Stratford Army school Evaluate the utility of Servant leadership in addressing the challenges of leadership at the operational levell


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Reflecting on your own country’s experience, what are the advantages and disadvantages of a
separate army, navy, and air force? Would it be better to have a completely integrated defense
1. Introduction
When a country has a separate defence force system, it becomes easier to counter any
threats it is exposed to. Coordinating becomes easier, and better decisions regarding the
country’s defence are made since different bright military minds make them from the
different defence systems.
2. Advantages of a separate army, navy and air force
a. Having a separate army, navy, and air force benefits the country’s general
security system. Each of the three wings has a specific role that they play with
different tactics and training; therefore, they handle different situations.
b. It would be very difficult for a single soldier to master all three techniques;
therefore, diversifying makes it easy and better. With this, soldiers get quality
training since they specialize in their field of study.
3. Disadvantages of a separate army, navy, and air force
Most of the time, they would agree on what measures to take, but sometimes they may
not agree on the measures proposed by the parties involved. That, in turn, delays the
decision-making process. The more time they take to decide, the more the country’s
citizens are exposed to the oncoming danger.
4. Conclusion
In conclusion, the country is better off with a separate defence force rather than a
completely integrated one. It is also comprehensible that the perks of a separate
defence greatly outweigh its drawbacks. It is evident that with such a system, it is easier
to defend the country and keep its citizens safe, so, like our country, all countries should
also embrace this separate defence force system.
Servant Leadership in Addressing the Challenges of Leadership at the Operational Level
Leadership is an essential part of any organization. Leadership has three levels in any
organizational setup, with the lowest being the operational level. At this level, various leadership
challenges are encountered, negatively influencing organizational performance. Some
challenges include change management, conflict resolution, and adopting an ineffective
leadership style. Based on these facts, the essay addresses the utility of servant leadership in
addressing various challenges encountered at the operational level of management.
Servant leadership is a style that mainly involves the leader possessing the need to serve
their team or organization first, then focus on personal objectives later (Eva, Robin, Sendjaya,
Van Dierendonck, & Liden, 2019). The leadership approach can help address various challenges
encountered at the operational level because it encourages diversity of thought by encouraging
every team member to be innovative and think. The advantage is that everyone contributes to the
organization’s overall success. Additionally, the leadership style in question creates a culture of
trust within the organization, promoting cohesion. This approach improves communication
between team members and departments. Finally, servant leadership helps address various
challenges encountered at the operational management level because it helps team members
develop an unselfish mindset (Gandolfi & Stone, 2018). A large percentage of people thrive
more when they are appreciated and valued. This outcome can only be achieved when one has a
selfless mindset.
Servant leadership is essential in addressing various challenges that leaders face at the
operational management level. The leadership approach is helpful because it encourages
diversity of thought, promotes trust among the organization or team members, and promotes
selflessness. Consequently, organizational success is achieved due to the high level of cohesion
that servant leadership brings.
ACSC26 – Sponsored and Proposed Defence Research Paper Topic List
When selecting the topic of their Defence Research Paper (DRP), Course Members (CMs) are required to complete a Topic Proposal Form
(TPF) offering three topics/questions which they might wish to pursue. At least one of the proposed topics/questions must be drawn from this
list. For clarity, the options open to CMs are to propose:
1. Two topics/questions of the CMs own devising; one from this list, or
2. One topic/question of the CM’s own devising; two from this list, or
3. Three topics from this list
When allocating titles to CMs, the first topic offered is assumed to be the first choice (and so on), unless the CM explicitly states on the TPF
that they have no particular preference. The topic offered from this list can be first, second or third preference. CMs will note that each topic has
a serial number – they are asked to ensure that this is provided in the appropriate place on the TPF to allow effective auditing of the proposed
and sponsored topics which are taken up.
Topic allocation will be discussed in the DRP brief on 20 September 2022 (via MS Teams), but CMs are urged to ensure that the three
topics/questions they propose are all on subjects of interest to them, and that the proposed topics/questions are not all on the same general
area (e.g three proposed topics on space power, or three on Russia, etc, etc). CMs are also asked to remember that the DRP should be written
at an UNCLASSIFIED level.
The topics on this list fall into three categories:
1. Sponsored topics. The sponsor is expected to provide some support (for example, offering insight into relevant documentation, or
facilitating interviews once appropriate ethical clearance is granted)
2. Proposed topics. The topic is of interest to UK defence or is a defence-related subject of interest to another government department, but
the proposer is unable to provide the level of support that might be expected of a sponsored topic
3. DSD proposed topics. These are topics/questions offered by members of the Defence Studies Department of King’s College, reflecting
the area(s) of research interest of those proposing these topics
To what extent does the ever-increasing
reliance of Contractors reduce “Tri-Service”
Capability to provide suitably skilled military
personnel who could sustain military
operations now and in the future?
Analyse the potential effects and
implications of so-called ‘hyperwar’ on
Mulit-Domiain Operations
Additional Details
(Where Applicable)
Does the policy of relying
more upon contractors
run the risk of leaving the
armed forces without the
knowledge and skill-sets
required to support and
deliver military capability
in future operations? If
this is the case, might
defence manage the risk,
or are the risks so
significant that a change
in policy is the only
effective solution? The
DRP might examine this
through the lens of recent
operational experiences
(not just of the UK, but of
its allies).
The concept of ‘hyper
war’ has been explained
thus: ‘Artificial Intelligence
(AI) could lead to
“Hyperwar”—a type of
conflict and competition
so automated that it would
collapse the decision
action loop, eventually
minimizing human control
over most decisions”
What might the effects of
such a development be?
How does defence
Sponsor Contact Details
(Where Applicable)
transform to meet the
Critically evaluate the ways in which
Defence might leverage Machine Learning
and AI to provide automated Information
Management across the whole of the
Digital Space to speed up C4I and reduce
the burden on its personnel
Improving Resilience of the UK’s Water
Infrastructure – Securing Continuity of
This paper would examine
the ways in which AI and
Machine Learning can be
employed to improve
information management
and ultimately command
and control
Whilst the potential
threats to the UK water
supply could theoretically
come from anywhere,
perhaps the most
pertinent fall within four
categories (indeed, many
of the threats may in fact
overlap and interrelate
across these categories):
1) environmental (e.g.
shortages due to climate
change; water quality
2) foreign state-actor (e.g.
Russian New Generation
Warfare including
technological attack and
disruption such as cyber;
Chinese co-option with a
view for future strategic
gain (see McMaster,
2020; Spalding, 2019)),
3) terrorist attack (e.g.
contamination, poisoning
of water supply, physical
attack of infrastructure);
4) industrial-base (e.g.
acquisition and control of
private water companies
by foreign states; pollution
incidents; cyber attack).
Adopting Reynolds’ view
on military tactical
communications, any
water security initiative
should aim for ‘simplicity,
resilience and
repairability’ (in RUSI,
2021: p.64). To this, we
might add that any
solution should also be
“analogue” in nature so as
to limit the impact of any
digital disruption caused
by some of the treats
outlined above. In this
way, the UK would be
adopting the concept of
“defence in depth” (CPNI)
and thus adding in several
layers of resilience and
An example of such a
solution might be to install
a large conduit running
Critically analyse the impact of information
manoeuvre on combined arms manoeuvre
since 1939.
Critically evaluate the impact of social
media on the conduct of operations.
Comment upon the relative impact across
the spectrum of conflict from the tactical to
strategic levels.
from the North of the UK
(the Scottish Highlands)
down to the South, with
spurs running off at
relevant intervals.
There is confusion across
the field Army surrounding
information manoeuvre at
the tactical level, often
confused with information
activities. The purpose of
the research is to provide
analysis, based on
historical examples, on
how information
manoeuvre was
harnessed as part of
combined arms
manoeuvre – both
successfully and
unsuccessfully – and to
thus help develop
practical guidance for
current and future
A significant amount of ink
has been spilled on the
impact of social media on
operations. The ongoing
conflict in Ukraine is the
first conventional conflict
at scale to be fought in
the social media age. The
purpose is to understand
at what level social media
Analyse the relevance of the UN concept of
Human Security to the military at the
operational and tactical level.
has an impact on the
conduct of operations;
tactical, operational and
or strategic against the
originator of the content.
Eg: If a head of
state/head of government
can have strategic impact
through social media use,
have an operational
Defence has placed an
increasing emphasis on
the concept of Human
Security. However, there
is strong evidence,
including the the UNDP
1994 paper that the
military cannot deliver
against the majority of the
UNs seven human
security factors. By
placing emphasis on
human security Defence
is creating problems at
the operational and
tactical levels as
commanders struggle to
deliver against factors that
they cannot (economic) or
should not (political) be
expected to affecting
mission outcomes.
What are the principles of sovereign
defence and integrity in cyberspace?
Critically evaluate the main lines of the
debate over offensive use of Cyber
The use of Uncrewed Systems on the
modern battlefield.
Multiple research titles
could be pulled from the
different areas of interest
as the subject includes
the use of air and ground
systems for multiple
purposes (e.g.:
• Intelligence Surveillance
and Reconnaissance
(including Mapping)
• Medical (Provision of
Medical Supplies and/or
Casualty Evacuation)
• Supply Chain
• Armed use (Ground and
Air Systems; supporting
ops and for
• Command and Control
• Utility of swarming (Part
of C2)
• Survivability/viability in
hostile, non-permissive
Examples of questions:
• What are the issues
around using uncrewed
systems in modern
conflicts (Ethical, Safety,
• Analyse the differing
approaches to using
autonomous systems on
the battlefield differ
between nations and the
possible implications for
UK defence/NATO/the UK
and its allies that arise
from these differences
Current military organisation reflects
Napoleonic needs and can generate
enough friction to prevent action at the
speed of relevance. Do traditional
hierarchies, stovepipes and silos help us to
meet contemporary challenges or is there a
better way to organise for best effect?
