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SAFA for Researchers 4-Day Course


The Security Awareness & First Aid training (SAFA) for Researchers is a 4-day safety and security course for researchers and academics. It has been developed by ILS in collaboration with academics in the field of conflict research from LSE and John Hopkins University.

Please note this is a bespoke course. Presently it is not available as an ‘open’ programme. If you are interested in booking a course please contact our training team below.
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Building on our flagship 3-day SAFA course, SAFA for Researchers teaches research methodology and ethics for fieldwork with practical safety and security topics. The workshop provides field researchers with the tools to analyse, plan, and operate in a safer and more secure manner within complex and volatile environments. The course includes first aid in the field, psychological first aid, field resilience, and researcher well-being.

SAFA for Researchers has a strong focus on practical exercises. Through field simulations based on common scenarios in violence-affected research environments, the participants will develop a greater understanding of complex contexts and leave with enhanced knowledge of necessary preparations and possible responses to critical incidents.


The training is designed for researchers and academics who are carrying out quantitative or qualitative field research in complex or conflict-affected research environments.

At the end of the training, delegates will be able to:

  • Identify how their methodology and research ethics affect their safety and security profile
  • Conduct a context analysis and a personal risk assessment
  • Explain their personal appetites and thresholds of risk
  • Describe measures that reduce personal and team vulnerability to a range of aggressive, ballistic, blast, criminal, psychological and vehicular threats
  • Describe actions to take in the event of an incident occurring to reduce its impact
  • List key measures to enhance information and data security
  • Identify measures to enhance researcher safety and security while planning and conducting meetings and interviews
  • Recognise personal stressors and how to address them
  • Demonstrate how to communicate effectively during a critical incident