EPSRC/ESRC joint statement on handling Transportation applications

Support for research in transportation is important to ESRC and EPSRC and we are committed to funding research of the highest international quality. The Research Councils provide complementary support for transportation research and we work to provide a joined up approach to investment through implementation of the Cross-Council Funding Agreement. To assist researchers in submitting transportation applications to the most appropriate Research Council we have provided the guidance below:

The ESRC encourage and supports a range of research on economic models of transport, decision making, management structure and business models, mobility and sustainability which enhance the evidence base relevant to the policy making process for transport systems. Proposals for the ESRC may include environment planning, transport usage choices and how people decide to use different types of transport. Research could include, but is not be limited to, interdisciplinary research on methodologies and science and technological studies.

The EPSRC supports a broad base of transportation-related research across a number of research areas particularly in "Infrastructure and Urban Systems" and "Operational research" (more specific examples below). For EPSRC to accept a proposal in "Infrastructure and Urban Systems" or "Operational research", projects should have a strong focus on quantitative rather than qualitative research. The portfolio will focus on research of international quality which could include, but not be limited to, traffic management, logistics and systems engineering or complex systems.

EPSRC and ESRC will continue to manage their remit query services to advise applicants on which Council is most appropriate for this proposal:

Examples of transport research covered by EPSRC

EPSRC continues to support fundamental to applied, community driven research that addresses the key challenges facing the transport sector in the UK. This does not preclude exploring 'blue sky' type ideas such as investigating new and unique modes of transport.  Examples of research covered by EPSRC include:

  • Advanced battery and fuel cell technology for low and ultra-low emission vehicles
  • Biofuel production (including hydrogen), refining and use in road, freight or for aviation drop-in fuels applications
  • Research into artificial intelligence, big data and connectivity / IoT related to autonomous transport systems
  • Various aspects of transport security and digitisation
  • Road infrastructure and systems