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Funding Announcements: Future of Policing Research Grants

SIPR is delighted to announce the funding of 5 new research projects under our Future of Policing Grant Scheme

Congratulations to our 5 successful research teams:

“Influence policing – mapping the links between preventive policing and new media”

Dr Daniel Thomas (University of Strathclyde)

“A harmonised study of public expectations of police responses to cybercrime”
Principal Investigator – Dr Shane Horgan (Edinburgh Napier University)

“Emotional Labour and Public Protection Policing: Impact on and Experiences of Officers”
Principal Investigator – Dr Maureen Taylor (Glasgow Caledonian University)

“Trauma-aware policing in the custody suite: an in-depth case study”
Principal Investigator – Dr Karen Goodall (University of Edinburgh)

“Developing Fingermarks on Circulated Scottish Banknotes”
Principal Investigator – Dr Ben Jones (Abertay University)

The funding of these 5 projects sees a commitment of over £95,000 from SIPR to undertake research which will focus on the challenges and emerging issues related to the future of policing  within Scotland, though they may also be of relevance internationally.

SIPR Director, Dr Liz Aston stated:

“We are delighted with the strength and quality of all the applications received and our congratulations go to the five successful teams. The Future of Policing fund is one of the largest grant schemes SIPR has ever offered and we are delighted to continue to invest in Scottish academic policing research. Each project will explore topics of strategic importance and relevance to Scottish policing and we look forward to working with all five teams to ensure each project’s impact on policing policies and practices.”


Selection and Award Process

The assessment process involved two stages: a review panel and an awarding panel. The review panel consisted of senior academics, and representatives from Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority. To ensure consistency, each assessor reviewed and scored all applications. Additionally, several precautions were taken to ensure that conflicts of interest were removed including that no reviewer represented any of the applicant host institutions.

Reviewers scored each of the applications against seven criteria including:

·         Strength of investigative team;

·         Feasibility of the project (i.e. appropriate scope; achievable methodology and timeframe);

·         Project’s innovation (i.e. originality and relevance to current policing landscape);

·         Potential benefit and impacts of project;

·         Alignment with SIPR strategic research priorities;

·         Alignment with Police Scotland and Scottish Government policing priorities; and

·         Project cost (i.e. perceived value for money)

All applications were then considered by an awarding panel chaired by an independent senior Scottish academic (not based at any of the applicants’ institutions), and further composed of senior members of Police Scotland, the Scottish Police Authority, representatives from the SIPR Leadership Team and a subject matter expert from England. This panel was responsible selecting the successful proposals.

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Seldom Heard Voices: Community Impact Event 


In 2021, SIPR, Police Scotland and Scottish Police Authority funded 5 grants to support research into ‘Seldom Heard’ communities. On Wednesday 26th April, we hosted a collaborative event to present the final research projects to an audience of academics, community members, NGO members, and Police Scotland staff and serving officers. First up, Kirsty Forrester from Dundee City Council and Dr Jonathan Mendel from the University of Dundee discussed their collaborative research with BAME communities and serving officers, highlighting the need for trust. Second, Dr Andrew Williams from St. Andrews and Inspector Jason Peter from the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit presented their ‘Photovoice’ Project which aimed to encourage young people in areas of inequality to engage with their community by taking pictures. Third, Dr Julie Berg and Emily Mann from University of Glasgow and University of Edinburgh respectively presented their project’ Accounting for Complexities: an Intersectional Approach to Enhancing Police Practitioner Accountability, Legitimacy & Sustainable Reform’. Fourth, Professor James Moir and Dr Corinne Jola from Abertay University focus on the topic of empathy with LGBT youth who are care experienced or are from other disadvantaged background. Finally, Bryony Nisbet from Queen Margaret University presented her and Dr Nicole Vidal’s research into refugee and asylum-seeker experiences, trust and confidence with Police Scotland. Following the presentations, representatives from Police Scotland and the Scottish Police Authority were invited to reflect on the findings and recommendations, and to provide assurances of the SPA and Police Scotland’s ongoing commitment to the communities and the issues raised. Assistant Chief Constable Emma Bond, said: “This important research underlines our commitment to listening to all our communities so we can continually improve how we represent, reflect and serve them. “Providing every citizen with a just and effective police service is fundamental to policing legitimacy and to our ability to keep people safe. “A great strength of Police Scotland is that our officers and staff are drawn from different backgrounds and experiences. What unites us is our shared and non-negotiable set of values – integrity, fairness, respect and a commitment to upholding human rights. “I am grateful to everyone who contributed to this work and we are already considering the recommendations made so that we can continue to design our services to best meet the needs of our communities.” Tom Halpin from the Scottish Police Authority said “The Authority is committed to policing in the public interest, to do that we must understand public views, opinions, and concerns. The research published today will allow us to gain more insight into where to target our activity and attention to ensure we build the strongest relationships we can with all communities in Scotland.” SIPR Director Liz Aston underlined SIPR’s commitment stating that “SIPR will continue to support the dissemination of these important research findings in order to ensure that they impact policing policy and practice”. SIPR hopes to continue to support research into Seldom Heard Communities.



After seven years as a SIPR Associate Director, Professor Denise Martin has made the difficult decision to step down.

SIPR Associate Director


Following Professor Denise Martin’s decision to step down from her role as SIPR Associate Director and lead of the Education and Leadership network, SIPR is now inviting applications from prospective candidates to take on this role.

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