Decarbonising UK Freight Transport Network Launches Small Research Project Funding

Funding from the Decarbonising UK Freight Transport Network Plus for small projects that address some of the big issues that are holding back investment in the decarbonisation of freight transport in the UK.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Decarbonising UK Freight Transport Network Plus is a platform of over forty industry and academic partners hosted by University College London. The network aims to identify and answer some of the big questions that are holding back investment in the decarbonisation of freight transport in the UK.

The Network operates a flexible fund for small projects lasting six to nine months that address pressing questions in this area. For this second funding call, applicants may choose to research one of two questions. The questions relate to different aspects of the Network’s five research themes:

  1. The Role of Data and models for unlocking implementation decision making.
  2. Managing uncertainty (macroeconomic, policy and technology) whilst mitigating climate risks in investment decisions.
  3. Fuel and propulsion technology pathways.
  4. Aligning drivers for decarbonisation investment and policy.
  5. Coupling the evolution of logistics and its infrastructure with decarbonising freight.

The two research areas – and the themes they relate to – are as follows. The amount of funding that may be requested varies according to the research question chosen:

  1. Question 1 – relating to themes 1-3: What effects will widespread decarbonisation of freight transport systems (particularly road freight and sea freight) have on the design, operation, costs and environmental footprint of logistics systems in the UK? (£100,000 (£80,000 at 80% fEC) available).
  2. Question 2 – relating to themes 4-5: How can ports support decarbonisation across multiple transport modes? What investment is required and how can they lead to incentives being aligned across transport modes to achieve the UK’s 2050 Net Zero target? (£75,000 (£60,000 at 80% fEC) available).

A total of two projects will be supported, one for each research question.

All organisations eligible to receive UKRI funding may apply, including Higher Education Institutions, or those registered as an Independent Research Organisation with UKRI. A list of organisations eligible to apply is available here. Projects should be led by a Lead University. This organisation may apply independently, or may include other Project Partners in its application. Project teams may not consist of more than three co-instigators.

Projects must be led by a named Principal Investigator (PI), who must be employed continuously by the Lead University. Early career researchers (ECR), (including post-doctoral researchers and new or probationary lecturers) are eligible to participate and are encouraged to do so, but may not act in the role of PI.

Projects may start from mid-June 2021 and are expected to end six to nine months later.

Applications should be submitted by the 7 May 2021 deadline.