What affects contemporary fighting spirit
and how can we accentuate the positive
and eliminate the negative influences?
Analyse the drivers of
fighting spirit, morale and
effectiveness, assessing
whether their overall
influence is positive,
negative or neutral. Paper
would help to inform the
design of organisational
structures, support
services and other
aspects of culture and
lifestyle, considering
which to retain and which
to retire.
Generations theory promises to predict
strategic shocks that would otherwise take
us by surprise, but to what extent can it be
applied in practical forecasting and crisis
“The Strauss–Howe
generational theory,
devised by William
Strauss and Neil Howe,
describes a theorized
recurring generation cycle
in American
history and Western
history. According to the
theory, historical events
are associated with
recurring generational
personas (archetypes).
Each generational
persona unleashes a new
era (called a turning)
lasting around 20–25
years, in which a new
social, political, and
economic climate (mood)
exists. They are part of a
larger cyclical “saeculum”
(a long human life, which
usually spans between 80
and 100 years, although
some saecula have lasted
longer). The theory states
that a crisis recurs in
American history after
every saeculum, which is
followed by a recovery
(high). During this
recovery, institutions
and communitarian values
are strong. Ultimately,
succeeding generational
archetypes attack and
weaken institutions in the
name of autonomy
and individualism, which
eventually creates a
tumultuous political
environment that ripens
conditions for another
To explore the utility of
generations theory in
practical forecasting,
evaluating whether
analysts might be able to
use the theory to better
predict and prepare for
‘strategic shocks’ or
whether the theory is too
imprecise to be of any
effective value to
The Psychology of security behaviours
Security risk management in a Defence
16 S16 How can we adjust Russian perceptions of
Western Ballistic Missile Defence?
To understand what
models for security risk
management are in
operation by NATO Allies,
the effectiveness of the
models and their
applicability to UK
Russia views Western
BMD projects aimed at
threats emanating from
outside the Euro-Atlantic
area with distrust.
Drawing on confidencebuilding measures and
risk reduction
approaches, (how) can
the West adjust Russian
perceptions of BMD?
Evaluate the implications for escalation
management in a world with AI-enabled
nuclear command and control systems
Evaluate the contention that ‘lessons
learned’ about RPAS use have been too
general and often the wrong lessons to
RPAS are widely used in
the spectrum of
operations. Learning from
experience (LFE) informs
future Measure of
Effectiveness of the
capability although much
of the LFE published does
not cover sub threshold
operations, resulting in
the potential for LFE from
conflict being applied to
sub threshold, potentially
drawing the wrong
conclusions for the
method of employment for
RPAS. Where has LFE
being incorrectly applied,
what should the learning
points have been and how
should this be applied to
future doctrine for the pan
Are all female teams performance
better/worse/the same as mixed or all male
What can UK Defence learn from Russia’s
‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, with
regards to mobilising domestic industry and
assessing logistic risk when operating at
“The Carbon Challenge”: What strategic-lift
opportunities should UK Defence now seek
to exploit, given emerging-technologies and
the Net-Zero Carbon Strategy?
Defence employment of
This question might
examine one or both of
the military and Civil
Evidence suggests that
all-girls’ education leads
to better female
performance – is this the
same in the workplace?
Heavily caveated with the
observation that the
Ukraine conflict is ongoing
and the evidence base is
not yet as robust as it
might be, are there
lessons regarding
mobilisation of industry
and/or logistic risks? Are
these lessons new, or do
they reinforce those
learned from previous
conflicts? What, if any,
new features appear to
have emerged from the
current fighting?
What options might the
UK explore and exploit to
reduce or remove the
generation of carbon in its
considerations of future
strategic lift? Is the
putative option of a sub-
orbital delivery capability
wishful thinking, or a
practicable proposition in
the medium-term? Do
large airships (e.g
Airlander) offer a
solution? What emerging
propulsive technologies
might be drawn upon?
Could such technologies
be introduced without
deleterious effects upon
The “Warring Twenties”: What can the first
2 decades of the 21st century teach UK
Defence Logistics about the era of constant
The last 30 years has seen extensive
outsourcing of the UK Strategic Base. What
are the major risks this poses and how can
we employ positive control over this
complex organism?
Commando Forces and Combined Ops.
Using lessons from Combined Operations
since 1940, where, with and against whom
do Commando Forces offer the most utility
to UK foreign policy?
Meeting the demands of the IR – C2 as a
capability. In the context of IOpC, how
should the RN adapt its operational-level
command structure, to deliver the directed
tasks of the IR and Defence Command
It would be of value were
the answer to consider
more than one of the
following CSG; all
Commando Force outputs
(LSG, 2 x LRGs, Fleetfacing tasks, Cdo Theatre
Effect, Nuclear Security);
Special Operations;
DTXG; MCM, and;
persistently deployed
Defining the ‘Threshold’ of operations.
What are Sub-Threshold Operations and
how will these shape the transition and
employment of Commando Forces? Where
/ what is ‘the threshold’? Should we be
preparing for a war or the war?
Relative superiority – contingency in
use. How might UK Littoral Strike progress
from a contemporary platform centric
organisation to a distributed protean force
that retains the complete capabilities of
IOpC, cognisant of the constraints of
sustainability, availability, lethality and
credibility, when operating within the
defining features of the future security
Future Commando Force Sustainment.
Amphibious forces have been stationed
overseas for generations to engage locally
with actors, allies and threats. What trends
emerge in CSS planning, execution and
lessons learned in the British military and
USMC operations launched from the sea
between 1850 and 1910?
The meritocracy of senior naval leadership
Analyse RN 3-4*
appointments over the
last 100 years which can
identify the trends in
education, branch,
operational service and
staff appointments to
Nothing to see here! Lessons for the FCF
from mercenaries and PMCs.
The Offer and the Prize. Evaluate relevant
contemporary models to identify barriers
against and recommendations for the
recruitment and increased employment of
Maritime Reserve Forces.
How does Defence Space contribute to UK
improve understanding of
Royal Marine prospects in
RN 3-4* appointments.
Operating at long range
and/or without significant
support in new and
contested spaces has
been a constant theme for
mercenaries throughout
history and more latterly
with PMCs. Consider
what phycological and/or
physical factors trend
through history to this
The Integrated Review
sets out a security
characterised by
increasing systemic
competition between
states over fundamental
interests, norms, and
This state competition,
and indeed potential
conflict, presents a more
complex challenge than
that posed by non-state
COS UK Space Cmd
actors in recent decades.
a more interconnected
world sees states
pursuing these interests
through increasingly
dangerous means and
increasingly ‘hybrid’ ways.
In such an environment
the UK must compete to
defend our interests and
strategic advantage whilst
maintaining strategic
stability (including
deterrence of the most
extreme threats through
the Nuclear Deterrent)
and carefully managing
threats with the potential
to cause escalation.
Deterrence strategies aim
to convince an adversary
that the likely costs of an
action outweigh its
benefits. To achieve our
objectives the UK requires
a coherent strategy in
which both absolute
deterrence (deterring
something so completely
unacceptable that it
cannot be allowed to
happen under any
circumstances, e.g. a
nuclear attack on UK
sovereign territory) and
restrictive deterrence
(deterrence that reduces
the frequency or severity
of undesirable acts) have
a core role.
The rate of change of technology in the
Space Domain is being driven by
Commercial providers such as Space X or
Blue Origin. How can UK Space Cmd
develop its acquisition model to exploit the
innovation in the commercial space sector
How does Defence Space contribute to UK
Homeland Resilience?
How does Space
contribute to UK
deterrence as we should
not consider Space in
isolation when thinking
about deterrence?
Given the reliance on
commercial operators and
the Government’s own
policies of “dual use” and
“own, collaborate,
access”, how can we
balance the demands of
national prosperity and
economic development
with the delivery of a
resilient and technological
current national space
What part does Defence
Space have to play in
delivering x-govt
Homeland Resilience?
This Government
understands that good
management of risk is
COS UK Space Cmd
DH Plans UK Space Cmd
essential for contingency
planning, increasing the
likelihood that essential
services will be available
for citizens to ensure
protection of people’s
health and safety.
Considering the pervasive
nature of Cyber and
Space, the UK’s critical
national and military
infrastructure will become
increasingly vulnerable.
How does Defence Space address the
blurring of a UK and overseas threats?
Ensuring system and
infrastructure resilience
against disruption, and
retaining sufficient
reversionary modes, will
be critical out to 2035.
In the blurring of UK and
overseas threats UK
Defence is required to
identify and anticipate the
complex challenges of:
natural and man-made
threats; state and nonstate actors, including
extremists, terrorists and
criminals; cyberspace;
and high- and low-end
DH Plans UK Space Cmd
Distinguishing between
criminals and terrorists
may become more difficult
over the next 20 years.
With extremist non-state
actors, often driven by
ideological and criminal
Low-cost launch
capabilities will make their
access to space easier.
Consider viewing this
question through various
lenses, and placing
‘winning’ against a few
scenarios, some options
To what extent is ‘winning’ a space war a
realistic concept.
Operationally, winning in
space could be measured
as not losing, and will
likely be bound temporally
and geographically.
