The issue of 'Trusted Research' is of interest across SPRITE+'s digital TIPS community and beyond. We are working on the curation of resources to provide advice and information on various aspects of this important topic.
Responding to concerns about the risks posed by international academic collaborations, several bodies from central government (CPNI, NCSC, OSCT, BEIS), UKRI, and academia (including via Universities UK, and the researcher-led Academic Freedom and Internationalisation Working Group) have been working to assess the risks and offer guidance.
This work is usually grouped together as “Trusted Research” but covers a range of issues, including:
SPRITE+ Trusted Research Workshop
The SPRITE+ Trusted Research workshop in March 2021 explored the implications of current guidance for ‘front line’ PIs and their teams, examining the barriers to awareness and implementation, and suggesting ways to improve the situation.
The workshop was advertised to members of SPRITE+ and to members of other security-relevant academic networks, hubs, and institutions. 37 individuals from 21 institutions volunteered to join the workshop. They came from a range of career stages and research disciplines. Although several participants had extensive experience of security-relevant research, many others had little experience or awareness of Trusted Research issues.
The workshop featured context-setting short talks from Professor Sir Peter Gregson (VC of Cranfield University and Universities UK lead for Trusted Research), Professor Emma Barrett (Director SPRITE+), and Professor Anthony Finkelstein (Chief Scientific Advisor for National Security), but most of the workshop time was spent in breakout group discussions.
A summary of the findings from this workshop can be found here.