CREST funds research projects through its five core programmes and through its commissioning calls. This research is disseminated through papers and resources throughout this website. Read more about each project using the links below.
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.
The five programmes are:
- Ideas, Beliefs and Values in Social Context — led by Professor Kim Knott at Lancaster University.
- Understanding and Countering Online Behaviour — led by Professor Adam Joinson at the University of Bath.
- Eliciting Information — led by Professor Aldert Vrij at the 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: (1) undertake longer-term, high quality research that are more associated with a sense of ‘unknown’; (2) focus on topics and issues at the intersection of two or more programme areas; and, (3) 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 literatures.
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 twelve 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 commence in 2020.
- Dr Stephane J. Baele; University of Exeter; Mining the Chans: Exposing the Visual and Linguistic Dynamics of Radicalization in Far-right Image-boards (MineChans)
- Professor Paul Gill; University College London; Development of Risk Assessment Schemes for Channel
- Dr Noemie Bouhana; University College London; State of the Union: A Synthesis of Recent Evidence for Multilevel Drivers of Involvement in Terrorism
- Shiraz Maher; International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation; Mapping terrorist exploitation of and migration between online communication and content-hosting platformsRapport Building: Culture And Online Vs. In-Person Interviews
- Dr Guillermo Suarez de Tangil; King’s College London; Memetic Irony and the Promotion of Violence within Chan Cultures
- John Morrison; Royal Holloway, University of London; Disengagement and Desistance: A Systematic Review
- Dr Sarah Marsden; Lancaster University; Knowledge Management Across The Four Counter-Terrorism ‘Ps’
The projects below were commissioned in our third call and commence 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, 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 behavior: an operational (dis)trust based framework
The projects below were commissioned in our first call and commenced in 2016.
- An Exploratory Study of Expertise and Inertia in Emergency Service Responses in a counter-terrorism Live Exercise – led by Professor Laurence Alison at the University of Liverpool
- How Does Isis’ Online Propaganda Demonstrate Mechanisms of Radicalisation? Assessing Cognitive Mechanisms of Radicalisation With A Quantitative Analysis Of Isis’ Online Propaganda – led by Dr Stephane Baele at the University of Exeter
- Differences in the Ability to Spot Rare, Non-salient or Hidden Targets – led by Professor Nick Donnelly at the University of Southampton
- Why do people adopt conspiracy theories, how are they communicated, and what are their risks? Perspectives from psychology, information engineering, political science, and sociology – led by Professor Karen Douglas at the University of Kent
- Learning and unlearning terrorism: The transition from civilian life into paramilitarism and back again during the conflict and peace process in Northern Ireland – led by Professor Neil Ferguson at Liverpool Hope University
- Applying Criminological Paradigms to Terrorist Decision Making Regarding Security and Risk – led by Dr Paul Gill at University College London
- Minimal Social Exclusion: A Means to Increased Information Gain in Human Intelligence Interviews? – led by Professor Par Anders Granhag at Gothenburg University, Sweden
- From the Diasporisation to the Transnationalisation of Exile Politics: Understanding When Extremism Gives Way to Moderate Politics – The Case of Sri Lanka, 1983-2016 – led by Dr Christopher McDowell at City University, London
- Ethno-national, religio-cultural or anti-Muslim? Investigating Sikh radicalisation in Britain – led by Dr Jasjit Singh, University of Leeds
- Community Reporting Thresholds: Sharing information with authorities concerning violent extremist activity and involvement in foreign conflict: A UK Replication Study – led by Professor Paul Thomas, Huddersfield University and Professor Michele Grossman, Victoria University, Australia.