Basic security and safety course for field research in complex, remote and hazardous places

Professional skills courses

Course information

ECTS: 1.5
Number of session: 2
Hours per session: 8
Course fee:

  • free for PhD candidates of the Graduate School
  • €695,- for non-members
  • consult our enrolment policy for more information


Telephone: +31 (0)10 4082607 (Graduate School).

Session 1
October 29 (Tuesday) 2019

International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Upper floor (attic)
Kortenaerkade 12
2518 AX The Hague

Contact and directions​​​​​​​

Session 2
October 30 (Wednesday) 2019

International Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Upper floor (attic)
Kortenaerkade 12
2518 AX The Hague

Contact and directions


When conducting field-based research or fieldwork, researchers often operate within complex and dynamic social and political contexts, and derive their data from that environment. Both the quality of research and the security of the researcher are a function of how well-planned the research is, taking into account the local context and the risk environment.

This course is designed to assist researchers in conducting their research in hazardous, remote or complex  environments as safely and securely as possible, both for those working within their home country, or as foreigners.

Learning objectives

  • Prepare to travel to and work in the field in an insecure environment for the purposes of conducting research;
  • Understand the security risk management framework and be able to apply this to personal and team security to reduce risk;
  • Conduct a basic risk assessment and be able to identify security threats and their likelihood and impact;
  • Be able to understand and apply personal risk assessment and risk reduction measures in a dynamic environment;
  • Understand the link between personal security and security and integrity of research;
  • Have an enhanced understanding of key preparations before, during and after travel;
  • Identify the most prevalent threats to researchers and have an awareness of appropriate strategies as to how to best reduce exposure and minimise impact;
  • Be aware of, and able to minimise personal and team vulnerabilities to threats;
  • Understand what support to expect from the university and how to access this. 

About the instructor

The course will be led by Lucy Hodgson, training director of the training agency Clarity Security Training, in collaboration with three members of the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), EUR: Professor Dorothea Hilhorst, Professor of humanitarian aid and reconstruction; Linda Johnson, Executive secretary; and Rodrigo Mena, PhD Researcher. Clarity Security Training is the leading provider of personal security training to the United Kingdom’s relief and development sector. In the last 10 years Lucy Hodgson has trained over 6500 staff members from various non-profits, think tanks and several Dutch  Universities. Lucy has over 25 years of experience in the sector, 16 of which have been focused on training, security and risk management.