Thus, in operations
winning in space warfare
is the ability to retain
enough freedom of action
to utilise the space
domain to our advantage
at a time and place of our
choosing whilst denying
an adversary their space
COS UK Space Cmd
Geopolitical warfare
(state on state, below and
above threshold of
conflict) Geopolitically,
winning could be seen as
leading behavioural
norms to try to stop a
space war before it
happens, such as
encourage normative
behaviours to minimise
global acceptance of
kinetic conflict in space as
a viable option (as an
against non-state
deliberate action (such
as violent extremist
organisations (VEO)
Against non-state actors
who possibly will have no
or little reliance on space
themselves but the ability
to deny our space
services (think a VEO with
L-band jammers to locally
deny PNT thus rendering
precision munitions
unviable), winning will be
merely not losing, ie
maintaining space
services by defeating
VEO OSC capabilities, or
though resilience, or
through alternative means
(in this example alternate
non-space based PNT
Natural action (ie
winning against extreme
space weather) Against
natural action, such as
extreme space weather,
winning is matter of
resilience and redundancy
to maintain space-based
services or present an
Consider various aspects
including training,
education, branches,
talent management,
How do we train and educate UK defence
personnel to offer the most value to
Coalition Space Ops?
It is commonly touted that
the UK personnel add
value to Space operations
due to the broad
background of its mission
system practitioners. Is
this by luck or design?
There is currently no
defined whole career
space pathway for Civil
Servants, Officers or
Other Ranks. Does the
COS UK Space Cmd
UK losing/not generating
specialists for the sake of
generalists? If the word
specialist is replaced with
professional and
generalist with amateur
does this change the
Has the UK reached a
point where a defined and
managed space career
pathway is needed?
How can the UK
deliberately maintain and
develop its credibility and
This topic can be refined
by the student as quite a
broad topic
Does the UK have the conceptual, physical,
and political will to defend from, or to
attack, – adversary military capabilities in,
to, from and through space?
Is there a gap between
UK non-military and
political actors (consider
recent FCDO proposals to
UN) and the potential
requirement to undertake
military action in, to, from
or through space?
Is UK Space Command
as the Defence element of
COS UK Space Cmd
space power equipped
(conceptually and
physically) to utilise space
as a warfighting domain.
Or does the soft narrative
of viewing space solely as
an operational domain set
an incorrect mindset and
culture that places the UK
on the back foot should
an adversary extend
conflict to the Space

First move
advantage in
space theory
• Russian and
• US position of
viewing Space as
a Warfighting
domain and
generating a
culture within
USSF for the
Guardians to be
space warfighters
Should soft elements of
space power be left to
other government
Consider aspects of
Space governance such
COS UK Space Cmd

Considerations for the future of space
Control of Space is a Team Sport:
Delivering UK Security and Resilience in
the Space Domain.
How relevant is
the Outer Space
Treaty for
contemporary and
future operations
in space?
• What would an
agency look like
that can hold
states and other
actors to account
in a world of great
• Is LEO a free for
From an Anthropocene
perspective, how will the
drive for resource place
demands on CisLuna and
Legrange space
Given the reliance on
commercial operators and
the Government’s own
policies of “dual use” and
“own, collaborate,
access”, how can we
balance the demands of
national prosperity and
COS UK Space Cmd
How should the UK develop its Space
Command to reflect the national and
Defence ambition for Space?
Does analogies of the Space Domain, as a
global common, to the Maritime Domain
oversimplify the challenges and
opportunities presented to Defence.
economic development
with the delivery of a
resilient national space
An examination of the
National Space Strategy,
Defence Space Strategy,
Integrated Review, and
Defence Command
Paper, articulating the
National and Defence
ambition for Space. How
does Space Command
configure itself to deliver
that ambition?
Analysis of a number of
recent Space Power
advocates theories that
Space Power theories can
be based on Maritime
power theorists’ work.
Can this truly be the case
or is it just a superficial
link, given the differences
in the Domains.
Ops (Space): How do we mitigate
denial/disruption/spoofing of the GNSS
system in our military (and domestic) future
Ops (Space): To what extent is ‘winning’ a
space war a realistic concept?
Ops (Space): ‘Control of Space is a Team
Sport’: How should MDI be maximised to
deliver UK Security and Resilience in the
Space Domain.
COS UK Space Cmd
COS UK Space Cmd
Ops (Space): New Horizons. The
implications of the height, speed, and reach
of satellites, pseudo-satellites and
hypersonic on future air capabilities and
Ops (Space): How does space contribute to
UK deterrence?
Ops What role does air power have in a
future urban fight?
Ops Analyse how the Air Mobility Task
Force might be optimised in support of
Global Engagement (suitable research
question to be written by ACSC Course
Member in conjunction with their
Ops What role does air power have in
future air special operations?
Ops The capacity of the Air Mobility fleet
has reduced in recent years. Is it fit for
purpose across the Integrated Operating
Ops What are the opportunities and
challenges for air power in the High North?
Ops What lessons can be drawn from
recent conflicts about national mobilisation
to fight an existential threat and how might
that apply to the UK?
Ops Is the UK morally and ethically
prepared to use AI in the current/future
Ops How can the UK plan the use of the
military lever of power in a one hundred
year national strategy, with lessons from
Ops How does Defence fight the security
effects caused by climate change when
your planet is your foe and everyone else
isn’t your ally?
Ops (Sustainability): What does climate
sustainability mean for operations and selfprotection within NATO?
Ops (Info)How do Armed Forces reliant on
space, cyberspace and mission data
capabilities ensure they can continue the
fight when space and cyberspace are
What can Defence learn from industry
about transformative innovation to ensure it
remains competitive?
Engagement: Analyse how the UK MOD
balances the comparative benefits of hard
and soft power provided by Defence
Engagement to deliver HMG’s fused
objectives globally
Engagement: How do we measure the
cognitive effect to our allies, adversaries,
and partners of Carrier Strike Group 21?
Engagement How should the RAF seek to
partner and capacity build with friendly
nations outside of formal defence
Engagement How should UK air power be
used to support Engagement?
Question asked in order
to help understand how
similar cross-domain
activity could be
employed to best effect in
the sub-threshold.
The question could be
addressed either
generally or by region –
e.g. Indo-Pacific, Africa,
South America
Information How do we synthesize the
effects of Actions, Operations, Activities,
Info Ops, Media Ops, and Public Relations
to deliver the information advantage within
the full spectrum of Defence influence
Information Who really cares about the
RAF’s reputation globally? How does the
use of our operations, activities, and
actions in all domains shape the opinion of
our various target audience groups?
Information: How can the UK command and
control all levers of national power?
Training How have modern technologies
influenced the attitudes and behaviours of
young adults joining the Armed Forces?
Innovation Evaluate the extent to which the
UK might exploit the Air Combat Cloud in
Future Air Operations
Innovation Net Zero 2040: at what cost to
Air capability?
Leadership To what extent should the
relationship between command, leadership
and management alter in the information
Leadership What leadership is required for
a hybrid (physical and remote) work
How have global social tensions such as
the COVID Pandemic, Black Lives Matter,
and MeToo shaped future generations’
desire to serve and in what stage of their
How are military professionalism and/or
professional identity in military
DSD recommended topic
organizations evolving in tandem with
technological, conceptual or other shifts
associated with military ‘transformation’?
The Politics of Military Knowledge – what is
the relationship between military knowledge
and the politics of defence?
What are the implications of military
transformation for civil-military relations?
How far does societal inequality affect
combat performance? Address with regard
to a case study.
Why did colonial soldiers fight? Address
with regard to a case study drawn from
colonial forces in India or Africa, c.1746 to
Critically analyse Field Marshal Sir William
Slim’s command of Fourteenth Army.
How far were British Commonwealth
armies a ‘learning organisation’ during the
Second World War?
How effectively did German forces manage
withdrawals during the Second World War?
How effectively did Allied forces manage
withdrawals during the Second World War?
What were the key factors behind the Allied
loss of Crete in May 1941?
What were the principal constraints on
German efforts to reinforce the fighting in
Normandy between June and August 1944
and was one factor paramount?
Why does Russia exploit surrogate forces
such as the Wagner Group? Answer the
question in relation to its activities in the
Middle East and Africa.
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
Why is China likely to follow Russia and the
US and increase its reliance on private
force in Africa?
There is a mercenary renaissance
occurring in Africa and the Middle East.
Discuss in relation to the US, Russia and
To what extent does professional military
education (PME) need to change in order to
meet future threats and challenges?
To what degree do officers undertaking
Professional Military Education represent a
significantly underutilised resource for
driving innovation?
“The ACSC is not fit for purpose.” Discuss
There is no such thing as world order, only
regional orders striving for dominance.
Discuss with reference to Russia and/or
US leadership of the international order
may no longer be possible or even
necessary (Ikenberry, 2020). To what
extent is this true and with what
consequences for international order and
To what extent can Russia’s invasion of
Ukraine be understood as a fundamental
challenge to the US-led liberal international
order – and with what consequences?
To what extent has the international system
entered a post-hegemonic phase and what
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
To be refined/focused in
consultation with
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
are the consequences for the United States
and/or the United Kingdom?
‘As we speak, the eyes of the world are on
this chamber, questioning whether America
is still the shining example of democracy,
the shining city on the hill.’ (Chuck
Schumer, Jan 2021) To what extent has the
US lost its claim to be an exceptional nation
and what might be the consequences for
US global leadership?
There is no such thing as world order, only
regional orders striving for dominance.
