Please note the information below applies to 2018. Details of the 2019 scheme are yet to be confirmed.


CIHT have launched a Research Grant Programme (RGP) to support important research in the industry and influence decision making through a series of grants available to researchers in academic institutions and other bodies. The aim of the RGP will be to support research which can improve our knowledge and evidence base by adding to our understanding of current transportation challenges and opportunities, and help us continually improve all networks so that they are safe, sustainable, effective and able to meet the changing needs of society.

CIHT's Research Grant Programme will support a number of small to medium scale projects with funding, communications support and technical review which can develop the art and science of transportation.

The objective of the fund is to support high quality research projects that have the potential to impact on policy and practice, and to encourage closer collaboration between CIHT and the research community. We are particularly looking at research funded through this programme to assist CIHT in developing a clear evidence base which we can use to demonstrate expertise and influence decision making.

Research themes

We are looking for bids that are innovative in nature and contribute to the development of evidence and best practice in the field of highways engineering and transportation, and that fit within the focus areas of CIHT. The challenges to the role that transport plays in the economic, social, and environmental development of the UK are not well understood and are rarely well articulated and this programme is an opportunity to bring evidence to that discussion.

We would particularly welcome applications to the scheme that fit with our research themes:

  • The contribution of transport; Demonstrating transport’s benefits to society economically, socially and financially as well as mitigating negative impacts.
  • Accessibility; Identifying and providing for the needs of a diverse range of people, including those with restricted mobility or disabilities so that we can deliver the appropriate transport environment.
  • Integrating planning & transport: How can better planning regulations shape where homes, workplaces and social destinations are built to encourage sustainable transport.
  • Delivering for People: How can we better understand the needs and preference of transport users and use that to deliver better infrastructure and services.
  • Resilience: How do we create networks that are resilient to climate, technological and social change.

In addition, we will consider exceptional or innovative applications that fall outside of these priority areas if they meet the broader objectives of the programme as outlined above.


Projects will be funded in a typical range of £5,000 - £20,000. If applicants are considering larger grants they should discuss this as part of their initial expression of interest. We would be happy to consider applications that involve match-funding or otherwise co-funded, and for research teams to consider how leveraging in additional funding could extend the scope of the proposed projects.

The RGP is aimed at researchers, academic institutions, corporate partners and other bodies in the highways and transportation sector.

We will welcome collaboration from across the sector, including joint applications. Key issues regarding programme governance, intellectual property rights and specifications will be clearly defined as part of the commissioning process.

How and when to apply

The application process is in three stages:

  • Outline stage
    Please send a short summary of your research proposal to or call us at 020 7336 1564 and we will be happy to discuss it with you. The information we require at this initial stage is listed in the Appendix (See bottom of page). Deadline: 30 September 2018

  • Application Stage
    Successful applicants will be invited to develop their proposals with our policy and technical team who will work with you to ensure we have all the information needed for a final decision to be made. Deadline: 30 November 2018

  • Approval Stage
    Once you submit the full application it will be brought to the attention of the Research Grants Panel at their next meeting; the decision of the Grants Committee will be final. You will be kept up to date with the process and informed whether successful or not. We expect to be able to confirm the successful projects by the end of January 2019.


Funding research is part of CIHT’s mission to demonstrate the worth of transport to society and as such we may ask funded applicants to undertake some, or all, of the following promotional activities when relevant;

  1. A written report, which the CIHT will publish and promote
  2. A research briefing note for the CIHT website
  3. Speak at CIHT conferences or events
  4. An article for Transportation Professional magazine (1,200 words)
  5. Record a short video or podcast

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated against the following criteria:

  • Strategic fit: Does the proposal align with the CIHT research themes?
  • Urgency: How critically is the research needed in the sector?
  • Impact: What impact will the research have on the transport sector (nationally, regionally or locally) and how readily can this be assessed?
  • Fitness for purpose: Will the outputs be effective, ready to use, and meet the requirements of the end users?
  • Quality and depth of proposed research, methodology and analysis
  • Value for money

Further Information and Enquiries

Applications or informal enquiries should be sent to or call 020 7336 1564 for further assistance.


Information required to apply

Applicant Name:

Applicant Organisation

Project Title:

Total Project Cost: What is the total cost of your proposal?

CIHT Grant request: How much are you seeking from the CIHT Research Grant fund and why is CIHT relevant to your research?

Other funding: What other funding do you have and is it secured or being sought.

Key Partners: What other organisations will you be working with to deliver the project?

Summary (MAX TWO PAGES): What is your overall purpose and plan for delivery?

Outcomes (MAX 100 WORDS) What outcomes do you hope to achieve and what public benefit(s) will result?

Evaluation (MAX 100 WORDS) How will you evaluate the success of the project?

Timescales: Start and finish dates plus any key milestones.

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