Command and Control Phd Call 2014: Decision Aids for Command and Control

Command and Control Phd Call 2014: Decision Aids for Command and Control

Command and Control PhD call 2014: Decision Aids for Command and Control

To date, the MOD has funded many PhDs across a wide varietyof themes.The focus of thisparticularcall for PhD level research, commencing byMarch 2015, is on the topic of decision aids for Command and Control.Ourintention is to fully fund two PhDs, which will be expected to interact very strongly. We particularly encourage applications from UK universitiesthat support multi-discipline research in the subject areas identified below. Desirably these should be from the same organisation, but this not essential.Dstl will provide a joint Supervisor for both projects.Applicants need to refer to the assessment criteria (defined later in this document) so that they fully understand how a proposal’s quality, relevance and value to MOD will be judged.

Key dates

  • Closing date for applications 14 November 2014
  • Funding decision by 28November 2014
  • The projects will need to commence before end ofMarch 201.

Decision Aids in Command and Control

Command and Control(C2) is a core military function that is responsible for making sense of complex crisis situations and then directing assigned resources for the accomplishment of missions and tasks. These tasks are intended to result in beneficial changes in these crisis situations.C2 is thus a distributed decision making process by which commanders and their staffmake sense of a situation, determine potential intervention options, and then plan, direct and monitor operations for which they are responsible.Military operations, over the last three decades, have become much more complex with the involvement of multi-national partners, other government agencies and NGOs. The military and these partnersoften find themselveshaving to cope simultaneously with humanitarian support, peace keeping and warfare.Consequently, this has made theactivity of C2 more complex and has significantly increased the cognitive load on commanders and their supporting staffs.With the proposed reduction in staffing levels, there is a need to investigate how a range of automation levels and approaches may help in discharging the C2 function more efficiently and effectively.

We are, therefore, requesting proposals for doctoral level research programmes focussing on the following areas:

1.Experiential learning

A characteristic of the military is the frequent rotation of personnel, who move jobs every 2-3 years within UK staff functions and over a number of months during an operation.Although the military have a strong tradition of recording lessons from previous operations, potentially valuable knowledge is often not adequately re-utilised.The transfer of experience is also hampered by the regular rotation of staff combined with inadequate “hand-over” approaches.It is thus hypothesised that research is required to investigate whether techniques and tools in experiential learning, such as case-based reasoning, could be applied to C2, and whether this is likely to ameliorate some of the knowledge retention and transfer problems.We are interested in issues related to representation of experiential knowledge to facilitate automated learning.The proposed research should be multi-disciplinary in nature and take a socio-technical approach.

2.Human issues in C2

Feedback from operations indicates that Command and Control functions tend to be carried out with only limited use of readily available enabling technologies i.e. command and decision support tools.It is hypothesised that the problem is not with technology availability, as governments across the globe have invested significant effort in C2 tool development over the years.There is, therefore, a need to understand why technology use within the C2 function, and the utilisation of much of its technical sophistication, have remained at such a low level, and what interventions might need to be made in order to significantly improve this situation.The proposed research should be multi-disciplinary, drawing on work in social and management sciences.An area of interest is on understanding social and organizational factors that influence the use, and success of, decision support systems in large organisations.

Assessment criteria

PhD proposals will be reviewed using the following assessment criteria, and all applications must provide the necessary information requested in the application form.

Assessment criteria used to judge the proposal

All applications will be judged for technical relevance and quality (under the criteria shown the following table) prior to being considered further according to the criteria on academic/research groups or research centre and linkages.

Assessment area / Assessment criteria used to judge the proposal
Scientific quality and innovation / The proposal will be judged on the following:
  • Degree of applicability to the C2 problem and the military context.
  • Whether the proposed work is multi-disciplinary and whether appropriate disciplines are intended to be brought to bear.
  • The proposed pathway to impact for the proposed research.
  • How complete and realistic the proposed approach is.

Academic staff, resources and management / The proposal will be judged on the following:
  • The CV(s).
  • The balance of skills of the team.
  • The time and commitment proposed.
  • If requirements for government furnished equipment or information (GFE, GFI) is realistic and whether any work involving human participation is being reasonably proposed.

Assessment criteria used to judge the academic/research groups or research centre and the value to Dstl.

Only technically strong proposals will be considered for funding.Following an initial assessment on the core content of the proposal, the academic/research groups or research centre and linkages criteria will be used to further assess the quality of the application(s).

Assessment area / Assessment criteria used to judge the proposal
Academic/research groups or research centre / The proposal will be judged on the following:
  • The evidence provided of strong and continuedmulti-disciplinary working of the group or Centre, including evidence of significant research income and a good contribution to the UK and international research landscape.
  • The potential additional benefits MOD would obtain through funding research at the particular institution.
  • The relevance of the broader research in the Centre to MOD.

Linkages / The proposal will be judged on the following:
  • Institution has a good tradition of cross-disciplinary working facilitated by close co-operation and structures between differentacademic units.
  • Institution has good access to diverse set of organizations (for empirical work).

Further Information and the process

In addition to the PhD proposal(s) submitted by the research group/centre, the applicant must provide details of how the group/centre can contribute to leading the thinking on the specific theme(s) proposed and how further engagement can be fostered between the research group/centre and the MOD.

The intention is to fully fund two PhDs in 2015.The deadline for applications is 14November 2014.Successful applicants will be informed by 28 November 2014. The projects will need to commence by the end ofMarch 2015.Further terms and conditions will be made available, on request.

DSTL/PUB84365