Discuss with reference to Russia and/or
‘We are best when we work collaboratively
and think beyond the silos in which we
have often worked.’ (UKStratCom) What is
the role of diversity and inclusion in
contributing to greater operational
effectiveness within UK Defence?
If D&I is the ‘right thing to do’ (Def D&I
Strategy) why is it so difficult to do
successfully and what are the key
challenges Defence faces in creating a
diverse and inclusive workforce? Discuss
with reference to at least two of the
following: disability, neurodiversity, gender
equality, LGBTQ+, race equality.
To what extent are diversity and inclusion
essential prerequisites for generating
greater creativity and innovation within
What is the role played by D&I networks
within Defence in championing, promoting
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
and fostering a more diverse and inclusive
How important is training and professional
military education in improving
understanding and awareness of the
importance of D&I to Defence?
Why do women continue to be underrepresented in senior leadership roles
within Defence and what are the challenges
to increasing female representation?
What were the main drivers of morale in the
RAF during the Second World War.
What were the main drivers of morale in the
Royal Navy during the Second World War.
What were the main drivers of morale in the
US Army during the Second World War.
How Resolute was Home Front Morale in
Britain during the Second World War?
How Resolute was Home Front Morale in
Japan during the Second World War?
How successfully did the Soviet Union
mobilise its personpower in the Second
World War?
How successfully did Britain mobilise
personpower and resources in its African
and Asian colonies during the Second
World War?
How successfully did France mobilise
personpower and resources in its African
and Asian colonies during the Second
World War?
Why didn’t China collapse between 1931
and 1940?
How successfully did the Italy mobilise its
personpower in the Second World War?
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
Why did Italy fail to conquer Greece in
Assess the Contribution of the Netherlands
and its Colonies to the Outcome of the
Second World War.
Account for the loss of the Dutch East
Indies to the Japanese in the Second World
Topic: A comparative study of European
military assistance to Ukraine
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
To be refined in
consultation with DSD
Topic: The EU as an actor in the war in
To be refined in
consultation with DSD
Topic: European sanctions after Brexit
To be refined in
consultation with DSD
Topic: The European defence industrial and To be refined in
technological base after Brexit
consultation with DSD
Topic: Franco-UK defence cooperation
To be refined in
after Brexit
consultation with DSD
Topic: Franco-UK law enforcement
To be refined in
cooperation after Brexit
consultation with DSD
DSD recommended topic
How does the commemoration of past
conflict influence the British armed forces
today? (or an armed force of your choice)
How have contemporary public attitudes to
conflict affected the British armed forces?
(Or an armed force of your choice)
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
What does the Armed Forces Covenant
deliver for the British armed forces?
How does the Armed Forces Covenant
influence British civil-military relations?
DSD recommended topic
How far has warfare shaped human minds?
Are humans inescapably violent?
Empathy is an essential ingredient in good
strategy. Discuss.
Is Artificial Intelligence going to prompt a
revolution in military affairs?
‘Action can never be based on anything
firmer than instinct, a sensing of the truth.’
Was Clausewitz right?
Has ‘The Division’ as a military formation
changed in the ways it is commanded, is
managed, and is fought, 1809-present?
(Other date ranges may be chosen, in
consultation with supervisor)
How effective has Staff College education
been in the British armed forces, 1799present? What ingredients make for an
effective Staff College course?
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
How was the British Army transformed,
between 1793-1815, into such an effective
military organisation?
What are the implications for UK Defence
of emerging hypersonic missile
Has the pursuit of a qualitative edge in air
power ensured that western air forces are
now unable to obtain necessary combat
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
‘Worn down by operations in a routinely
permissive air environment and a failure to
convey the importance of high-end
capability to budget-holders, British air
power is no longer fit for anything other
than a minor contribution in a future nearpeer or peer-on-peer conflict.’ Evaluate this
critique of UK air power
To what extent has/will space become the
new battlefield for great power competition?
Evaluate the contention that a ‘global
Britain’ requires long range air power
capabilities which have been lacking since
the retirement of the Avro Vulcan in 1984.
Analyse the view that rather than having
the right idea, the ‘Fighter Mafia’ which
argued in favour of numerous cheap,
relatively low-cost combat aircraft came
very close to inflicting irreparable damage
upon the United States’ air power
capabilities, and thanks to its contemporary
acolytes remains a pernicious threat to
American air power capabilities in the 21st
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
DSD recommended topic
Defence Research Paper Study Guide
1. Introduction to the Defence Research Paper
All Course Members on the Advanced Command and Staff course will undertake an
extended piece of research work.
Those following the psc(j) and MA in Defence Studies pathways will complete a
dissertation, known as the Defence Research Paper (DRP); those enrolled on the
Masters in Research (MRes) and Master of Science (MSc) programmes complete a
different form of research project, guidance for which is provided in other
documentation. All those undertaking the ACSC should, however, consult this guide
by way of background, as the majority of Course Members will complete a DRP.
Although the principal purpose of the DRP is to provide a vehicle to help assess the
student’s progress towards both the ACSC end state and the optional King’s College
London (KCL) Masters Degree (MA) in Defence Studies it is also widely used to
inform or assist the broader Defence and Security community.
The fundamental added value of a dissertation is that it offers you the opportunity to
engage with the existing literature, analyse the main debates, and then develop your
own research questions based on the evaluation of ‘gaps’ in the literature.
The DRP takes the form of an academic paper in which Course Members research a
defence-related subject. It is an important element of both psc(j) and the optional MA
and offers the opportunity to demonstrate specialised understanding and
engagement with scholarly debates and to exercise your independent critical
judgement. This makes the DRP a major project that demands considerable time,
effort and organisational ability but which provides you with an opportunity to explore
an aspect of security and defence that is of particular personal interest. It is an
individual undertaking: although advice will be given by an assigned Defence Studies
Department (DSD) supervisor the final responsibility for its successful planning and
completion rests with the student. The DRP provides a means to assess student
abilities against a wide-ranging set of criteria including a student’s ability to:
a. Gather, organise and evaluate information from a variety of sources.
b. Communicate effectively in writing.
c. Engage critically with concepts and theories in a field of study.
d. Master the use of a variety of information technologies for research.
e. Critically evaluate the ideas of others.
f. Demonstrate a breadth of knowledge and apply it.
g. Develop an informed and creative solution to a complex, but specialised,
problem in the area of military and security studies.
h. Construct a sound academic analysis of significant length showing a breadth
and sophistication of knowledge.
i. Demonstrate extensive personal qualities of self-motivation, independence and
The DRP is a Formal Assessment (Written) and carries the largest percentage mark
of any assessment during the Course, accounting for some 33% of the total MA mark
and 17% of the final psc(j) score.
2. The Aim of the DRP
To allow Course Members to demonstrate critical and analytical thought by
producing a carefully researched and clearly argued dissertation on a defencerelated topic.
3. Scope and Timetable of Work
Course Members are to write a paper on a defence-related topic that may be
historical, contemporary or forward-looking. The dissertation is to be no more than
10,000 (psc(j) only) or 15 000 words (MA in Defence Studies) in length and written in
accordance with the guidance contained in the JSCSC Essay Writing Guide (EWG).
NB: Course Members who register for the MA in Defence Studies, but who
subsequently decide to withdraw to complete psc(j) are required to adjust the
word limit for their DRP down to 10,000 words.
The DRP begins with a brief by the DSD Academic Director for the DRP and
completes when the dissertation is submitted. Detailed timings for submission are
provided on the VLE. For ACSC 26, the Briefing will be conducted on 20th September
2022, via MS Teams.
4. What is a DRP?
The DRP is a Masters-level academic essay on a defence-related topic chosen by
the student. The DRP requires a deep level of research, starting with a thorough
review to ascertain the literature which already exists about the topic (i.e. secondary
sources such as journal articles, books and reports). A DRP normally involves either
an element of independent research and/or the re-working of secondary materials
and is intended to contribute to the broader corpus of academic knowledge. Students
must demonstrate expert knowledge of, and insight into, their chosen subject and
explore a problem, hypothesis or question regarding their topic by applying analysis
using an identifiable methodology. The originality of the DRP lies in it being new work
by an individual author, tackling an issue of practical or academic significance. The
requirement for the contribution to knowledge means that research must be
satisfactorily linked to what is already known about the topic. The DRP is not a
Service Paper and as such should not lead to recommendations.
DRPs are not technical or scientific papers, thus proposals to explore particularly
technical aspects of defence (for example, optimum calibres of ammunition natures;
differences between synthetic training equipment for air systems) are not appropriate
for the psc(j) DRP.
5. Focusing and formulating your DRP subject. There is no uniform way of
specifying what a DRP should address or how one should approach the work. That
said, a good DRP usually has a clear focus, an interesting and perhaps even original
approach, and is executed in a logical and convincing way. Accordingly it is worth
expending a good deal of effort on the preparatory and often uncomfortable
processes of specifying a prime and personally interesting aim; considering various
alternative or complementary ways of tackling the DRP; and developing ideas and
themes in a comprehensible way – i.e. comprehensible to someone other than you. It
is important to ensure that the DRP does not become over-laden with jargon or
assumes very specific knowledge on the part of the reader; in generic terms, it
should seek to add to the breadth and depth of an informed reader who possesses a
reasonable amount of knowledge about the subject being discussed, and who will
find the analysis presented in the DRP an accessible and useful contribution to
furthering their understanding.
