Work Packages

SALIENT research will be driven by six clearly defined work-packages; five will focus research on the UKRI’s Building a secure and resilient world priority themes, with a crosscutting Leadership and governance work package that will provide the co-ordination and central oversight of SALIENT activity, including the devolved funding portfolio:

Work package: 1 Leadership And Governance
Led by Richard Kirkham, Connie Smith, Maya Vachkova

The SALIENT hub is managed through a Project Management Office (PMO) led by the Hub Manager with considerable experience of working with academics, civil servants, and industry leaders. The PMO is responsible for designing and delivering ‘coherent capability’ to ensure that outputs are integrated and implemented successfully to achieve the desired outcomes and benefits. 

Work Package 2: Global Order In A Time Of Change
Led By Paul Nightingale and Maya Vachkova

Globalisation, climate change and other systemic trends require policy interventions that will be effective on a global scale. This work package will focus on research aimed at strengthening the UK’s role in shaping an international order that is secure, resilient, and just.

This work package will deliver research on the implications of fluctuating power dynamics, technological innovation, and the role of international governance institutions such as the UN, NATO, and the WTO in the context of global cooperation and contested spaces.

Work package 3: Technologies For Resilient Security And Defence
Led By Richard Kirkham, Duncan Shaw, and Mark Elliott

The geopolitical shifts arising from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s increasingly assertive influence garnered through mega infrastructure investments such as the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ illustrates the need for state defence and security policy that is sufficiently robust in tackling our vulnerabilities whilst encouraging innovation and technological advancement. 

This work package will encourage a sociometrical approach to explore how technology, organisations and people adapt in the face of adversity and how ethical dilemmas may lead to paradoxical outcomes. It will leverage existing UKRI investments such ‘SPRITE,’ led by Mark Elliot, which seeks to deliver a step change in research practice and policy relevant to trust identity, privacy, and security with a focus on digital contexts.

It’s aim is to support strengthening resilience in online spaces and to contribute to national security, including the protection of critical national infrastructure and economic assets, and to improve the safety and wellbeing of individuals.

Work package 4: Resilient And Secure Supply Chains
Led by Michael Lewis

Studies undertaken by the Thomas Ashton Institute as part of the COVID-19 Core National Studies PROTECT programme illustrated the negative impacts on the productivity and financial performance of the UKs construction industry.   

This work package will promote research that contributes to data-centred deep insights into the causes, consequences and controls needed to ensure resilient and secure supply aligned recent Department for International Trade ‘resilience framework’. 

Work Package 5: Behavioural And Cultural Resilience
Led by Sharon Clarke and Connie Smith

Starting from a position that recognises how the concept of resilience has often been a mode of maintaining the status quo rather than driving transformative change for the better, ‘Risk’ is not a normative category: what constitutes a risk is not intrinsic and cannot be assumed or identified in any kind of ‘neutral’ way but is identified through mechanisms that must be established. 

This work package will seek to understand how sociocultural background enables people and communities to overcome adversity. The conceptualisation of sociocultural resilience suggests that the ability of individuals and their communities to cope with adversity is not simply a function of individual behavioural traits, but rather, a more complex and nuanced set of sociocultural factors.

Work Package 6: Strengthening Resilience in Natural And Built Environments 
Led By Philipp Theis and James Evans

Rebuilding a Resilient Britain identifies several research gaps that exist across the suite of ‘areas of research interest’ (ARIs) published by government departments, this report identifies three cross-cutting themes around data and evaluation. 

This work package seeks to strengthen the evidence base needed to address these cross-cutting themes by building on our existing work with the UK Government’s ‘Risk Profession;’ to advance our theoretical and practical understanding of dynamic risks, and how the interrelated social, economic, cultural, health, environmental, and technological aspects of our society shape our ability to withstand ‘shocks.’