Advanced Research and Assessment Group
Dr Jamie MacIntosh leads the Defence Academy’s Advanced Research and Assessment Group (ARAG). Advanced Research and Assessment provides for the harvesting of ideas, expertise, experience and evidence relevant to defence and security from across a broad and multi-disciplinary field to provide relevant and timely research of high quality that supports the Ministry of Defence and other government departments.
Using its own resources, and by engaging practitioner and assessment communities worldwide, ARAG provides research, advice and education for decision takers and policy staffs and also aims to deliver focused and timely products that address future and current defence, national, international and transnational security challenges.
The ARAG Mission is to carry out advanced research and assessment in order to keep the Defence Academy’s syllabi at the cutting edge, to inform and enhance senior decision taking and policy development, and to promote operational capability and advance the defence and security interests of the United Kingdom.
ARAG conducts its activity using both the exceptional expertise of its scholar-practitioners, and thematic ‘research clusters’ of knowledgeable people from a wide range of backgrounds. Products are delivered to customers to agreed deadlines, often in innovative ways, specifically suited to their needs; via:
- A programme of publications
- Facilitated Event Driven Scenarios
- Policy development exercises (PDx)
- Crisis management exercises (CMx)
- Executive education modules
- Seminars and workshops
- Individual and group briefings
- In-depth studies, reports and submissions
"Advanced research and assessment provides for the harvesting of ideas, expertise, experience and evidence relevant to defence and security from across a broad and multi-disciplinary field in order to deliver relevant and timely research of high quality that stimulates thinking, responds to, and where possible preempts, changes and events, and supports the Ministry of Defence and other government departments. I see real opportunities for Defence, the Defence Academy as a whole and the ARAG in this important area of the Defence Academy’s work. …"
Lieutenant General Andrew Graham CBE
Director, Defence Academy
The work of ARAG is organised around 'Research Clusters'. A Research Cluster is an administrative mechanism that enables knowledgeable people to interact and enrich the potential for organisational learning among ARAG’s stakeholders.
Clusters are established to reflect the needs and priorities of the MOD, of other government departments with security interests, and of the Colleges of the Defence Academy. They serve as the mechanism for detecting challenges and identifying sponsors for projects that merit targeted research and assessment. Their composition is reviewed every six months, and amended as necessary to reflect changing needs and requirements.
The research and assessment process also draws on ARAG’s own ‘scholar-practitioners’. Drawing on diverse networks enables ARAG to organise brainstormings, direct research, and set up educational activities which tackle key issues and problems for MOD and other government departments. The combination of these activities drives the coherence of ARAG's dynamic Research Programme.
Working from unclassified sources, ARAG surveys research activities and engages with political, economic, socio-cultural and military thinking via both formal and informal channels. ARAG is constantly seeking innovative ways to enhance access to knowledge, to accelerate organisational learning, and to benefit the education process either within or beyond the Colleges of the Defence Academy. This endeavour is supported by ARAG’s Knowledge Lab.
ARAG’s contribution to public service comes from linking research-innovation-education together. This work helps inform policy-making and encourage public debate in the UK and abroad and supports organisational learning in the face of immediate and enduring defence and security challenges.
"We find ourselves today in the middle of a revolutionary change in the nature of conflict. Our most urgent challenge is to adapt our traditional mechanisms of analysis and response to meet the new security threats which now face us. We need a new partnership between government and non-governmental institutions, and a refocusing of our national effort."
Mr Chris Donnelly CMG
Senior Fellow, Defence Academy
Point of contact for all enquiries
Advanced Research and Assessment Group
Ms Emma McCarthy
Corporate Research Manager
Defence Academy Headquarters
Block 4, JSCSC Bldg
Tel: +44 (0)1793 788861 (96161 8861)
Fax: +44 (0)1793 788287 (96161 8287)