraging Identity Cues with Keystroke Analysis (CLICKA)
- Dr Joel Busher at Coventry University; ‘Hot periods’ of anti-minority activism and the threat of violent domestic extremism: Towards an assessment framework
- Dr Peter Lee at University of Portsmouth and Dr Mark Doyle at Solent University; Understanding moral injury and belief change in the experiences of police online child sex crime investigators
The projects below were commissioned in our second call and commenced in 2017:
- Dr Joel Busher at Coventry University; The internal brakes on violent escalation
- Professor Fiona Gabbert and Dr Gordon Wright at Goldsmiths, University of London; Quantifying the effectiveness of an evidence-based rapport-building training programme for use in information-gathering contexts
- Professor Martin Innes at Cardiff University; Soft Facts and Digital Behavioural Influencing
- Professor Ashraf Labib at University of Portsmouth; Taking Decisions about Information Value
- Professor Wendy Moncur at University of Dundee; Keeping Secrets Online
- Dr Nick Neave at Northumbria University; The Cybersecurity Risks of Digital Hoarding
- Professor Math Noortmann at Coventry University and Professor Juliette Koning at Oxford Brookes University; Imaginative scenario planning for law enforcement organisations
- Professor Rosalind Searle at Coventry University; Assessing and mitigating the impact of organizational change on counterproductive work behaviour: an operational (dis)trust-based framework
The projects below were commissioned in our first call and commenced in 2016:
- Professor Laurence Alison at University of Liverpool; An Exploratory Study of Expertise and Inertia in Emergency Service Responses in a counter-terrorism Live Exercise
- Dr Stephane Baele at University of Exeter; How Does Isis’ Online Propaganda Demonstrate Mechanisms of Radicalisation? Assessing Cognitive Mechanisms of Radicalisation With A Quantitative Analysis Of Isis’ Online Propaganda
- Professor Nick Donnelly at University of Southampton; Differences in the Ability to Spot Rare, Non-salient or Hidden Targets
- Professor Karen Douglas at University of Kent; Why do people adopt conspiracy theories, how are they communicated, and what are their risks? Perspectives from psychology, information engineering, political science, and sociology
- Professor Neil Ferguson at Liverpool Hope University; Learning and unlearning terrorism: The transition from civilian life into paramilitarism and back again during the conflict and peace process in Northern Ireland
- Dr Paul Gill at University College London; Applying Criminological Paradigms to Terrorist Decision Making Regarding Security and Risk
- Professor Par Anders Granhag at Gothenburg University, Sweden; Minimal Social Exclusion: A Means to Increased Information Gain in Human Intelligence Interviews?
- Dr Christopher McDowell at City University, London; From the Diasporisation to the Transnationalisation of Exile Politics: Understanding When Extremism Gives Way to Moderate Politics – The Case of Sri Lanka, 1983-2016
- Dr Jasjit Singh at University of Leeds; Ethno-national, religio-cultural or anti-Muslim? Investigating Sikh radicalisation in Britain
- Professor Paul Thomas at Huddersfield University and Professor Michele Grossman at Victoria University, Australia; Community Reporting Thresholds: Sharing information with authorities concerning violent extremist activity and involvement in foreign conflict: A UK Replication Study