The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD)

For a decade, The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a London-based ‘think and do tank’ has pioneered policy and operational responses to the rising challenge of violent extremism across ideologies. It has become the leading non-governmental actor in the delivery domain, partnering with governments, the private sector and universities worldwide. ISD’s ‘theory of change’ is based on the understanding that to stem the tide of radicalisation and recruitment, networks of credible voices must be combined with contemporary amplification tools and strategies, and that both policy and practice must be rooted in solid data and realities on the ground. 

Skill set required

  • Experience in a work place environment.
  • Excellent communication skills both verbal and written
  • Working towards a degree
  • Strong Interest in the work the Richardson institute does 

Main Duties

  • To facilitate the delivery of United National General Assembly event in September, 2015 in New York.
  • open source research on anti-ISIS phenomena 


Total cost of the placement was £1200 and this was funded by Lancaster University.

Company feedback

Grant worked on our Strong Cities Network to facilitate the delivery of United National General Assembly event in September, 2015 in New York. This event brought together mayors from around the globe to work together to counter violent extremism. Grant also conducted in-depth open source research on the anti-ISIS phenomena, which contributed to the first dataset of its kind and the report that was launched to document this. 

Grant was a great asset to ISD. He was engaged, personable and diligent throughout his time at ISD. His work was consistent and thorough, demonstrating in-depth knowledge, the ability to handle sensitive information and the capacity to work with minimal supervision.

Student Feedback

My FASS placement was for 4 weeks with the Institute for Strategic Dialogue. The faculty made the placement possible by awarding £1,000 to cover accommodation plus an allowance for travel. I applied to this particular placement as a result of my experience in the Richardson Institute for Peace and Conflict Research, an institute within the faculty which gives students experience of working with a range of external organisations.

I was put straight into a team working on a multi-million pound project funded by the US State Department, from day one of the placement I was trusted with important research tasks and towards the end of the placement I had contributed to a major international project and had experience working with data, developing videos, organising international workshops, and liaising with a range of people. This level of variety brought interesting challenges that aided development of a range of skills putting me in a much stronger position now to apply for other roles.

The experience of completing my placement has helped me to secure roles as coordinator of the Richardson Institute and also as a part-time security consultant alongside my Master's degree at Lancaster. Placements are a great way to get involved in the areas of work that really interest you the most, and, in the process develop a network of contacts which can prove invaluable when considering future career options.