The ICCS work placement programme received 12 successful applications in the latest round, and we are delighted to welcome our new voluntary researchers.

The scheme offers students the chance to gain experience on research projects related to their areas of interest. The volunteers will spend up to 10 weeks working with ICCS colleagues on topics including targeted killing via drone strikes, nuclear responsibility, and UN peace operations in ethnic conflicts.

The students will join the ICCS research community for the duration of their placements, working with colleagues who are at the cutting edge of policy-related research. The placements provide research training, skills development and first-hand experience of working as part of a small and international team of scholars.

Basilio Ghisletta has joined the University of Birmingham by taking part in the MSc Political Psychology of International Relations. He previously completed a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and History at the University of Bern, Switzerland. In his dissertation, he explored the applicability of the concept of global justice. His research interests revolve around human rights, the role of trust-building in International Relations, and from a political psychology perspective, the re-emergence of the far-right. At the ICCS Basilio is working with Dr Tereza Capelos on the project ‘Emotion and Young People's Reasoning about Rights’.

Syd Holcombe-Strangeways is an MSc student at the University of Birmingham studying Political Psychology of International Relations, having previously studied Psychology at the University of Bristol. His undergraduate dissertation looked into the relationship between personality traits and political ideology, with specific regard to risk attitudes. His current research interests include how citizens react to international political events and the role of emotionality and rationality in these reactions, as well as how citizens can influence mainstream political discourse. At the ICCS, Syd is working with Dr. Tereza Capelos on the research project ‘Crises, Emotionality and the Media’.

Isabel Hunt holds a BA Honours degree in International History and Politics from the University of Leeds and is currently studying an MSc Global Cooperation and Security at the University of Birmingham. Research for her undergraduate dissertation focused on the use of modern day mercenaries as an instrument of foreign policy. She has an interest in the security and peace process in the Middle East and the threats made by borderless conflict and modern-day warfare. She is looking forward to working with Dr David Dunn researching the ‘nefarious criminal and terrorist use of unmanned aerial vehicles’.

Gareth Jonas recently completed his undergraduate degree in History and Political Science at the University of Manchester, and is hoping to undertake an MRes in Security, Conflict and Human Rights at the University of Bristol this autumn. His research interests revolve around the politics of securitisation, unrecognised states and the ethics of foreign interventionism. His dissertation focused on the historical formation of Egypt's security state and the securitisation of Islam in the 2013 Revolution. He is participating in the project 'Assessing Success and Failure of UN Peace Operations in Ethnic Conflicts: Capabilities and Context' with Professor Stefan Wolff.

Balvinder Kalon is previously a Finance Graduate; his previous research interests revolved around Corporate Tax Avoidance, Corporate Finance, & Corporate Social Responsibility & Ethics. He is currently a MSc Global Cooperation and Security Student at the University of Birmingham where his interests have focused on Root Causes of Terrorism & Fear, Cooperation & Trust in World Politics. As well as being a student he is also Director of Media & Logistics at Non-For-Profit organisation ‘Nirvair Khalsa Jatha UK’. At the ICCS, Balvinder is working with Professor Nicholas Wheeler & Professor David Dunn in researching ‘Decapitation drone strikes and peace processes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen’.

Maria Liszkai is an MSc student at the University of Birmingham in the International Development Department, in the Conflict, Security and Development pathway. She has an interest in conflict areas, post-conflict reconstruction, UN operations and international law. Her undergraduate thesis focused on fragile states in the international context, examining the case study of Somalia. During her undergraduate years as an International Relations student, she worked in several projects in Foundation for Africa in Budapest. In the future she wants to continue her work in humanitarian field specialising in state and peace building process. At the ICCS, Maria is working with Professor Stefan Wolff in the research project ‘Assessing Success and Failure of UN Peace Operations in Ethnic Conflicts: Capabilities and Context’.

Charles McGivern is a current MSc student studying ‘Global Cooperation and Security’, having also completed an undergraduate degree here at the University of Birmingham. His specific interests revolve around the concept of the security dilemma, threat perception and other aspects of political psychology. Charles is working with Professor Nicholas Wheeler on his project ‘Great Powers and Nuclear Responsibility’.

Sarah Manouchehri has recently completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Southern Denmark in European Studies. Her dissertation focused on how the humanitarian crisis reshaped the European Union. Sarah has previously worked with NGOs in Germany, which were focus on helping to integrate refugees.  Currently, Sarah is doing her MSc in Global Cooperation and Security at the University of Birmingham. Her research interests are within security policies and peace studies. At the ICCS, Sarah is examining the project on ‘Assessing Success and Failure of UN peace Operations in Ethic Conflicts: Capabilities and Context’ with Professor Stefan Wolff.

Annabelle Martin-Jones is currently studying an MSc in Political Psychology and recently graduated from the University of Birmingham with a degree in International Relations. She has a particular interest in humanitarian intervention and human rights, and understanding the varying motives behind those interventions. After taking a module in Strategy and Decision making, she was inspired to really get to grips with the psychological element of politics and she hopes to apply this expertise to research into intervention, conflict and peace operations. At ICCS, she is working with Professor Stefan Wolff on the project 'Assessing Success and Failure of UN Peace Operations in Ethnic Conflicts: Capabilities and Context'.

Isabel Morrell is currently in her final year of undergraduate study at the University of Birmingham studying International Relations with Political Science. This academic year, she is enjoying her modules concerning security, international development and migration. She is interested in the role that identities play in international relations and is writing her dissertation on the Western colonial legacy on states in the Global South. After completing her BA, she is planning to start a Masters in International Security in September 2018. At the ICCS, Isabel is working with Dr Tereza Capelos on a project investigating ‘Emotions and Young People’s Reasoning about Rights’, specifically studying political tolerance and reasoning about ethnic minorities.

Bianka Mozes is currently on the MA International Relations, Contemporary Asia-Pacific program at the University of Birmingham and holds an undergraduate degree in International Relations from Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary. Her current interest is the role trust plays in international politics, especially trust in US-China relations. In addition, she is also interested in topics from the East/Southeast-Asian region, such as China-Taiwan relations, North-Korean nuclear program and the South-China Sea dispute. At the ICCS, she is working with Dr. Eszter Simon on the role which emotions, empathy and metaphor play in the ‘role theory’ literature. 

Rapinder Singh is an MSc student at the University of Birmingham on the Global Cooperation and Security programme, with an interest in international diplomacy, the role of trust in International Relations, security challenges in the Asian region and great power dynamics as well as conflict mitigation and negotiation. She recently completed an intensive module on Traditional and Modern Security Challenges at the University of Delhi and completed a first-class BSc (Hons) in International Relations prior to enrolling to University of Birmingham. The focus of her dissertation research is centred on India and its regional and international security challenges and the future of its foreign policy. At the ICCS, Rapinder is working with Dr Eszter Simon on research examining the role of trust in human interactions, and see how it influences human relationships.