The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) is a research center, based at the University of Maryland, committed to the scientific study of the causes and human consequences of terrorism in the United States and around the world. START supports research efforts of leading social scientists at more than 50 academic and research institutions.
Countering Violent Extremism Fellowship (CVEF) 2015-2017
START's Countering Violent Extremism Fellowship (CVEF), is a comprehensive, two-and-a-half -year program designed for four undergraduate students at the University of Maryland. Students will enter the program in the middle of their sophomore years, and the program will last through the end of their senior years. The program experiences are aimed at transitioning students from their undergraduate experiences to professional positions in the homeland security science and technology arena (HS-STEM), with particular emphasis on transitioning into positions related to countering violent extremism (CVE) programming and policy-making.
The four students selected to participate in this program will receive financial support, allowing students to focus their time and energies on their homeland-security studies and professional development, rather than having to take on part-time employment to ensure that they have sufficient funding for school-related costs. Each student selected for the program will receive:
Tuition and mandatory fees for two-and-a-half academic years (five semesters, two summers, one winter);
Monthly stipend of $350 during the academic years of their fellowship;
Salary for two, 10-week summer research internships (one in Chicago and another at the Hedayah Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism in Dubai, United Arab Emirates) and summer housing and travel stipends totaling $18,000 ($7000 for summer 2015, $11,000 for summer 2016);
Support to attend the annual DHS Career Development Conference; and
Support to attend the START Annual Meeting.
In return for the generous support the CVEF students will receive, they will be required to maintain full-time student status throughout the duration of their participation in the program, participate in START programming designed to best prepare them for successful transitions to positions in the HS-STEM arena following graduation from UMD, and graduate with a Bachelors’ degree from the University of Maryland within one academic year of completing the CVEF program.
Deadline: early November
Download flyer: CVEFflyer2015.pdf
START is able to offer internships which can be taken for credit on several exciting projects. Subject/project areas include Global Terrorism Database, Unconventional Weapons and Technology, Strategic Military Assessment Research and Transition (SMART) Projects, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Analytical, Naval Research Laboratory Adversarial Modeling and Exploitation Office, Communications and Research Transition Support, Dataverse, Government Actions in Terror Environments (GATE), Risk Communications and Community Resilience, Risk Communications and Community Resilience App Development Internship, START/State Department Terrorist Organizations Project Internship, Terrorism Propaganda Analysis, and Cross-National Analysis of Values in the Middle East.
Students should have a good academic record; a demonstrated interest in the subject matter; submit a complete application by the deadline; agree to attend orientation and training. We are looking for interns with a wide array of skills and majors (including but not limited to: Criminology, Communications, Government, International Relations, Public Policy, History, GIS, Geography, Economics, English, Mathematics, Psychology, Languages and Statistics). Students from any institution may apply and we will consider current and recently graduated undergraduates and graduates as well. Unpaid. Academic credit available.
Deadline: Priority Application Deadline: late March 22. Final application deadline: early April.
Below is a short summary of the opportunities available. Please visit our website for more information and to access the application form: http://www.start.umd.edu/careers/internships.
Global Terrorism Database (GTD)
The GTD is an open source, unclassified database including information on terrorist attacks around the world since 1970 (currently updated through 2013). The database is maintained by researchers at START. The GTD includes systematic data on domestic as well as international terrorist incidents that have occurred during this time period and now includes over 113,000 cases. The GTD intern team is organized into the following themes:
· GTD: Incident Location and Geographic Identification
· GTD: Perpetrator Identification
· GTD: Target Classification
· GTD: Understanding the Patterns and Use of Weapons and Tactics
· GTD: The Consequences of Terrorism – Casualties and Outcome
· GTD: Coding Intern At Large (Generalist)
Unconventional Weapons and Technology
The Unconventional Weapons and Technology Division consists of a number of intensive, shorter-term research projects concentrated on research topics within the larger study of terrorism and politically violent non-state actors:
Intern positions are available in the following focus areas:
Unconventional Weapons Internship
Behavioral Indicators of Insider Threats
CBRN Terrorism Incident ResearchIndividual Radicalization of Bioscientists Terrorist Ideology
Risk Communications and Community Resilience
Government, non-profits, and other organizations rely on public communication to deliver important messages to various audiences. Professional communicators today use social scientific research to improve this process, and START’s research teams have several current and upcoming communication projects that address current research questions. Risk communication is important for delivering messages about impending storms, terrorist attacks, public health crises, and more. Interns working on this team will support several ongoing research projects as well as new projects.
START is continuing to develop the Terrorism Data Archive Dataverse. Interns for this project will learn about terrorism-related data through archiving datasets and reading over documentation. Interns will serve as Assistant Editors and would be responsible for preparing data for archiving onto the START Dataverse. Depending upon the dataset, there will also be opportunities to create Codebooks and add labels and values to the data. Interns will receive training in the archiving process.
