2. Safety and Security for Fieldwork Research

You can register for the June edition of the course through this form.

Teachers: Dr. Rodrigo Mena, Prof. Thea Hilhorst, Linda Johnson
ECs: 1.5
Tuition: free for members; 300 euro for non-members.

Two editions:

Online version
18-20 October 2022 (13h-18h00 each day)

In-person version (priority is given to participants of the PhD Training Course)
27-29 June 2023* (9h30 – 18h00 on first two days, half-day in the morning of the third)
* Dates have been changed from what was previously announced on the 2022-2023 brochure.


When conducting in-situ research or fieldwork, researchers often operate within complex and dynamic social and political contexts. From criminality, illness, and engagement with authoritarian authorities, to cybersecurity threats and disasters, researchers, research participants and collaborators face a wide range of risks that might affect their safety and security and the quality of the research process itself. This course is designed to assist researchers in conducting their research in complex, remote or hazardous environments as safely, securely and ethically as possible, both for those working within their home country and for foreigners.

The content is organised into three main groups: (a) The main frameworks and theories of research safety and security with a focus on risk assessment and research ethics; (b) a review of specific fieldwork-related risks and actions designed to prevent them from happening; and (c) on preparedness and contingency planning so the researcher knows what to do if the risks become manifest.

The course has a workshop format with a two-fold teaching-learning methodology: one, through lecture sessions; two, through personal and group exercises on fieldwork research methodologies and techniques, risk assessment and risk reduction and safety and security. The course will also feature input from guest experts on mental health and wellbeing and cybersecurity.

The course also provides tools and forms that the participants can use to prepare themselves before and during fieldwork. These tools combine safety and security considerations with research methodologies to inform and support knowledge production.

By the end of the course, participants are expected to understand the relevance of safety and security considerations in research, understand major risks related to fieldwork research, and have an enhanced understanding of key preparations before, during and after in-situ research.


Prize for best EGSH course

We are glad to share that in 2021 this course won Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and  Humanities recognition. As stated on the prize website:

The choice this year was relatively straightforward, as one of the teaching teams stood out in terms of subject importance, course evaluation and teacher performance.

The teaching team received a solid five out of five evaluation points from the participating students. One quote nicely summarizes the overall appreciation of the teaching:

Firstly, the teachers are very professional, the lecturers are very experienced in the field and there are many vivid cases in the class. Secondly, the course content is very practical, the section on internet security left a very deep impression on me and filled in the gaps in my knowledge. Finally, the teacher was very humorous and interacted a lot with the students, which made the atmosphere of the class relaxed and interesting. All in all, it was a great class.


Registration is closed for the online version (completed in October 2022). To register for the in-person version in June 2023, please register through the form linked here.