UCL Institute for Security and Resilience Studies
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Frequently Asked Questions

When was the ISRS established?

The plan to establish the ISRS at UCL was announced in November 2008 by the founding non-executive Chair, the Rt Hon Lord Reid of Cardowan. He did so in order to address the kinds of persistent challenges he had met as one of the most experienced Cabinet Ministers in British political history.

A full-time staff began work in April 2010.

Why was the ISRS established?

ISRS was established for three reasons.

First, our growing interdependence in terms of financial and economic stability, health, trade, energy and electronic networks (to name but a few areas) leaves us potentially more at risk than ever before.

Second,  the sheer rate at which risks appear and have to be confronted require a far greater degree of resilience than ever before – resilience within our organisations, structures, systems, business and social culture, both public and private.

Third, because the innovative approach required to respond to this challenge - to analyse the vulnerabilities, measure the resilience,  identify the deficiencies and propose the practical solutions – can only be achieved by harnessing together the energies and application of public, private, voluntary and academic participants.

How is the Institute's work carried out?

ISRS’s aim is to enable people and organisations to embrace security and embody resilience in their strategy, policy, capabilities development and everyday activities. This is to be achieved by promoting their agility, stamina and capacity to learn through innovating prior to, during and in the aftermath of crises.

It is only by linking the many and diverse stakeholders in the fields of Security and Resilience that we can succeed in delivering outcomes of value to all.

The ISRS is an incubator for 21st Century approaches to security and resilience. It is a hub for researchers, educators, developers and users of concepts and capabilities, which are vital to the delivery of security and resilience services.

Our activities will include academic working papers; bespoke briefing notes, strategy and policy advice; event-driven scenario exercises; resilience assessments; and promotion of Security and Resilience issues to wider audiences through the media.

The innovations ISRS seeks to catalyse are for citizens, organisations and nations alike – to enable them to not only withstand increasingly uncertain times but perhaps even flourish.

How is the ISRS funded?

ISRS is funded by contributions and income from projects. We are grateful for the ongoing support of our Founding Partners: EADS and Ultra Electronics. Others have also made one-off donations during the Institute’s start-up phase.

We will continue to seek sponsorship, both for the Institute in general and for particular projects, from a diversity of sources, which prize academic openness and independence above all.


The Institute is established as a Not-For-Profit Limited Company. There are no beneficial shareholding, dividends or distribution of surplus.  All surplus is directed towards the academic and research purposes of the Institute.

The accounts are published in the same way as any other Limited Company and are available through Companies House.

What role do the sponsors play? How do they influence the ISRS’s work?

ISRS’s work is underpinned by adherence to the highest standards of academic openness and independence. Our work draws on a wide range of sources and methods to produce evidence-based conclusions and pragmatic recommendations.

All ISRS stakeholders, including our sponsors, are keen to see the development of innovative thinking and practice on security and resilience matters. They wish to inspire a greater understanding of these areas in order that we are all develop the capabilities to deal with the challenges ahead and gain from the opportunities that an uncertain world presents.

Who oversees ISRS’s work?

ISRS Advisory Board comprises distinguished international practitioners,
scholars and policy-makers in the fields of security and resilience.

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Page last modified on 23 may 11 14:35