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University of South Florida · College of Behavioral & Community Sciences · Mental Health Law & Policy

Dr. Randy Borum awarded a Faculty Fellowship to the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE)

08/24/2009

Dr. Randy Borum was recently awarded a Faculty Fellowship appointment by the The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) to the research participation program at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU)-1.  ORISE is a U.S. Department of Energy institute focusing on scientific initiatives to support national security and emergency preparedness, and educate the next generation of scientists.

Dr. Borum will advise and collaborate with the BAU to develop an infrastructure to guide operationally-driven behavioral research activities on issues affecting national security.  During 2009, efforts will be directed to “Phase Zero” preparations to study the problem of “homegrown radicalization” into violent extremism. 

BAU1 recently partnered with Dr. Borum at USF and Dr. John Horgan, Director of the International Center for the Study of Terrorism at the Pennsylvania State University in a grant proposal to the National Institute of Justice. The objective of that proposed effort is to explore empirically the nature of the radicalization process among US-based persons, and to systematically analyze current assumptions and working hypotheses about homegrown terrorists’ operational processes.

Through the propose project, the FBI hopes to better to understand the factors involved and processes by which U.S.-based persons become "engaged" with violent radical ideologies; assume – or choose not to assume - roles requiring high-risk activism; and operate domestically in planning or preparing for an attack.  “Phase Zero” preparations will lay the groundwork for the study so that, if the project is funded, work may begin much more quickly.  The infrastructure development also boosts the BAU1’s capacity for planning future empirical projects on other national security issues.