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External Champion

Update from Dr Tristram Riley-Smith

Dear Reader,


I am delighted to re-launch our newsletter after a long hiatus. When I last wrote to you in 2016, I was writing my valedictory despatch as I finished my term as PaCCS’s External Champion. I am happy to say that I have since returned to working with PaCCS, as a champion for the partnership and as the research integrator for the Transnational Organized Crime theme.


Many of you will be aware that PaCCS emerged from the Global Uncertainties Programme (initiated in 2008), where all Research Councils were involved in supporting research to identify causes of insecurity; to explore how security risks and threats can be predicted, prevented and managed; and to improve understanding of current and future security challenges. In addition to Conflict, Cybersecurity and Transnational Organised Crime, subjects have included Terrorism, Threats to Critical Infrastructure, and Ideologies & Beliefs.


When I became the Global Uncertainties Champion in 2013 (a job title that will never be bettered!), there were over 1,200 research projects associated with the Programme, across some fifty universities and in practically every academic discipline that you could imagine. It would have been unrealistic to think that we could build a coherent community or network here, but over the years we have brought groups together to debate specific policy issues, reflected in our library of PaCCS Policy Briefings. And we have set ourselves the strategic communications objective to celebrate notable achievements to emerge from the Programme over the last ten years, especially where this has delivered impact.


Today, I am excited to be able to write to you again to share the good news that we have secured follow-on funding from UKRI to support PaCCS communications for the next two years (until the end of 2021). We welcomed Kate McNeil as PaCCS Communications Officer in September and I’m grateful to her for the energy and creativity that she’s investing in the role.


One way we are delivering this is through our Blog Posts – exemplified by the October Cyber Series. We are making best efforts to research old Global Uncertainties and PaCCS projects, but we are always open to receive “leads” from members of our research community who want to draw our attention to impactful work from the Programme that needs to be brought to the attention of the wider community. We are also in the process of introducing a blog post category which will feature guest posts from PhD students under supervision and early career researchers. You can learn more about writing for us here.


PaCCS is also engaging with graduate students and early career researchers through the introduction of a series of placement schemes run in conjunction with partner organisations through our Transnational Organised Crime Theme. We have recently announced that Juliana Semione will be joining our team in the new year for a placement with the Office of the Anti-Slavery Commissioner (IASC), and we have recently put out a call for applications for a placement with the TISC Report. There will be more placements advertised in the coming months, and I would encourage you to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for future placement announcements. 


I hope to have more exciting news to share with you in the coming months as PaCCS continues its work, but for now, let me simply wish you happy holidays, and share best wishes for the new year from the PaCCS team. 




Dr Tristram Riley-Smith

PaCCS Twitter@PaCCSResearch

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About PaCCS

PaCCS delivers high quality and cutting edge research to improve our understanding of current and future global security challenges. The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) are core members of the Partnership.

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