Conducting fieldwork in areas affected by violent conflict presents a particular, yet context specific, range of challenges and opportunities for researchers. Researchers may be caught in a dilemma, between apprehension and comprehension. While they are compelled to seek an ever-deeper level of understanding, their apprehension of the perceived risks may hold them back from seeking it. The paper argues that the constraints produced by the basic dilemma of immersion are contingent on a host of variables outside researchers' control and that while they may be very difficult to overcome, they can be mitigated by the adoption of a flexible and pragmatic research strategy based on local knowledge. However, highlighting issues related to the politics of truth, competition over the rents of the research, and trust, it also shows that although this approach may mitigate dilemmas of 'immersion' in conflict settings it produces new, context specific challenges.