Centre launches international PhD Network

The ESRC Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre is launching an international network for PhD students researching the intersection of vulnerability and policing.

13 February 2024

Established in 2022, the Vulnerability & Policing Futures Research Centre aims to understand how vulnerabilities are produced, exacerbated and addressed by policing. This includes exploitation by county lines drug networks, online child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, modern slavery, mental illness and homelessness, among others.

The new PhD Network brings together a community of PhD students across various disciplines to encourage collaboration, learning and innovative research on vulnerability and policing. It aims to be a hub where PhD students can contribute to international debates on policing and vulnerability issues.

Launch event

The Network will launch with an event on Tuesday 12 March 2024. This will provide an introduction to the Network and the Centre, as well as an opportunity for PhD students to meet fellow aspiring researchers in the field of vulnerability and policing.

The event will also feature a guest seminar from Dr Jarrett Blaustein and PhD student Maegan Miccelli (both Australian National University) about vulnerability in the context of disaster policing and climate change.

In addition to the launch event, the Network will run an annual Summer School and a series of online events on relevant research areas and training opportunities.

“As a Centre, we’re committed to supporting and developing the next generation of researchers in policing and vulnerability,” said Centre Co-Director Professor Adam Crawford.

“We must collaborate across disciplines and work with vulnerable groups in ethical ways to respond to vulnerabilities and reduce harm. Our PhD Network has this understanding at its core. We hope the Network can build the skills of postgraduate researchers, share innovative research methods and, ultimately, inspire future researchers to lead ethically responsible research that is solution-focused.”

Dr Christine A. Weirich, Centre Postdoctoral Researcher and Network Co-Lead, said “This network will aim to engage PhD students working with vulnerable populations from a diverse range of backgrounds, and provide them the opportunity to connect with other PhD students, gain valuable skills, and learn from academics working in such an interdisciplinary field. We’re looking forward to beginning this with our launch event on 12 March.”