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Violence Research Centre



The Violence Research Centre (VRC) is a hub for interdisciplinary and international research on violence based at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. It was launched in September 2014 on the occasion of the First Global Violence Reduction Conference, held jointly with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Our aim is to conduct rigorous interdisciplinary research on the causes, prevention and consequences of interpersonal violence in a variety of settings. We aim to contribute to research on different forms of violence across the life course, including mental health and aggression, bullying and bullying prevention, organised crime violence, vigilante violence, policing, violence prevention programmes and evaluation. The VRC takes an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on theoretical approaches and empirical findings from criminology, psychology, biology, political science, sociology and history. We work closely with academics and policy-making institutions both nationally and internationally – with a particular focus on Lower and Middle-Income Countries.

Broadly speaking, research conducted at the VRC addresses three main questions:

  1. What are the individual, social and biological causes of violence?
  2. How can we prevent violence?
  3. Why do levels of violence vary between countries and over time?

The Centre’s activities are structured around five research clusters (RCs), each comprising a number of projects:

  • RC1: Violence across the Life Course
  • RC2: Violence, Non-violent Offending and Mental Health 
  • RC3: Institutional Violence, Terrorism and Criminal Networks 
  • RC4: Violence Prevention Programme and Evaluation 
  • RC5: Cross-cultural and Historical Analysis 

Further information on our research activity can be fund here. Over the years, we have established strong partnerships with stakeholders at an international level - WHO, EUROPOL, the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime, and the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children - and at a national level - the Home Office, the Youth Endowment Fund, the Merseyside Police, the MET and the London Violence Reduction Unit.

Further, the VRC actively works with affiliated centres around the World, including the Child Protection Unit in the Philippines (University of the Philippines), the Human Development and Violence Research Centre in Brazil, the Centre for Violence and Suicide Research in Ghana, the Human Development Research Foundation in Pakistan, and the Institute of Community Health Research in Vietnam.

Projects hosted by the Centre have received funding from a wide range of sources, including, the British Academy, the ESRC Impact Acceleration Fund (UK), the European Commission, the Jacobs Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, The Fondation Botnar, the National Institute of Justice USA, the Newton Trust, The Consuelo Foundation, Queensland University of Technology and the UBS Optimus Foundation. You can find more information on our national and international activities in our reports hereFor individual researchers' bios and publications, visit this page and click their University and ResearchGate links.