The “Civil Security” Graduate Network

The BMBF supports networking between young security researchers through the “Civil Security” Graduate Network.

BMBF/VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH - Leo Seidel

Facilitated discussion sessions gave the participants a chance to get to know each other.

BMBF/VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH - Leo Seidel

Civil security research is in the process of becoming a scientific discipline in its own right. Researchers from the realms of science, engineering and social science, representing a wide variety of disciplines, work together in civil security research to devise innovative solutions. The number of research establishments and higher education institutions active in this area is constantly growing.

Often, however, academic training focuses on the specific discipline of the programme of study being pursued. The various areas are not sufficiently interlinked, nor is real-life practice considered to a sufficient degree. Nurturing and training new researchers is crucial – especially in an interdisciplinary and interinstitutional field of research like civil security research. The BMBF’s “Civil Security” Graduate Network is intended to support networking between young researchers and to encourage interdisciplinary exchange in civil security research.

The first “Civil Security” Graduate Network meeting was held in 2014, following the second BMBF “Civil Security” innovation forum. Facilitated discussion sessions were a key feature of this first meeting, giving the participants a chance to get to know each other.

The second “Civil Security“ Graduate Network meeting took place during the “Grenzenlose Sicherheit?” (“Security without boundary?”) conference, part of the Dialogue on Societal Aspects of Security Research. The young researchers were given the opportunity to contribute a poster on their work related to the topic of the conference. The contributions were then discussed at the conference.

November 2015 saw a workshop entitled “Die Sprache der Sicherheit. Grundbegriffe der zivilen Sicherheitsforschung” (“The language of security. Key terms in civil security research”) in Frankfurt am Main, which was organised by graduates of the University of Frankfurt.

The third “Civil Security” Graduate Network meeting was held in the run-up to the BMBF 2016 “Civil Security” innovation forum. In the light of the continuation of the “Research for Civil Security” framework programme, the graduates considered future challenges in civil security research.

In November 2016, the second Graduate Network workshop took place in Stuttgart. Following on from the first workshop on “The language of security”, the focus this time was on “What is good civil security research?” The aim was to continue the successful networking between the young researchers and to promote further knowledge-sharing between the disciplines.

The 2017 meeting of the Graduate Network took place just before the conference being staged as part of the Dialogue on Societal Aspects of Security Research. The programme for the event was drawn up and suggested by the graduates themselves, and the final content was chosen by a jury.

Another Graduate Network workshop, entitled “Integrative security research”, was held in Cologne on 5 and 6 February 2018. The participants took part in discussions and group work, where they identified specific challenges and problems in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and drew up solutions, using real-life examples from the fields of disaster management and critical infrastructure as their basis.

18 June 2018 saw the annual Graduate Network meeting in the run-up to the “Civil Security” 2018 innovation forum organised by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The meeting was an opportunity for the members to share their personal experiences and discuss research-related issues and the challenges they face in their day-to-day research and project work.

Further information on the “Civil Security” Graduate Network events can be found here. (Only available in German)

To ensure that the Graduate Network remains active between meetings and to provide further support for networking, knowledge-sharing and discussion, the BMBF has joined forces with the “Network for Civil Security Law in Europe” (KORSE) to set up an internet forum for the “Civil Security” Graduate Network. If you are interested in taking part, you can sign up here:

The “Civil Security” Graduate Network is an open network, in which all young civil security researchers are invited to take an active part.