Academic Connections

Working with external academics, research partners and education establishments is a vital element of The Academy’s work. It means we can engage with a wide range of thought leaders and innovation projects, sharing insights and discoveries that expand our capabilities and potential.

Academy funding

TRL’s Academy work is supported by internal and external funding programmes. TRL’s parent body, the Transport Research Foundation (TRF) is a non-profit Scientific Research Association, which uses the income from its investment in TRL to fund an annual programme of research. 

This means we are eligible for UK research and innovation funding, participating in cross-cutting, interdisciplinary research as full partners in collaborative projects. TRL also participates in EC framework programmes - such as Horizon 2020 - as an independent research organisation.


Academic research and study

The TRL Academy is currently funding and supervising PhD and EngD programmes with the University of Southampton, University of Warwick, Royal Holloway and University of London. The Academy has also recently formed an alliance with the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) to build our capabilities in this exciting and critical area of development for the transport sector.


Joint working relationships

Through the Academy we foster links with universities, research institutes and other academic and professional institutions. This strengthens our research and its applications. It also encourages exchange relationships for staff, shares cross-institutional expertise and develops new perspectives.

As an Affiliated Research Centre to the Open University, we recruit, supervise and conduct examinations for internal and external candidates pursuing research degrees.


Supporting knowledge creation and transfer

The TRL Academy plays an important role in ensuring that our work is showcased and disseminated as widely as possible.  The Academy assists with the selection of events for presentation of important research findings, offers technical staff to sit on committees, and encourages staff to write up their results for peer review in selected academic journals.  It makes available research reports for public access on the TRL website, and other websites, whenever the client gives us permission to do so.

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