Strategic Approach

The Strategic Approach for the Partnership was reviewed in 2014 following the shift from the Global Uncertainties Programme to the Partnership.

Read the Strategic Approach

The Objectives and Key Principles for the Partnership, which form part of the Strategic Approach, are outlined below.


  • To generate a strong research and evidence base with an initial focus on conflict, transnational organised crime and cybersecurity;
  • To fund innovative cross-disciplinary collaborative research and methodologies in the security field;
  • To facilitate knowledge exchange and high uptake of research knowledge by policy-makers, practitioners and decision-makers in the public, private and third sectors; and
  • To develop enhanced capacity of UK researchers to conduct, lead and communicate high quality cross-disciplinary security research, including through effective international partnerships.

Key Principles 

In planning and implementing activities under the auspieces of the Partnership the members agreed to adhere to the following key principles for collaboration. 

Human Security

The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 established that ‘everyone has a right to life, liberty, and security of person’.

The Partnership will focus on security at a variety of levels – community, national, regional and global while recognising that the individual remains the main referent for security.


Members of the Partnership emphasise the importance of independence, transparency and impartiality and will work without compromise or political bias to pursue a research agenda reflecting the wider needs of society.

Impact – Linking Research to Policy and Practice 

The Research Councils expect that the researchers they fund will seek to make a positive societal and economic difference. For further information please see the RCUK Mission and Statement of Expectation on Economic and Societal Impact.

The Partnership is seeking to build a knowledge base that has high potential to change behaviours, policies, practices and technologies.

The Partnership will support and encourage researchers to co-design, co-produce and co-deliver their research with stakeholders and end users. It will also adhere to these principles and will furthermore seek to foster networks which link research base expertise with end users.  

Cross-disciplinary Research

Responding to the breadth and complexity of challenges facing researchers and practitioners in the security field will entail both building on disciplinary strengths and effective linking through and across disciplines. The Partnership will therefore facilitate and support high quality cross-disciplinary research.

Partnership – Within and Beyond RCUK

The challenges in this area cut across many disciplinary silos. The Partnership will add value to the activities of individual members, by bringing both additional resources and a broader range of disciplinary perspectives to bear on key research questions.

Partnership activities should therefore be jointly designed and co-funded by at least two Research Councils.

Research Councils will also seek to build strategic partnerships, as appropriate, with funders beyond RCUK, including international partners, government, third sector organisations and business.


The thematic content of the Partnership will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that our collaborative efforts are agile and able to exploit opportunities, respond to needs, inform debates and are well placed to anticipate future trends.