When choosing a subject, it is important that the topic is one which fires the interest
of its author; selecting a subject you want to do, rather than one which you think you
should do has proven an effective approach in the past. It is also worth scanning the
Hobson Library catalogue pages to ascertain the sort of topic areas which have been
examined in the past. When doing this, Course Members are urged to note that
topics, while focused upon a key research question, are not narrowly-focused.
To further aid in understanding the nature of a DRP, examples of previous DRPs
which scored strongly on previous courses are provided on the VLE.
As discussed below, Course Members are required to submit three proposed topics,
and will be allocated one of them as their DRP topic.
6. Classification. Dissertations are produced as unclassified documents and it is up
to the student to ensure that their submitted work is of an unclassified nature. As a
general rule, only open-source material should be cited/quoted in the DRP. In no
circumstances should material above Official Sensitive be alluded to or referenced in
the DRP as this may create difficulties in assessment and dissemination of the work.
7. Topic Sources. The JSCSC, as part of a wider Defence Academy initiative, is
keen that the considerable research effort that goes into the delivery of a DRP is also
of value to the wider defence community. As a result, MoD and OGD (such as FCO,
DfID et al) are encouraged to submit proposed areas of research.
These fall into the 2 categories of Sponsored and Proposed topics. Sponsored
Topics are topics or questions which are of specific interest to a particular
department which agrees to provide some degree of subject matter expertise through
research assistance and 3 mentoring to the DRP author. Proposed Topics are topic
or questions which are of interest to the defence community, but where the proposing
department or agency is unable to provide research assistance and mentoring.
In addition, members of DSD offer a range of topics and questions, which are
interned to offer Course Members a choice of subjects where DSD are recognised
experts and are willing to supervise a research paper on the proposed topic/question.
Sponsored and Proposed topics range in scope and focus, covering historical and
contemporary issues of interest to the wider defence community.
A consolidated list of these topics is provided on the DRP pages on the VLE; the
CDERA pages will, in due course, contain the list of sponsored and proposed topics
for the DRP (along with other questions and topics which are more appropriate for
those undertaking study or research at the Technology School and other parts of the
Defence Academy).
8. Area of Research. Having consulted the wide variety of suggested research
areas the final selection of a suitable topic is an important milestone which must be
considered thoughtfully. Before any final decision is made, students may wish to ask
themselves the following questions:
a. Why is my intended area of research relevant?
b. What has already been written about the topic?
c. Is there a gap in knowledge?
d. Can this gap realistically be filled by research?
e. Is the type and amount of research feasible within the confines of the time
f. Is the available literature sufficient to allow the completion of a paper at
least 10,000 words in length?
g. Is it possible to cover the topic in 10,000/15,000 words, or is the subject too
broad to be adequately discussed and analysed within these limits?
h. To what extent can gaps in the extant literature be covered by the use of
interviews, or the synthesising of extant information that has not been drawn
together to offer effective analysis of the subject being covered?
Thereafter students should consider what type of research material is needed, where
that material can be collected and what difficulties they are likely to encounter.
9. Ethical approval. All research which involves human participants (e.g.
interviews) or raises other ethical issues with potential social or environmental
implications must be submitted for ethical review. The term research should be taken
in its broadest possible sense and includes questionnaires, observations and the use
of materials derived from human participants as well as invasive or intrusive
procedures. The re-use of personal data may also require ethical approval due to its
sensitive nature or if individuals can be identified from it. Please refer to the Ethics
information on the King’s page of the DLE.
10. Topic Proposal. Course Members are to propose a prioritised list of 3 DRP
topics. One of the 3 topics must be from the list of Sponsored or Proposed
topics described above (and Course Members are asked to place the serial
number which applies to the question/topic chosen in the appropriate part of the
Topic Proposal Form (TPF). If they so desire, Course Members may choose all three
topics from this list or a permutation between Sponsored/Proposed topics and
questions/topics of their own design. Experience suggests that it is useful for Course
Members to develop at least one topic of their own design, rather than to rely entirely
upon the Sponsored/Proposed topic list, not least since it reduces the risk of books
essential to the topic being in heavy demand from the Hobson library if a significant
number of Course Members undertake the same title/topic.
Having decided upon their 3 topics, Course Members should develop their intended
topics into working titles, each accompanied by a short paragraph that addresses the
purpose and intent of the Paper and highlights specific research questions that are to
be answered within the DRP. This assists the allocation process greatly and helps to
form a basis for discussion with the allocated supervisor in due course. It is inevitable
that research will lead to some or all of the initial thinking laid down on the TPF
changing in nature or scope, or even deletion of what appeared to be key points from
the final submission. The outline paragraphs do not commit a Course Member to
following the path scoped out on the TPF.
Where a DRP proposal deals with a subject area that is not specifically a sponsored
topic but covers similar issues they are encouraged to liaise with the appropriate
sponsor and may be requested to submit their DRP as a Sponsored Topic.
11. Form Submission. DRP Topic Proposal Forms (TPFs) should be submitted
electronically to syndicate DS in accordance with the Timetable accessible on the
VLE. Although the topic proposals are presented in order of preference it is essential
that all 3 cover subject matter which Course Members are fully prepared to conduct
research as there can be no guarantee that their first choice will be allocated. It is
important that the 3 proposals do not cover the same subject area, since this may
create difficulties in allocation of supervisors and lead to a Course Member being
asked to resubmit their form.
An electronic template will be available on the VLE as well as a completed example.
12. ‘Out of Comfort Zone’. Research proposals should seek to offer topics which
cover areas with which Course Members are not intimately familiar (colloquially
known as ‘What I did in my last job’ topic proposals). This does not mean that
Course Members are unable to research and write upon the environment/domain in
which their service operates.
Thus, for example, a Course Member whose appointment immediately prior to
attending ACSC was commanding a ship/battalion/squadron is perfectly at liberty to
write about an aspect of the maritime/land/air environment but should not write within
their ‘comfort zone’ on a narrow topic which does not go beyond their specific area of
specialisation or past experience.
Nevertheless, should a compelling argument exist for a Course Member to write on a
subject that obviously sits wholly within their specialisation or previous military
experience, this should discussed with their syndicate DS, and be indicated on their
Topic Proposal Form.
13. The Role of DSD Supervisors
The relationship between a Course Member and their DSD supervisor is a very
individual one but most DSD prefer to act as a supporting resource and respond to
the initiatives. Supervisors will respond fully to all reasonable requests for advice and
assistance; conversely it is expected that reports on progress will be given on a
regular basis. DSD supervisor contact periods are programmed into the ACSC
timetable at regular intervals throughout all 3 terms.
In some cases, a Course Member may feel that the assistance of a supervisor is
unnecessary. Even if this is the case, they are strongly urged to discuss the direction
of their DRP with their nominated supervisor. Academic discussion and interaction is
a key element of the whole undertaking. It is not the responsibility of the DSD
supervisor to ‘chase’ those who fail to maintain contact with them. Any difficulties
which arise (for example, as the result of the supervisor being unavailable for an
extended period through illness) should be brought to the attention of the DSD DRP
Module Director.
16. Meetings with supervisors. Course Members are encouraged to use meetings
with supervisors to discuss specific stages in the preparation and development of
their DRP and it is often useful to base each meeting around a progress report or
outline which you have earlier submitted. In subsequent research, you may discover
material or expert opinion that necessitates further alterations. It is important that
supervisors are kept informed of any major departures from the original outline or
aim of the Paper. It is permissible to make alterations to the title to account for
changes of direction caused by research. Such changes must be agreed with the
supervisor; once agreed, the Course Member should inform the DSD Programmes
Officer (Ms Lucy Fisher – of the alteration so that the database
of DRP titles remains accurate.
17. What will your DSD supervisor will be looking for? In reviewing your
dissertation progress, your supervisor will be ensuring that you are covering the
following areas, as these will form the basis of the assessment:
a. Content. Is the question, clearly established at the outset, being investigated
with reference to existing theory or knowledge? Does the student demonstrate
knowledge of the available literature on the subject? Is the scope of the
dissertation sufficiently wide? Is the dissertation the student’s own work, and
can the student’s work be distinguished from that of others by the adequate
use of references?
b. Analysis. Is the issue being addressed or the hypothesis tested, firmly based
on the literature or other sources or ideas? Is the collection of data relevant to
the aim of the dissertation? Are the research methods used appropriate and
have they been competently employed? Does the student show an
understanding of the limitations of information used, particularly its reliability
and representativeness? Do the conclusions follow from the research carried
out for the dissertation? Is the dissertation objective, and its findings, based on
firmly established ideas and facts rather than unsupported opinions and
prejudice? Does the student fully differentiate between opinion and fact? Is
the content presented in an enquiring, critical fashion, or is it mere description?
c. Structure. Is the structure logical; are there good links between individual
sections or chapters?
18. Preparing for the first meeting with your assigned DSD supervisor. Once a
DRP topic proposal has been approved (and prior to the first meeting with DRP
supervisors) it is useful to prepare by considering the following questions:
a. What are the central problems or hypotheses to be addressed? Why are
they important and what has preceded them?
b. What sources of information could be used?
c. What research methods seem appropriate or could be developed?
d. What conclusions might be drawn?
e. What chapter headings could summarise the whole work?
f. What resources (time and money) will be needed?
g. Will ethical approval be required?
Many supervisors appreciate being sent a short summary (bulleted list, mind map)
prior to the initial meeting. This enables a more fruitful opening discussion to take
place as the supervisor can offer more focused advice to assist the commencement
of the research process.
