UK hub for research into security threats awarded £5.3m funding

Cover created for issue 5 CREST Security Review (CSR): Networks

The Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) has been awarded a further £5.3 million to continue its behavioural and social science research into security threats to the UK.

The work of CREST

Research at the centre will be led by academics at the partner universities, and by others as a result of a competitive tender, with an initial focus on:

  • ‘risk management’ producing up-to-date knowledge on cultural and online drivers of emerging threats to inform best practice
  • ‘human sources’ addressing challenges across the lifecycle of human sources of intelligence and supporting the integration of data
  • ‘deterrence and disruption’ providing evidence of ‘what works’ while continuing to develop tools for assessing effects.

Since launching in October 2015, CREST has brought together 140 researchers from 35 higher education institutions and small and medium-sized enterprises who have, through their research and engagement activities, added value to security training, practices and policies.

As well as conducting world-class, independent research, CREST has taken a leading role in:

  • stimulating public and professional debate
  • connecting disciplinary communities
  • informing security policy and practice
  • providing training to research leaders of the future.


The grant administered by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) sees CREST funded until 2023 with £5.3 million coming from the UK Home Office and UK security and intelligence agencies.

Further investments are made by core partners at the universities of:

  • Bath
  • Central Lancashire
  • Lancaster
  • Portsmouth
  • St Andrews
  • UCL (University College London).

Director of CREST, Professor Paul Taylor from Lancaster University, said:

The quality and importance of what the CREST community has delivered since 2015 is nothing short of remarkable. Today’s funding announcement recognises these achievements. It allows the community to expand, break new ground, and ensure the UK and its partners have world-leading behavioural and social science at their fingertips when acting to keep us safe.

Professor Jennifer Rubin, Executive Chair of ESRC, said:

This continued funding will enable CREST to produce new behavioural and social science research that contributes to our understanding of current threats to national and international security and how best to mitigate them.

Further information

CREST is the UK’s hub for behavioural and social science research into security threats.

Twitter @crest_research.

Top image:  Cover created for issue five of CREST Security Review: Networks. (Image credit: Copyright ©2017 R. Stevens / CREST (CC BY-SA 4.0))

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