The Institute for Security Research and Crisis Management at SFU pursues an integrative and holistic strategy of knowledge by aiming to uncover, for example, cultural, systemic, cognitive or psychodynamic structures behind ostensibly material security problems. The focus is therefore not only on objective security (i.e. technical-structural issues), but above all also on subjective security and thus on aspects of the humanities, social sciences and cultural studies, which are becoming increasingly important in security research.

Special emphasis is put on integrating current findings in psychotherapy science, which has established itself as a discipline of its own beyond the immediate therapeutic practice and thereby implies a holistic understanding of the human condition as an interweaving of phenomena from the humanities, social and cultural sciences.

From a psychological and sociological perspective, particular interest is also directed at certain trends and phenomena that do not initially appear to be directly and obviously relevant to security issues, but which can ultimately be decisive for an understanding of the security-relevant social environment. These include, for example, conspiracy theories or changing consumption and lifestyle habits.     

Head of the Institute: Mag.(FH) Dr. Gerd HIESS, BSc MSc,


As an academic institution, the Institute for Security Research and Crisis Management pursues the goal of expanding knowledge on this specific subject area, making it accessible and communicating it. This strategic goal is to be achieved through various operational processes:

  • Participating in research tenders on a national and international level
  • Establishing own specialisation directions and expertise in-house, providing retrievable expert knowledge for media work
  • Scientific publications
  • Academic qualification of specialist staff through basic, advanced and further trainings

University Course: Strategic Crisis and Security Management

The aim of the course is to impart practical skills and theoretical knowledge at an academic level in crisis and conflict management. Participants first learn about problem areas such as crisis communication, leadership in extreme situations, processes in security organisations or disaster research as models and then deepen their understanding both from a technical-professional point of view and from the perspective of individual experience of the situation. Special emphasis is placed on leadership psychology and on other specific psychological and social aspects in which the subject area is embedded.   

Please note that the course language is German. 

Your advantages:

  • Content at the cutting edge of research and from real-life practice
  • Direct knowledge transfer from renowned experts as lecturers
  • Part-time participation possible
  • University degree as „Akademische*r Krisen und Sicherheitsmanager*in“ (Academic Crisis and Safety Manager)
  • Working in small groups with the possibility of direct feedback

 Target group:

  • Staff members of emergency organisations who want to prepare for a management position in the field of crisis and communication management and who want to expand their own skills
  • Managers, security officers, heads of crisis teams in the corporate and SME sector
  • Staff in communication and management functions who are potentially entrusted with processes in crisis situations


  • 6 modules with 3 – 4 courses each, taking place over 20 weekends
  • Distribution of weekends usually: 5 teaching units on Friday + 10 units on Saturday
  • Total: 300 units

Admission requirements: relevant professional experience


Heads of the Institute for Security Research and Crisis Management

Mag.(FH) Dr. Gerd HIESS, BSc MSc,

Mag. Maximilian Pritz,

Clinical Psychology

Nicolas Gyane, MSc.,

Communications and Sociology

Mag. Dr. Dr. Manuel Jakab,