19. Planning and Preparation Prevents…. Thinking about the DRP in this way
before the initial meeting with assigned DSD supervisors provides a useful basis for
a thorough and meaningful discussion. It also helps to evaluate and refine ideas
before committing to any avenues of research which one might subsequently regret.
Those who engage in this fashion develop tighter, better-constructed DRPs that are
quicker to write and involve less iteration of process.
Since the process of research and writing is complex it makes sense to address
these key aspects of research as early in the process as possible. It also provides a
standard against which one can judge one’s own progress. Ultimately, and ahead of
actual research, Course Members should be confident that the aim of their DRP is
clearly focused, practicable and manageable: it should be challenging but
19. Research methods. The choice of appropriate research methods is central to
dissertation success. Common questions raised at the outset of research include;
whether a paper must employ original survey work; whether secondary sources can
be used; whether a case study approach, or a retrospective review would be best
suited? The rule of thumb is that any method employed must help the author deliver
an analytical answer to the question in hand. Equally, success in research is not just
a question of doing a lot of work, but also a question of the reliability of your research
findings. Research methods should be discussed with the assigned DSD supervisor.
20. Choice of research method. DRP authors should ensure that they consider
the advantages and disadvantages of different methods. You may wish to consider
using both qualitative and quantitative research methods. You will be expected to
demonstrate knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of the methods you
choose to use. As a guide, qualitative methods include semi-structured interviews
and literature reviews. Quantitative methods aim to provide some statistical
data. They include documentary evidence (reports, records) and analyses of
published or unpublished statistics. Consideration of research methods raises
research ethics questions discussed below.
21. Ethical Approval. All research that involves human participants (e.g. interviews)
or raises other ethical issues with potential social or environmental implications must
be submitted for ethical review. The term research should be taken in its broadest
possible sense and includes questionnaires, observations and the use of materials
derived from human participants as well as invasive or intrusive procedures. The reuse of personal data may also require ethical approval due to its sensitive nature or if
individuals can be identified from it. Annex A contains a short guide issued to MA
Students within DSD – it is offered to provide insight into the process; although
designed for King’s-registered students, its principles are relevant to all Course
Members who may wish to seek ethical approval. Further advice can be obtained
from your DSD Supervisor
A flow chart to determine applicability of ethical approval is on the VLE; if approval is
required it is important to engage with the process as quickly as possible given that
the turnaround time for more involved applications can be quite long,
a. For KCL MA students. Research carried out under the remit of the School
of Social Science & Public Policy (as part of the Defence Studies Department
MA in Defence Studies) which does not involve serving personnel (or their
family members) should be submitted for ethical approval to the War Studies
Group Research Ethics Panel.
Further information on KCL ethical approval can be found at:
For those MA students who are researching a MoD sponsored topic or whose
research involves MoD personnel, further approval from the MoD Research
Ethics Committee (MoDREC) may be required. Whilst this should be a
formality, it is a necessary pre-requisite to ensure that the MoD is aware and
is to be factored into your individual planning timetable.
b. For Course Members not undertaking the MA. Research involving
human participants undertaken, funded, or sponsored by the MoD must meet
acceptable ethical standards, which are upheld by MoDREC. JSP 536
(Ethical Conduct and Scrutiny in MoD research Involving Human Participants)
sets out the conditions for all investigators conducting research involving
human participants in MoD research, both clinical and non-clinical. It also sets
out the MoD’s process for the assessment of research protocols. A copy of
JSP 536 is on the VLE together with a checklist to determine potential
Advice and guidance on the details of the ethical approval process itself is given as
part of the DRP briefing process. The DS DRP WTL is the initial point of contact for
all ethical issues and acts as the primary link to the MoDREC Secretariat. Once a
topic has been approved and the ethics guidance read Course Members can discuss
with their DRP supervisors whether or not their DRP will be affected by this policy. It
cannot be over-emphasised that carrying out research without ethical approval
could constitute both an academic disciplinary offence and be in breach of
service regulations. DRPs which have been granted ethical approval should have
the appropriate serial number added in the appropriate location on the DRP cover
In the rare instances where DRPs containing interviews, etc, have been submitted
without ethical approval have been obtained, the sections containing the information
derived from unapproved engagement with human subjects have had to be
disregarded with deleterious effects on the grade awarded for the DRP; this could, in
theory, lead to the need to disregard almost the entire DRP with obvious
consequences for the work and its grade.
22. Research travel. Experience suggests that in some cases, visits to military or
other governmental units and organisations in order to conduct formal or informal
interviews might be useful. These are, in the main, not necessary: such interviews
might yield classified information unsuitable for inclusion in an unclassified DRP or
raise unforeseen ethical questions that need clearance. Nevertheless limited funding
exists to facilitate such research visits. Requests for collective or individual travel for
DRP research are to be submitted to the DS WTL at least 2 weeks prior to the date
of intended travel. Although there are no hard and fast rules regarding the nature of
these requests, common sense will be applied: for example, requests to hire a
minibus to enable half a dozen students to visit MoD Main Building during Student
Reflection Time (SRT) will be regarded more favourably than a number of individual
trips or unrealistic requests for overseas travel. The WTL will make an assessment of
each request, weigh them against the funds available and authorise expenditure as
appropriate. Retrospective claims for travel for DRP research will not be authorised.
Planning and Delivery
23. Planning your work. Individual timetables or schedules of work will obviously
depend on the type of DRP undertaken. However, success in managing the whole
process also depends on how well the work is initially planned and subsequently
monitored against the plan. It may prove helpful to develop a flow chart or critical
path analysis of the necessary activities that will support the delivery of the DRP;
experience suggests that one should consider how long each stage (reading,
research and writing) will take and then double it.
At all times Course Members should be aware of other pressures on their time (such
as other formal assessments, work/holiday absences from JSCSC, domestic
imperatives etc) and plan accordingly. Work plans should be developed around
outputs, grouped into sections of work, and should regularly be discussed with DSD
supervisors. Although the DRP is a major piece of work, many thousands of ACSC
graduates have completed them successfully. However, a passable DRP cannot be
completed in a quick burst of effort over a few days. The best strategy is to do a little
at a time over the whole period available for its completion.
If at any point you feel you are struggling academically, especially if progress
appears to have stalled, you must consult your DSD supervisors straight away. Term
3 is far too busy to undertake much significant work on the DRP: do not get caught
out by leaving everything to the last moment. There are too many examples of past
Course Members who have had to resort to taking shortcuts due to last-minute time
pressures and whose DRP score – and by extension overall ACSC result – has been
drastically compromised as a result.
24. Literature review. Whatever the subject, at the outset of their research all DRP
authors are strongly advised to undertake a literature review: this helps to determine
the existing scholarship in each research area. It is important to appreciate that a
literature review does not replace the final bibliography and will not encompass the
full range of references that will be employed in footnotes and bibliographies.
It is worthwhile being systematic in one’s approach. As a guide, a literature review of
18 to 20 books and articles on your topic is recommended as an initial starting point.
Students should begin by reviewing the best-known books or articles in a chosen
field and then move on to review the secondary sources employed in those articles
and books. Sources may also be identified through:
a. On-line search.
b. Proceedings of relevant associations and/or research bodies.
c. Journals index pages (often summarised by topic, annually).
d. Networked resources on the Internet.
The JSCSC library staff are very familiar with the requirements of academic
research: they are an excellent first port of call when undertaking your initial forays
into researching any essay or presentation throughout the Course.
It is important to note that the term ‘literature review’ can sometimes cause
confusion. As intimated above, the term is used here to describe conducting a survey
of material which is available to support and sustain research for the DRP.
In many instances, the DRP will contain a section or sections reviewing the literature
pertaining to the subject and discussing the debate(s) over the topic, the extent of
existing research and so on. This is also known as a ‘literature review’ and
experience shows that conflation of the more general surveying of the field of source
material(s) as described here and the need for a section in the DRP reviewing and
analysing the canon of relevant literature can arise. DSD supervisors can advise on
how to address the nature of the discussion regarding source materials and the
debates within the field of study within individual DRPs.
25. First drafts. Inevitably, first drafts will contain weaknesses. Early versions will
need revision in the light of subsequent research or findings and the clarity and
brevity of the writing itself may also need constant monitoring and improvement.
However, writing up individual sections as soon as one is in a position to do so keeps
the whole task manageable and greatly assists in adhering to one’s individual
26. Correct citation practice. It is important to employ the correct citation practice
for footnotes and bibliography. This, along with other advice on essay preparation
and writing, can be found in the EWG. The methods outlined in the EWG are the
College standard and must be used for all assessed work.
If you are in any doubt with regard to how to reference other documents you must
seek advice from your DSD supervisor. Referencing and attribution is sometimes not
straightforward, and supervisors will not respond adversely to requests for advice in
this area.
Inadvertent errors in referencing that lead to breaches of academic protocol,
particularly plagiarism, are a serious matter even if there is no suggestion of wilful
wrongdoing. Poor scholarship of this sort seriously, compromises the quality of a
submission, and if the poor academic practice is of sufficient scale to constitute
plagiarism, there is a serious risk that the DRP will receive a mark of Zero (as has
resulted in some unfortunate instances in previous ACSCs).
27. Quoting Lectures. As amplified in the EWG, lectures given at the JSCSC should
not form a key part of the sources for the DRP as the argument should be based on
publicly available and verifiable sources; moreover all ACSC lectures and
presentations (including those given by members of DSD) are delivered under the
Chatham House Rule and cannot therefore be cited within a DRP without the
express permission of the lecturer.
