“At Cranfield, we are working across academic disciplines to shape a connected approach to resilience that draws on the expertise of colleagues in management, environmental science and engineering, aviation, defence and security and many other areas of the university. We believe this approach is one that other organisations should draw on as they look to identify future risks and build preparedness for the future.”

DavidProfessor David Denyer
Professor of Leadership and Organisational Change
Academic Lead, Resilience Grand Challenge

If there is one thing that we learned about our world in 2020, it is that we must build resilience across organisations and industries. We need to enhance the ability of organisations of all types to anticipate, prepare, learn, and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions so that they not only survive, but prosper.

Cranfield research aims to provide meaningful guidance to private sector leaders (boards, senior executives), public and Non-Governmental Organisation sectors about the practical steps necessary to strengthen resilience for long-term success. Cranfield will publish and promote this work, which has the potential to stimulate debate, influence government and shape the national preparedness and resilience agenda.

Cranfield’s approach is distinct in four ways:

Interdisciplinary – combining engineering and ecological perspectives on the one hand, with management and leadership on the other, to leverage the full potential of resilience.

Collaborative – building a network of industry leaders, public officials, and researchers, united by a bold mission to promote the application of rigorous resilience research, education, and industry engagement.

Solution-focused – an explicit focus on producing knowledge that is relevant to practice by focusing on developing means-ends propositions that solve real problems.

Evidence-based – systematic analysis and investigation of resilience through disciplined scientific investigation, driven by rigorously obtained empirical data.

This type of work is difficult to initiate and undertake given the traditional structure to access academic funding through the established Research Councils, which is what makes alumni support essential to the advancement of this work.

Funding opportunities

Doctoral network

Providing scholarships for doctoral students, training them with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to tackle today's evolving resilience issues, future challenges and help to forge lasting links with industry.


Helping establish a community of resilience researchers across the UK and internationally, by funding a seminar series and an academic/practitioner summit on resilience/national preparedness.

Short-term study visits

Promoting collaboration by funding study visits by high-profile international academics.

Small grants

Providing ‘seed corn’ funding for short-term projects that will lead to the creation of novel research topics and activities.

Product development

Funding the design and delivery of new resilience products, consulting, tools, and diagnostics.

Impact Case Studies

Funding the development of case studies that will help to highlight and promote the impact of Cranfield’s resilience research.

Education and training

Funding the development of new award-bearing education courses, executive programmes, and the training of the new generation of leaders in resilience.

Your support will enable Cranfield to play a crucial role in understanding and addressing local, regional, and national risks and vulnerabilities. Together, we can build resilience and future-proof our world against disruptive threats.

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Hear from our students...

Name Nam Vu
Programme PhD in Supply Chain Management (2022)
Research topic: Applying Blockchain in Food Supply Chain for Sustainability
Nationality Vietnamese
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In the field of supply chain management, Cranfield is one of the most reputable institutions in the world. I had read numerous works from Cranfield scholars such as Professor Christopher Martin and Associate Professor Michael Bernon, which really motivated me to apply to Cranfield. Prior to obtaining my MSc (and beginning my PhD) I was working in operations, making supply chain management naturally attractive to me. I love to expand my knowledge and contribute meaningful works to the field, and a PhD is a perfect opportunity for me to achieve this.

My area of research is exploring the potential use of Blockchain in food supply chain, especially for sustainability development. Food supply has always been an essential element for humanity; however, the concern nowadays is not that whether we can produce enough food for the rapid growing population, but rather how we can manage to feed ourselves without severely depleting natural resources. Thus there is a need for research into enhancing sustainability in food chain. Blockchain is an emerging technology with promising benefits to supply chain management and so I believe it is important to examine the technological potential in facilitating sustainable food supply chain.

Cranfield is among the leading institutions in researching the impact of Industry 4.0 on supply chain management, and my specific area of research (Blockchain) is part of Industry 4.0. I am very happy with my decision and definitely grateful for the bursary support! The PhD programme at Cranfield is very well structured and students are guaranteed to work with the best teams in their respective fields. Moreover, the environment is excellent and can bring out the best in every student.

Name Alp Yildirim
Programme PhD in Leadership and Management (2022)
Nationality Turkish
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I used to work in the CEO Office of OPLOG Operational Logistics, a national logistics company in Turkey. I knew that Cranfield University is very popular in management and aviation, and for this reason I applied to the PhD programme.

My area of research is in the path planning optimisation of mobile robots in the picking process of warehouse operations. It is an important topic in supply chain; for example, Amazon is a supply chain company rather than an e-commerce company that has become one of the biggest in the world through automating their warehouse operations with the help of Kiva robots, and most companies now try to imitate what they have achieved.

In the School of Management there are great academics who work in university-industry integration. They are knowledgeable and I think that merging their success with the branding of Cranfield University will help me to apply theoretical algorithms to real life. I am learning a lot from my supervisors who are working with real logistics companies in the industry. Cranfield University has the advantage of university-industry integration and enables students and researchers to solve real problems. People are very welcoming and helpful here and the campus is very quiet and green, which helps you to focus on what you are doing.