Strategic Military Assessment Research and Transition (SMART) Projects
SMART projects focus on the relationships of violent non-state actors (terrorist, pirates, etc) and state authorities to analyze their patterns of interaction and strategies of violence.
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Analytical
Interns will contribute to the construction of a global, multimodal transportation network. Tasks will include analysis and aggregation of large-scale datasets, database triangulation, manual vector editing, extensive open-source research into traditional and illicit transportation methods, digital cartography/mapmaking, and translation of START’s qualitative research into geospatial format. Interest/experience in global security and/or terrorism is beneficial.
Naval Research Laboratory Adversarial Modeling and Exploitation Office
Two internships are available with AMX onsite at their offices in Washington DC. The AMX has a number of ongoing research projects related to counter-terrorism, behavior detection, law enforcement, crime analysis, and geospatial analysis. The use of information by law enforcement, often called data driven policing, is an ever evolving and expanding field.
· JDLR SOUTHCOM
· Extended Visual Search
· System Engineering Analysis & Support
· Statistical Analysis & Modeling Support
· GIS Analytical
START communications team is seeking interns to assist with START’s communication activities and products. Interns’, responsibilities will vary but may include: Writing and editing press releases and featured stories, planning and attending events, creating media kits, developing and tracking media lists and monitoring social media.
TEVUS Handbook and Simulation Internship
The Terrorism and Extremist Violence in the United States (TEVUS) Database integrates existing and new open-source data sets to facilitate more robust and sophisticated analyses of the behaviors, operations, and activities of violent extremists within the United States.
Understanding Domestic Radicalization
This internship is part of the Profiles of Individual Radicalization in the United States (PIRUS) project, a three-year project which seeks to establish an empirical basis to investigate the underlying mechanisms and processes for individual radicalization in the United States. Previous intern teams researched information on radicalized individuals and entered it into a dataset; wrote case studies on radicalized individuals; performed quality-control checks on the dataset; performed structured qualitative analysis; and assisted project staff in conducting analysis on the quantitative data.
Developing Technology in Explosive Detection Dogs
Interns for this project will assist in developing deployment strategies with explosive detection dogs while utilizing new technology in the field. Interns will be working closely with four K9 dogs and their handlers while training and being deployed for Person Borne Improvised Explosive Device Detection. Interns must have a flexible schedule and ability to be around dogs. Interns will be required to pass a brief background check.
START/State Department Terrorist Organizations Project Internship
Students will gather and analyze statistics on terrorist organizations over time. Projects will include collecting the number and type of attacks over time, looking at trends, and possibly even modeling group capacity out into the future. Interns will also provide assistance in researching open source information on the leadership of some groups for possible future designations.
Interns will be co-supervised by researchers at the University of Maryland and by project leads at the State Department. The State Department leads will set and give feedback on tasks. Interns will be based at START’s offices on the University of Maryland campus.
Government Actions in Terror Environments (GATE)
Recent research suggests that governments have a vast set of policy tools at their disposal vis-à-vis terrorist groups, and that pure reliance on repressive policies can be counterproductive. While policymakers increasingly recognize the importance of non-military counterterrorism tools in addition to military ones, it is not yet known which type of government actions are effective; and when carrots might be more effective than sticks in defeating terrorist groups. This is a unique opportunity to better understand the terrorist conflict in the US and across specific regions of the world and to get a unique view of how governments deal with those conflicts.
Terrorism Propaganda Analysis
The nature of the project is analysis of several hundred transcripts of terrorist propaganda videos produced by Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda affiliate groups. One aspect of the project will be somewhat descriptive in that we hope to learn: 1) what the message of the video transcript is (e.g. to defend the prophet, to prevent future grievances, to promote jihad, etc.) as well as 2) how the message is conveyed including the type of persuasive attempt used (rational vs. emotional) and 3) who the target audience is. The coding manual taps into each of these contents. The next step of the project, which will occur after all of the transcripts are coded, will examine 4) if the target audience, the message, or the frequency of these tapes have a discernible pattern, and 5) if these patterns change over time. The final aspect of this project includes analyzing the rhetoric and persuasion techniques used in the transcripts and testing the same messages, both in the US and abroad.
Undergraduate Research Program
The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) seeks to engage talented undergraduate students pursuing degrees in the social and behavioral sciences in research related to understanding origins and/or responses to terrorism. By involving undergraduates in ongoing research projects, START hopes to prepare today's students for future study and work in the areas of terrorism, counter-terrorism, and homeland security. Towards this goal, the Center invites 5 undergraduates to participate in START's research as part of its Undergraduate Research Program (URP) during each academic year. Those selected to participate in the program will participate actively in START research projects, conduct original research, attend a one-day orientation in College Park, Maryland, and attend the entire START Annual Meeting at the end of their terms, presenting their research findings in a poster session.
Students must be nominated by a START faculty member, and applications are due in May for the coming academic year. Students receive a $500 stipend towards their research plus travel costs for attending the ISA and START conferences.
Please direct questions about the program and/or the application process to firstname.lastname@example.org.