Call for student volunteers: Space Security Index project

Following on from the highly successful launch of this project in 2016, Prof Melissa de Zwart  and Prof Dale Stephens (RUMLAE) are looking for 4-5 student volunteers (UG or PG) who will undertake a research project related to Space Security from February-September 2017. You will work individually and collaboratively as part of a team (online) researching a space security issue to be identified in advance by the Ploughshares project:

You will be working with students from McGill University (Canada), George Washington University (US) and School of Law, Xi’ian Jiaotong University (China) on selected topics.


The project produces an annual report on trends and developments in space. The definition for space security that guides this project is:


  • the secure and sustainable access to, and use of space and;
  • freedom from space-based threats.


The objective of the Space Security Index is to facilitate dialogue on space security challenges and potential responses by providing a common knowledge base in order to support the development of national and international policies that contribute to the security and sustainability of outer space. The information provided by the Space Security Index can and has been used  for planning purposes in efforts to establish space governance protocols, treaties and conventions that provide for the secure and peaceful use of space, including presentations to the UN and MILAMOS.


Space security is assessed according to the following nine indicators:


  • The space environment
  • Space situational awareness
  • Space security laws, policies and doctrines
  • Civil space programs, and global utilities
  • Commercial space
  • Space support for terrestrial military operations
  • Space systems protection
  • Space systems negation
  • Space-based strike weapons


Your research will form part of the Space Security Index 2017, and a summary of your work may also be presented to Ploughshares at a meeting in Montreal in 2017. (Note that you are not expected to travel to Montreal) In 2016 this was presented by way of video summary.


You will be provided with guidance, supervision and access to relevant material, as well as the previous issues of the Space Security Index. You will be paid a small stipend for the research you undertake at the usual RA rate. Please email your application, including CV (including transcript) and a brief explanation of why you want to participate in this program, to by Monday 30 January 2017.

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