Maintaining the conditions that enable the College’s perennial level of free and frank
discussion is paramount; upholding the Chatham House Rule is a fundamental
element of this. Respecting these principles is perhaps even more crucial for DRPs:
with all Papers available on the Defence Intranet the identification of individuals is
even more likely in cases where a DRP author has provided too much detail. The
EWG contains comprehensive details on how to reference under the Chatham
House Rule.
28. Plagiarism, Cheating, Collusion and Fraud (PCCF). The Defence Academy
and King’s College London place considerable emphasis on their joint and separate
reputations and insist upon the highest standards of integrity. They encourage wideranging research, collaborative learning and teamwork and welcome altruistic
assistance rendered by one student to another.
However, plagiarism, cheating, collusion and fraud are unacceptable and will not be
tolerated. The College policy on these matters can be found online, and briefings on
these are provided to the course. As with other submissions, all DRPs will be tested
electronically for plagiarism. In conjunction with the experience of DSD markers, the
software (Turnitin) is very effective at identifying cases of plagiarism. A separate
briefing is provided on plagiarism and how it can be avoided, but for this guide,
suffice to say that use of the ‘Sandbox’ function of Turnitin to ensure that inadvertent
plagiarism has not occurred is strongly recommended. As noted above, further
guidance on PCCF is provided separately to this guide. Again, if you are in doubt or
have concerns in this regard, you should feel free to consult with your supervisor for
In cases where there are concerns over PCCF, particularly with regard to doubts
over the provenance of authorship of a piece of work, Course Members may be
required to attend a viva voce examination to determine whether the level of
knowledge shown in the DRP is comparable to that of its apparent author. Such a
process is standard for psc(j) purposes and may form part of King’s College
London’s response to an issue of this sort. A separate process to ascertain the
provenance of pieces of work which are suspected to not be the original work of the
claimed author would be initiated by DSD should the need arise. It must be noted
that such cases are exceptionally rare in the context of the Defence Academy but the
issue is highlighted so that Course Members can be reassured that processes are in
place to ensure that those who might seek to gain an unfair advantage over their
peers through PCCF do not succeed in doing so.
29. Length. As noted above, a DRP is to be a maximum of 10,000 words in length
for non-MA psc(j) students and 15,000 words in length for MA psc(j) students.
a. Word count. The counting convention is that the abstract and bibliography
are excluded from the total but headings, main text and footnotes/endnotes
are included. Annexes also count within the word limit, unless they simply
reproduce word for word a text from another source (such as an official
document) and are included as general reference. The penalties for overlength pieces of work are outlined in the EWG. It should be noted that being
able to remain within the word count is regarded as part of the discipline of
producing a dissertation.
b. Abstract. An abstract appears on the first page of the DRP; it is separate
from the rest of the DRP and is excluded from the overall word count. It is not
simply a reworked version of the introduction but aims to aid future
researchers through accurate library categorisation. The abstract should be
approximately 100 words in length and is a short informative descriptive
summary of the DRP. It should define the scope of the whole work including
(where necessary) the research methods employed. Above all it must outline
the conclusions reached. The example given below is taken from a DRP
entitled Combatant or criminal: what should the status of the enemy be in the
global war on terror?
One of the most contentious issues of the global war on terrorism has been the
treatment and classification of the enemy. The existing laws of armed conflict do not
recognise the terrorist as a legal combatant; as a result he is either condemned as a
criminal or held in legal limbo. This paper examines the nature of the terrorist and
his status in the global war on terror. Using information presented in academic, legal
and government literature it concludes that current practices are not only flawed,
but threaten the cohesion and legitimacy of the international community’s
campaign. The paper also examines the issue from the point of view of the enemy;
and using his training manuals, ideology and testimonies concludes that in order to
strengthen the fight against him, the international community must first give him
recognition as an enemy combatant.
Submission and Return Procedures
30. Submission process. Final DRPs are to be produced using 1½ line-spacing in
the JSCSC standard script of Arial, font size 11, except for those circumstances
specified in the EWG. The DRP will be uploaded to Turnitin, as per instructions
provided. No hard copy of the DRP is required. The following points should be noted.
a. The DRP must include a DRP cover sheet at the beginning of the
document.. Students are also to complete and enclose a DRP submission
sheet in the DRP, the relevant Disclaimer notice, a Title Page and Abstract.
Templates of all underlined sections are available on the VLE. Where
applicable, the serial number for ethical approval should be provided on the
cover sheet.
b. Submission and Requests for Extension. Failure to submit DRPs by
hand-in date without prior approval will result in a student being subject to
mark penalties for late submission. This may lead to failure of the DRP
module (for psc(j) and the MA in Defence Studies if registered on that
All requests for extension to the submission deadline must be made by email
to the DS WTL (copied to your DSD DRP supervisor, Div XO and the DSD
Programmes Officer who oversees DSD administration for all submissions,
even if the DRP is not being submitted towards a King’s MA) including full
justification; any extensions sought or granted through alternative approval
chains will not be recognised.
MA students should also complete a Mitigating Circumstances Form, which is
available on the VLE. This has to be approved by the DSD Assessment SubBoard Chair or Deputy Chair.
Submission of an extension request does not guarantee approval. Once
submitted, no subsequent major amendment to the DRP will be permitted
31. Assessment. DSD supervisors will mark a copy of each of their allotted DRPs
and allocate a mark in accordance with the Formal Assessment (Written)
assessment criteria. The DSD supervisor is solely responsible for marking the DRP
for psc(j) purposes. First marking is subjected to the College assessment quality
assurance processes. The consolidated mark goes forward towards the overall MA
assessment and will be second marked, a process that happens independently of
psc(j). DRPs submitted by MA students may also be sent to an external examiner as
part of King’s quality assurance processes for degree programmes.
32. Assessment clarification and grievances. The following guidelines apply:
a. Course Members seeking clarification of comments made on their DRP are
to raise these in person, in the first instance, with their DSD DRP supervisor.
b. Course Members wishing to express a grievance about the performance
grade awarded for their DRP are to raise the matter in person with their DSD
DRP supervisor. If a Course Member is not content with the outcome of this
approach, they are to adhere to the appeals process outlined in the Appraisal
Guide on the VLE: they should raise the matter with their syndicate DS, who
will refer it via the Div XO to the appropriate Divisional Director. Any such
appeal will be arbitrated between the Divisional Director, the DSD lead for
DRP and the Deputy Dean of Academic Studies (Education). If agreement
cannot be reached within this group, the Dean of Academic Studies (DAS)
will make the final decision.1
c. As with all assessment elements, it is college policy that academic
judgement regarding a grade cannot be challenged; appeals will only be
considered on grounds of issues with process.
d. Should an appeal under the above process lead to an alteration in the
mark awarded, this applies only for psc(j) purposes. King’s Academic
Regulations require that any appeals against marks awarded for work
submitted to a King’s degree programme may only occur after the programme
sub-Assessment Board has sat and the results confirmed by the Faculty of
Social Science and Public Policy Assessment Board which sit in the autumn
following the submission of the DRP (usually in November). In such
instances, those wishing to appeal against an MA mark – on grounds of
process only – must do so within two weeks of being notified of the result of
their degree.
33. Final library copies. There is a requirement for all DRPs to be deposited in the
library. On receipt of the marked DRP students are to make any objective
amendments to the electronic copy of their DRP, correcting any formatting mistakes,
typing errors and factual errors that may have been highlighted during the marking
process. This is not an opportunity for a re-write! Whether corrections have been
required or not, all students are required to email this final amended DRP to the
library staff before departing the College at the end of course; a reminder will be sent
closer to the time. You are to ensure that this version is not password protected. The
option to request that a DRP be embargoed and not readily accessible exists and if
required, details may be obtained from the DS WTL.
34. Copies for Title Sponsors. In addition to the internal library copy described
above, all those who undertake a sponsored DRP topic are to email a copy of their
final amended version to their sponsor. This does not apply to Proposed or DSD
Recommended titles.
1 In instances where DAS is unavailable, another member of the DSD Senior Leadership Team
(other than DDAS (Education) who will have been involved in the process already)will be
delegated to make the decision.
Copyright and publication
34. Copyright:
a. The intellectual property right of copyright comes into existence as soon as
an author puts pen to paper, a literary work having been created at that point.
The existence of this right cannot be disclaimed. For a literary work, such as
a paper or article written by a student or staff member of the College, the
consent of the copyright owner is required for copying or publishing the work
or for performing it in public.
b. Literary works such as the DRP that are authored by Course Members
attending the ACSC as part of their duties as UK crown servants (eg UK civil
servants and personnel of the UK Armed Forces) are subject to Crown
Copyright. Accordingly, the JSCSC (as part of the MoD) is free to reproduce
and publish such works as it sees fit.
c. The JSCSC, in its capacity as an agent of the MoD (the copyright holder),
hereby authorises the authors of DRPs to copy or offer their own DRP for
publication in MoD-sponsored or civilian defence-related journals. Authors
may, if they so wish, submit their essays independently after the Course has
finished. DRPs are not available for such exploitation until such time as it has
been formally assessed by the DSD and subsequently corrected by the
author. Authors are responsible for obtaining any necessary clearances
required to permit publication in civilian defence-related journals, and
reminded that this is an important part of the process for publication (be that
in a journal or online) which shouldn’t be overlooked.
d. International and non-UK MoD civilian students hold the copyright of their
academic work. To accord with copyright rules, international members who
undertake a MoD sponsored topic are required to complete the relevant
section of the Submission Sheet to confirm that they are content to have their
DRP forwarded to the relevant sponsor or used for publication as part of the
JSCSC Commandant’s Papers or the Defence Academy Yearbook.
