Research Activities

Information about SIPR Practitioner Fellowships

Police staff and other practitioners with interests in policing are invited to submit proposals to the Institute for Practitioner Fellowships. These provide the opportunity to engage in a piece of policing related research under the supervision and guidance of an academic member of staff. Fellowships can be held for variable lengths of time and should be focused on a specific issue or question. Practitioner Fellows will also agree a set of outputs from their period of study, which might include a briefing paper for the police service and an article or conference presentation co-authored with their academic supervisor. Small amounts of funding are available to cover the costs of travel to and from the host institution and research expenses, such as photocopying and printing.

Those interested in applying for a Practitioner Fellowship are encouraged to contact the Director or one of the Associate Directors of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research.


What are Practitioner Fellowships?

  • The Fellowships are aimed at all practitioner groups involved with the policing of Scotland, including police officers and other police staff, those working on policing issues in central and local government, the business community and in the voluntary sector.
  • The Fellowships provide an opportunity for practitioners to work together with members of academic staff from the consortium universities on the practical and/or policy applications of a policing topic or issue. Academic staff will provide guidance on issues of research design and methodology, including topics such as data collection and analysis, the relationship with other relevant research, and the writing up and presentation of the project.
  • Fellowships can be held for variable lengths of time, but would normally be a minimum of 3 months duration and a maximum of 12 months. Over this period there would be regular one-day or half-day meetings between the Practitioner Fellow and the academic staff to discuss the development and progress of the project.
  • Practitioner Fellows will agree a set of outputs from their period of study, which might include a briefing paper for the police service and an article or conference presentation co-authored with their academic supervisor.

What are the key benefits of the Practitioner Fellowship programme?

  • By drawing on the expertise of practitioners to undertake rigorous and robust analysis of specific issues, the Fellowship programme aims to make a significant contribution to improving policing in Scotland. Benefits will therefore be felt by organisations, communities and individuals involved in policing, whether as 'providers' or 'consumers'.
  • By creating opportunities for regular interaction between practitioners and university researchers, the programme will contribute to processes of knowledge exchange and knowledge transfer. The programme will enhance practitioner awareness and understanding of relevant research, and academic awareness of the key issues facing organisations involved with policing.
  • At an individual level too there will be important benefits for practitioner fellows in terms of developing their knowledge and understanding of particular topics as well as enhancing their research skills; for academic staff the programmes offers opportunities to gain important insights into specific issues, forge new research partnerships and expand research networks.

What costs are met by the Fellowship?

  • The funding available is only to cover items such as the costs of travel to and from the host institution and research expenses, such as photocopying and printing, inter-library loans, fieldwork, and attendance at conferences. It does not cover salaries.

Who is eligible?

  • You should be a member of a practitioner group involved with the policing of Scotland, including police forces and other police organizations, central or local government, the business community and the voluntary sector.
  • You should not use a fellowship to support work being undertaken as part of a Higher degree.

How to apply and criteria for assessment

Applicants should submit their ideas for research to be carried out under this programme (maximum of two A4 pages) to the Director of SIPR indicating the following:

  • Your objectives during the fellowship and the added value of the work in terms of its contribution to improvements in policing;

  • Your planned activities over the period which you would hold a fellowship and what you see as the key outputs from the fellowship;
  • Background information including your name, your organisation, contact details, preferred start date and duration of fellowship; partner university and academic supervisor(s).

Applicants must also include a letter of support from their line-manager.

Assessment of your application will be in terms of its potential to contribute to improvements in policing.


Examples of recent and current SIPR Practitioner Fellowships

Adults Who Go Missing from Care Settings in Scotland PC Cameron Tait
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To Establish the Effects of a Role-Specific 12-Week Balance and Stability Conditioning Programme on the Shooting Accuracy in the Standing (Unsupported) Position, with a Handgun, of Authorised Firearms Officers (AFOs) Within Police Scotland Michael Creaney
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Looked After and Accommodated Children: Evaluating the Impact of a National Partnership Agreement in Dundee DC Richard Grieve, Police Scotland
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Risk Terrain Modeling and Accident Improvement Programmes Duncan Sage, Tayside Safety Camera Partnership
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The Police Reform Programme in Scotland David Stewart, Taynuilt Associates
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An asset based approach to community policing Keith Jack, Violence Reduction Unit, Police Scotland
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The Impact of Assets-based Community 'Listening Events' in two Scottish Locations Chief Inspector Tony Bone, Police Scotland
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Variations of culture in police organisations and their potential impact on amalgamation of police forces. A case study of the Scottish Police Service Superintendent Andrew Tatnell, Central Scotland Police & Mr Garry Elliott, Associate Tutor Scottish Police College
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The effectiveness of police negotiator training Chief Inspector Andy Brown, Scottish Police College
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No-Cold Calling Zones Brian Smith, Senior Trading Standards Officer, Angus Council
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Police-protestor liaison Inspector Craig Menzies, Grampian Police
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Missing Person Behaviour: Implications for Police Risk Assessment and Response
Dr Penny Woolnough, Senior Research Officer, Grampian Police
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Domestic abuse
DCI Brian Johnston, Central Scotland Police
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* A Small Scale Qualitative Analysis of Safer Neighbourhood Teams in the South of Edinburgh
Jim Royan, Lothian & Borders Police & Dr Alistair Henry, University of Edinburgh

* Safer Streets Domestic Abuse Initiative
Yvonne Beresford, West Lothian Council & Dr Alistair Henry, University of Edinburgh

* Glasgow Night Radio Network
Willie Caie, Glasgow City Council & Dr Jon Bannister, University of Glasgow

* Human Trafficking: Making the Links
Karen McMillan, Perth & Kinross Women's Aid & Professor Nick Fyfe, University of Dundee

* Operation Alaric
Kevin Chase, Central Scotland Police & Dr Jon Bannister, University of Glasgow

* Community Safety Tasking
Frank Gibson, Fife Council & Professor Nick Fyfe, University of Dundee

* These Practitioner Fellowships were funded by the ESRC Building Safer Communities Project in collaboration with the Scottish Community Safety Network and the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research