Global Uncertainties Champion

10 April 2013

CSaP Hosts External Champion to the Global Uncertainties Programme

Tristram Riley-Smith, who spent 2012 as CSaP Visiting Fellow, starts work at 10 Trumpington Street in a new capacity – as the External Champion to the Research Councils’ Global Uncertainties (GU) Programme. We share him with Cambridge’s Department of Politics and International Studies, where he has been appointed as a Director of Research to support this Champion’s role.

The GU Programme focuses on six core areas associated with the causes and consequences of insecurity in the world:

  • Ideologies and beliefs
  • Terrorism
  • Transnational organised crime
  • Cybersecurity
  • Threats to infrastructures
  • Proliferation of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) weapons & technologies.

Tristram will work as a high-profile ambassador for the Programme, seeking to enhance opportunities for impact and knowledge exchange by connecting researchers across the UK (in receipt of £384m of funding) to national and international policy makers, public bodies, non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the wider public.

Tristram aired his early thoughts about the role with the GU Annual Conference in London on 26 March. In the first months he plans to consult stakeholders; review the portfolio of projects; and promote greater levels of engagement between end-users and researchers. He wants to run a triage process to identify a small number of projects which could achieve early impact with the support of stakeholders. He emphasised five core principles which underpin his work:

  • promote the importance of partnership;
  • respect the academic quest for knowledge, as a valued end in itself;
  • engage with ethical and security concerns of researchers and stakeholders;
  • recognise the significance of the GU Programme for stability and well-being;
  • focus on a drive to deliver beneficial, practical outcomes from the GU programme.

Tristram welcomes comments, ideas or insights that you would like to share about the programme (, especially if you have benefited from GU funding. You can e-mail him at