35. Publication. The following guidelines apply:
a. Each year a number of DRPs are recommended for consideration by
editors of Service and other journals. Authors of such papers will be informed
immediately after selection and guided by the DSD on preparation and
submission of the DRP as a journal article.
b. A number of the top DRPs may be selected for publication in full. These
are distributed annually and are read at the most senior level. An index of all
other DRPs is included in the publication to raise awareness of the areas of
research available for reference.
c. Course Members should also be aware that the JSCSC may publish
selected DRPs on the College internet and intranet web sites. Selection of
these essays will be on a case-by case basis and will normally include all
prize-winning DRPs. At present only the work of UK personnel is considered
for publication in this way due to the copyright considerations described
d. Following the end of the Course the DRPs of all UK personnel are
forwarded to CDERA and will be used to form a bank of reference material
available to the wider MoD.
36. Disclaimers. As there is the potential for all DRPs to be published all papers are
to contain an appropriate disclaimer and copyright notice; appropriate templates are
available by the VLE.
37. Retention of DRPs. The Hobson Library retains copies of all DRPs in order to
facilitate research both by Defence Academy staff and students and by the wider
Defence community. This is not affected by the issues of copyright discussed above
and agreement to this arrangement is an implicit condition of their attendance on
A. Ethical Approval .
Annex A to
Defence Research Papeer Guide
A Very Short Guide to Research Ethics for Staff and Postgraduate Students in
the Department of Defence Studies
Ethical approval is needed for all staff and students carrying out research involving
human participants or raising other ethical issues. It is a mandatory requirement that
all research with human participants be conducted in accordance with sound ethical
principles. The ethics approval process is designed to help you think through any
ethical risks associated with your research, to mitigate any such risks to the extent
possible, and to consider whether the potential gains from the research justify those
risks. Research that raises ethical issues that is conducted without ethical approval
will be treated as misconduct and the College takes no responsibility (financial or
otherwise) for such research.
The term ‘research’ should be taken in its broadest possible sense and includes
questionnaires, observations and the use of materials derived from human
participants as well as invasive or intrusive procedures. The re-use of personal data
may also require ethical approval due to its sensitive nature or if individuals can be
identified from it. Research raising any ethical issues with potential social or
environmental implications may also require approval.
Retrospective approval is NOT possible for any research; ethical approval must be
received BEFORE you begin your research. We encourage everyone who is eligible
to sign up to the Serendipitous Research Ethics Code (see below) in advance if you
wish to take advantage of unanticipated research opportunities that may arise.
Ethical Research
One of the foundations of ethical research is informed consent; participants must
be fully informed about:

the objectives of the research;

about what participation involves (both substantively in terms of the
types of questions you will ask and logistically in terms of how much
time participation will take, etc.);

about how you will use the information that you collect from them. Will
it be used in course essays? in a MA dissertation that is stored in the
Annex A to
Defence Research Papeer Guide
KCL library? In a publication?, Etc.? And will that information be
attributed to them or quoted anonymously?

and about any possible risks they may face as a result of
Often this information is provided in a written information sheet. Depending on your
research (especially if it entails minimal risk) you may also do this through an email
or even orally if that is appropriate. It is important to remember that you need to
provide all participants with an explanation of why the research will be done, what
you are asking of them, how the information they provide will be used, and any risks
involved. Written information can usually be more detailed and allows potential
participants to thoroughly consider what is being asked of them before they agree to
participate. [There are some research questions that require deception; any use of
deception about the aims of the research makes a project high risk and requires the
submission of a high-risk research ethics application.]
Another central element to ethical research is voluntary participation. Participants
should not be under any coercion to participate. Coercion can arise from the
researcher’s current or former relationship to the participant (your friends or
subordinates may not feel like they can refuse), from the use of gatekeepers (if you
reach contact potential participants through the employer or superior, they may feel
obliged to participate), through the use of financial incentives/compensation, etc. You
should carefully consider whether your recruitment strategy entails any possibility of
coercion and if so, you need to devise a strategy to mitigate it. For example, if you
approach participants through an employer or supervisor, you can take steps to
prevent that employer or superior from knowing who then agreed to participate.
Written consent via a formal consent form provides a clear record of what you have
asked and what the participant has agreed to, and provides the best protection for
both the researcher and the participant. However, there may be times where other
written consent (e.g. an email agreeing to be interviewed) or even oral consent may
be appropriate, depending on the level of risk involved in the research and the
research context.
It is standard practice to offer participants anonymity. This is because a potential
risk of almost all research is that something a participant tells you comes back to
Annex A to
Defence Research Papeer Guide
haunt them in some way. (Perhaps they were critical of their employer and their
employer takes exception to their comments.) It is also the case that your
participants may be more frank and honest if they are speaking anonymously. But
you can also offer participants the choice of having their comments fully attributed
(by name), or partially attributed (by some agreed upon designation, e.g. ‘senior
officer in the UK navy’ or ‘international aid worker’). You should decide on what
anonymity/attribution options you want to offer, explain these clearly to your
participants, and then keep a clear record of the participant’s choice. Note that when
you agree to provide anonymity to a participant, this entails obligations not only for
how you use the information provided in your research but also for how you secure
the raw data and contact details of the participant.
Applying for Approval from the King’s Research Ethics Committee
The College has developed a risk-based application process to ensure that all
research is subject to only an appropriate level of scrutiny. Going through the risk
checklists on the how to apply page will help you to pitch your application to the right
reviewing body and you will also find the appropriate application forms, useful
templates and guidance there.
Minimal Risk As part of its endeavour to ensure that the ethics review process is in
proportion to the ethical risks of a research project, four departments in SSPP
(Defence Studies and War Studies, SSHM & Geography) are trialling a new review
process for simple research that poses minimal risk to participants. This might
include people speaking in public places, competent people who are very wellinformed about the research, or research involving completely anonymous
individuals with no way of identifying them. This new category complements the
existing Low Risk and High Risk processes but rather than submitting a detailed
application, relies upon the supervisor to confirm that the Minimal Risk checklist has
been completed accurately. Applications can therefore be turned around within three
working days but may be subject to audit to ensure this ‘light touch’ process is being
used appropriately. If the continuation of the pilot Minimal Risk application route is
not approved by the CREC, it will be withdrawn only after a 6-week notice period.
Existing approvals will remain valid.
Annex A to
Defence Research Papeer Guide
Low Risk Any research that does not qualify as minimal risk or high risk is classified
as ‘low risk’. To be eligible for the peer-reviewed Low Risk research application
procedure, the research must not involve any participants that could be considered
vulnerable, the consent process must be straightforward, there must be no risk of the
research leading to disclosures of a sensitive nature or causing anxiety in the
research subject and there must be no drugs, placebos etc. involved in the study.
Low Risk applications will normally involve an information sheet and consent form.
Applications should be turned around by the review Panel within 15 working days.
Annex A to
Defence Research Papeer Guide
High Risk Research that raises more substantial ethical risks requires a more indepth application to give applicants the opportunity to demonstrate that they have
adequately considered any potential risks and that those risks can either be justified
or mitigated according to the nature of the research. Applications will be reviewed by
one of the College’s Research Ethics Committees to ensure that potential risks have
been considered and can either be justified or mitigated according to the nature of
the research. The Committees meet regularly within term time, reviewing applications
in the order that they are submitted. There is substantial help and guidance available
on the research ethics website, and the research ethics office or your departmental
research ethics panel members can be consulted if required and may be able to help
you with ensuring that your application is consistent with College policy and sound
research ethics practise.
Application Procedure
The most up-to-date information on how to apply can be found on the Research
Ethics webpage. Before you apply, you need a clear understanding of your topic and
methods. If your research involves human participants, you need to determine whom
you are trying to recruit, how you will recruit them, and what participation in the
research will involve. You can then determine the level of risk involved and what
process to use for ethical approval.
Minimal Risk Student Application Procedure: To see if your research is eligible for
the Minimal Risk process, complete the Minimal Risk form with your supervisor.
Once both student and supervisor are happy with the application form, the
supervisor will need to email the finalised form to, ensuring
that the student’s KCL or JSCSC email address is copied. This way the student will
know the submission has been made. The Research Ethics Office will only accept
submissions that have come by email from the supervisor (if the application is
emailed by the student, the office will have no way of knowing that the supervisor has
authorised submission of the form).
Once a Minimal Risk application confirming that the research entails minimal risk has
been received by email, a Research Ethics Approval Number will be automatically
generated and emailed back to the applicant and the supervisor. This email provides
information on what research records you need to keep; be sure to read it carefully
Annex A to
Defence Research Papeer Guide
and save it along with your Research Ethics Approval Number. Note that your
Research Ethics Approval Number should be included in any emails or other material
provided to participants or otherwise associated with your research.
Minimal Risk Staff Application Procedure: The same basic process and
provisions as above apply.
Annex A to
Defence Research Papeer Guide
Low Risk/High Risk Application Procedure for Students:
If your research is not eligible for the Minimal Risk process, you apply for ethical
approval through REMAS (the Research Ethics Management Application System).
This system handles research classified as both low risk and high risk.
Discuss your research with your supervisor. Then, log into the KCL online research
ethics system using your KCL ID and password and complete your application (for
students in Defence Studies, if you are not registered for the KCL qualification, then
contact your DRP writing team leader in the first instance). Upload your supporting
documents (templates and advice available here). This will include an Information
Sheet and will norm…
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