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Mr. Muhammad Shahrul Nizzam bin Umar has been the Director of the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies since 2011. Prior to his current appointment, he was the Director of Defence Policy in 2008, an Assistant Director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2007, and also First Secretary and Second Secretary in the Permanent Mission of Brunei Darussalam to the United Nations. He has earned his Bachelor of Science from St. Andrews University, United Kingdom in 1996.


Who We Are

The establishment of the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (SHHBIDSS) was officially announced by His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzadin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar’ Ali Saifuddien Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, in His Majesty’s Titah during the 45th Anniversary of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces on the 31st of May 2006.

The institute was formally formed with the appointment of its first Director in April 2007.

The Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies (SHHBIDSS) is a policy research think tank under the ambit of the Ministry of Defence, Brunei Darussalam. The institute endeavors to support and strengthen policy planning in the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (RBAF) by providing research and analysis on defence, security and the strategic environment. The SHHBIDSS also provides a culture of research within the Ministry of Defence and the RBAF.

The institute manages the Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Scholarship, which is awarded to Bruneian students with highly valued attributes who have excelled in their respective fields. The scholarship recipients will then serve in MINDEF and the RBAF and contribute their outstanding skills and knowledge gained from their studies in world-renowned institutions. The institute also coordinates training for senior officers from both the civilian and military sectors through the Executive Development Programme (EDP).

“The maintenance of an independent research programme will be
essential across a range of defence and security related areas”

Our Vision is

“To be the centre of excellence for defence and strategic studies
in Brunei Darussalam.”

Our Mission is
 “To conduct research and provide analytical assessment on security and strategic environment, to develop policy environment for defence and to nurture great leaders for service.”




The SHHBIDSS performs its roles and functions through its three divisions, the Research Division, the Scholarship and Training Division and the Support Services Division.

The Research Division in SHHBIDSS conducts policy relevant research on defence, security and strategic issues and publishes and disseminates its research outputs in various forms to targeted audiences such as the Defence Executive Committee members and other officials in the MINDEF and the RBAF. The institute looks into three main programmes:

1.    Defence Management

Focuses on studying the challenges in defence management and its impact to the organisation.

2.    Defence and Military

Covers the trends in defence and military modernisation specifically the changing role of the armed forces and its implications to the organisation.

3.    Regional Strategic and Security

Assesses the strategic and security environment and its implication to the organisation and Brunei’s interests as a whole.

SHHBIDSS facilitates a culture of research in the MINDEF by holding several in-house activities such as conferences and seminars. At a working level, SHHBIDSS organises special talks and roundtables which involve officers and defence executives to promote the sharing of information among relevant stakeholders from the strategic level to the tactical level.

The institute’s annual flagship activity, the East Asia Security Outlook Seminar, is the only platform for discussion among defence and security officials at the national level, on regional security related issues relating to, international strategic relations and regional cooperation, military budget and acquisition trends, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR), military medicine, maritime security, terrorism and cyber security.

SHHBIDSS pursues to establish linkages and expand its network with defence, security and strategic institutions and organisations around the world to promote international cooperation through defence diplomacy. The institute is a member in the Network of ASEAN Defence and Security Institutions (NADI), a think tank group that supports the ADMM and participates in other Track 1.5 and Track 2 conferences, seminars, workshops and meetings including Shangri-La Dialogue, Xiangshan Forum, Seoul Defense Dialogue, Putrajaya Forum, and the Jakarta International Defence Dialogue. The SHHBIDSS was also involved in organising the BRIDEX conference held in conjunction with the defence exhibition.

The Scholarship and Training Division plays an important role in administering and managing the Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces Scholarship which is one of the most coveted scholarships awarded to only the top students in the country. It is a recruitment scholarship based on the needs requirement of MINDEF and the RBAF. Since its inception, the institute has granted 104 scholarships to students and this has greatly enabled the human resource development for MINDEF and the RBAF. Further information can be found here (insert hyperlink):

The Scholarship and Training Division also coordinates the Executive Development Programme (EDP) for senior officers from both civilian and military sectors. Since 2004, the programme has contributed towards the professional development of officers from a variety of governmental organisations.

The Support Services Division professionally manages the administrative, financial, communication and technology matters through our dedicated team that constantly strive to add value to the institute’s overall goals.


Address :
Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Institute of Defence
and Strategic Studies (SHHBIDSS)
Ministry of Defence BB3510
Brunei Darussalam

Telephone : +673 2386987/988
Fax :+673 2381424
Email :