Lecturer in Defence and Security Studies from the University of Bath’s Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies, Dr Patrick Bury, has been awarded major new funding as part of the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship initiative.

The funding, announced as part of a raft of new UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships by Universities Minister Chris Skidmore MP, will allow Dr Bury to future his research focusing on the significant changes seen in Transatlantic counter-terrorism from the post 9/11 period through to the present, and beyond to 2025.

His project will unlock complex questions that exist about counter-terrorism in order to develop a new framework by which to assess how it operates and how countries share intelligence, data and evidence when it comes to suspected attacks.

Drawing on evidence from the US and across Europe, Dr Bury hopes to use insights to suggest new ways that counter-terrorism agencies across the West might better cooperate and discuss how trust between them can be built.

He explained: “This fellowship addresses two salient and inter-related questions in current counter-terrorism. First, why and how have counter-terrorism organisations in the transatlantic space transformed since 9/11? Second, given that a lack of trust remains a key inhibitor for better information exchange, how can it be improved?

“With this work I really hope to both develop and apply a new theory of how transatlantic counter-terrorism has developed post 9/11 and, more practically, to develop ways to improve trust within and between the community which is key to so much of counter-terrorism work.”

The new projects builds on previous work led by Dr Bury and will map out how counter-terrorism networks operate as well as what impact new technologies such as AI and Big Data have had on information sharing between agencies. Over four years it is worth £750,000.

Before joining the University, Dr Bury worked for NATO as an analyst and is a former Captain in the British Army’s Royal Irish Regiment. He is also the author of Callsign Hades, acclaimed as ‘the first great book of the Afghan war’, which charts his memoirs of being on the front line.

Security expert Professor David Galbreath, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences and also Head of the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies said: “This is a really important funding announcement for Patrick, for the Department and for the University of Bath more broadly. His research and unique insights into the field are already making important contributions to how we view counter-terrorism but also how agencies can improve how they operate. I look forward to following the results from this project as they develop.”

UKRI hopes that Future Leaders Fellowships will help universities and businesses in the UK recruit, train and retain the world’s best researchers and innovators, regardless of their background. Researchers can apply for up to £1.2 million over four years, with the ability to extend to up to seven years.

Professor Sir Mark Walport, UK Research and Innovation’s Chief Executive, said: “The Future Leaders Fellowships will enable the most promising researchers and innovators to become leaders in their fields, working on subjects as diverse as climate change, dementia and quantum computing.

“UKRI is committed to creating modern research and innovation careers and our Future Leaders Fellowships aim to support and retain the most talented people, including those with flexible career paths.”

Applications for round four of the Futures Leaders Fellowships are now open and UKRI is particularly encouraging applications hosted by, or collaborating with, businesses.