History of START
The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) was established in 2005 as a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, tasked with utilizing state-of-the-art theories, methods, and data from the social and behavioral sciences to improve the understanding of the origins, dynamics, and social and psychological impacts of terrorism. START was funded by an initial $12 million grant from DHS to complete projects in the research areas of terrorist group formation and recruitment, terrorist group persistence and dynamics, and societal responses to terrorist threats and attacks.
START was awarded a 3-year renewal grant from DHS in 2008 to sponsor new and continuing research projects related to the core research areas of radicalization, terrorist operations and interventions, and community resilience relative to the terrorist threat.
Since its inception, START has furthered its mission through hundreds of publications in peer-reviewed academic journals, dozens of public events, and extensive consultations by government agencies and Congress on issues related to terrorism and homeland security. This includes frequent testimony before Congress and hundreds of requests for assistance or advice from DHS and other federal, state, and local government agencies. For more information on START research, see the START Research Review (http://www.start.umd.edu/start/announcements/announcement.asp?id=198) or http://www.start.umd.edu/start/research/.
Consistent with its goal of training and mentoring a new generation of scholars and analysts, START launched a Terrorism Studies Minor Program at the University of Maryland in 2007. START emphasizes a variety of approaches to education, including undergraduate and graduate learning opportunities, professional development training, mentor programs, and public presentations, brown bags and webinars. In order to provide educational opportunities to a broader audience, in 2010 START launched an online Graduate Certificate in Terrorism Analysis. More information on START Educational Programs can be found at: http://www.start.umd.edu/start/education/.
In 2009, START was recognized by DHS for outstanding contributions to the security of the United States for its long-term support of the Global Terrorism Database (GTD); an open-source database including information on over 87,000 domestic and international terrorist events around the world since 1970. More information on the GTD can be found at http://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/.