Write for us

The UCL Security Science Research and Training (SECReT) Society hosts an online platform for past and present PhD students (and guest contributors) to showcase their knowledge and expertise, reach relevant stakeholders and contribute to security and crime science-related developments. You can check out their Insights here.

What is an Insight?

An insight is an article, between 500-1,000 words, written by you about anything relevant to your PhD topic. Insights will be reviewed by our editing team and posted on the website. Insights could involve:

    • A contemporary development in your field and your expert analysis,
    • A book review,
    • An interesting personal or professional experience related to your field,
    • A preview or summary of some recent research that you’ve done or published,
    • An opinion piece about your field and its relation to current events (such as the pandemic),
    • A piece of advice about life as a student, productivity tips, research advice or academic experiences,
    • Anything else!

Benefits of writing insights

The UCL SECReT Society aims to provide professional, open-access insights into crime problems and prevention for the benefit of a wide array of stakeholders. By writing and publishing an insight, you will be utilising this platform to translate your expertise into countering the crime problems of today and the future. You will also be able to expand your academic portfolio while increasing your positive influence and recognition in your field. Your insight will also be shared and promoted on our Twitter and LinkedIn.

Guest contributions

We accept insights from guest contributors that are not part of our research team. This includes MSc, BSc students or external stakeholders. For both our research team and guest contributors, the writing and submission guidelines are the same (though guest contributors will need to provide some additional information).

Writing guidelines

    • Around 500-1,000 words
    • Use British English
    • Referencing – you have two options:
      • Either: hyperlink the relevant part of your text to the source you are citing (see this example)
      • Or: if you are citing several academic sources, use Chicago Full Endnote Referencing (not footnotes or author-date in-text citations)

Note: Insights must be original work. If you have previously published work on UCL blogs, you can re-share them with the consent of the blog owner (please provide details if this is the case when you submit)

Submission guidelines

UCL students (including our research team) can submit their insight (in Word/PDF format) using this submission form. On this form, you will also be asked to provide the details below.

If you are an external contributor, please send us a word document, containing your insight and all below details, along with all photo attachments, to secretsociety@ucl.ac.uk, as you will not be able to access the form.

    • Name and e-mail address
    • Insight title
    • A 1-2 sentence summary for us to promote your insight with on social media (e.g. “In this insight, [your name] explores…”) – tip: try and use as many #hashtags on relevant terms as possible!
    • As many keywords as you like
    • Relevant categories (you can pick one or more from the following, and supply a new one if none of these are relevant): Crime science & policing | Cybercrime | Financial crime | Forensic science | Future crime | Gender-based violence | Organised crime | Terrorism | Violent crime | Life in academia
    • At least one free-for-use image to be used as a header image, either from pixabay.com, www.unsplash.com or an image you took yourself – this is for copyright reasons
    • Any additional images (must all be free-for-use) you want to appear within your insight (optional). You should put these both in your insight submission (so we know where they go) and also upload them in PNG/PDF using the submission form (so quality doesn’t decrease)
    • If you wish, you can use services like Infogram or Canva to create infographics or diagrams to go with your insight and upload them as additional images
    • If you are a guest contributor, you also will have to provide an image of yourself and your student status/occupation.

When your insight is published

You will receive e-mail confirmation after your insight has been edited and published. Once it is published, help us publicise your insight by sharing it widely with your network and social media! We will aim to review and publish it as quickly as possible, as we realise some insights might be to do with ongoing developments.

Competitions and insight events

Note: the information below applies to UCL Department of Security and Crime Science students only.

At the end of every term, all published original insights (at a maximum of two per person) will be submitted for a recurring end-of-term insight competition, where they will be judged (blindly) by a senior academic in our department (rotating every term). Insights will be judged based on the following criteria:

  1. Originality of focus: the level of original ideas, concepts, insights or analyses/commentary put forward
  2. Strength of argument: the extent to which arguments within the insight are verifiably backed up by appropriate sources, examples and/or justifications
  3. Writing style: the ease at which the concepts and arguments within the insight are conveyed to the reader, to the extent that they are understandable by laypersons


The deadline for submissions to be considered for the current term’s competition is Friday, 11 June 2021.

The winning insight will receive three prizes:

    • ‘Starred insight’ status, which will be noted on the insight’s blog page and will be featured on our social media pages for additional publicity
    • A £30 voucher for a company (e.g. Uber Eats, Amazon) of the author’s choice
    • Invitations to be a guest speaker at future academic conferences held by the UCL SECReT Society

As long as a sufficient number of insights are received, up to two runners-up will each receive a £10 voucher for a company of the authors’ choice.

Queries and concerns

Any queries, suggestions or concerns can be directed to secretsociety@ucl.ac.uk.

Click here to access the insight submission tool (UCL students only)

Click here to e-mail us your submission (external contributors only)