In late January this year transport researchers from the UK spent five days in Thailand at a transport workshop
In total 40 industry experts from the UK and Thailand, including university and industry representatives, converged on the UK-Thai Transport Workshop. The Workshop presented an opportunity for industry professionals and academics to network and discuss freight transport of the future, with rail as the main focus of the Workshop.
This event was possible thanks to support received by the Newton Fund from the UK and the Thailand Research Fund and was coordinated by the British Council Thailand, Mahidol University and Newcastle University.
During the event a number of potential transport research and education collaborations were discussed and possible funding sources were identified. As an outcome of the Workshop Thai and UK researchers formed preliminary interest groups and are currently discussing potential project proposals and identifying suitable funding mechanisms to fund their research ideas.
International collaborations are in any transport researcher’s DNA. Currently groups across Europe collaborate on a variety of research projects co-funded by the European Commission via schemes such as SHIFT2RAIL or via specific projects in ‘Smart, Green and Integrated Transport’ in the EU.
These cross-border collaborations are crucial to exchange ideas, share resources and train people in both hard and soft skills, including language skills and multicultural understanding.
Opportunities for ASEAN
ASEAN and Asia Pacific countries are eligible to join some of the schemes and benefit from expertise and experience of developed countries. The Newton Fund offers support to ODA countries (official development assistance).
The European Commission’s Horizon 2020 funding programme allows consortia with Third Countries. Both universities and industry partners from ASEAN might be eligible to receive funding or join research activities.
From an Australian perspective
In Australia, there are a number of schemes available for researchers to develop partnerships with Asia Pacific countries. The Australian Academy of Science outlines travel grants and exchange programs for researchers to broaden their international connections and collaborations.
Programs include the Australia–India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) for Early- and Mid-Career Researcher (EMCR) Fellowships in 2018–19. Support funding of up to A$40,500 (US$32,000) is available for Australian researchers to travel to India to work with leading researchers at major Indian science and technology organisations for a period of between three and nine months.
Areas of research include any field of natural science (basic and applied), engineering science, mathematics, statistics or health.
Regional Collaborations Program
The project aims to develop regional collaborations to address shared regional challenges such as transport, along with building and enhancing regional science, research and industry relationships. Funding is provided on a matched basis.
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science fellowships
The Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) has Postdoctoral Fellowships available for Australian researchers who work in the fields of natural sciences (including technology, engineering and medicine), the humanities and social sciences. Calls for applications will be made later in 2018.
Australia-China Young Scientists Exchange Program 2018
This program is currently open for applications and closes on March 23 2018 for travel between October 28 to November 9 2018 to develop cultural understanding and the science and research practices and systems of the two countries.
If you are interested in applying for international funding and join partners working on transport-related research projects benefitting ASEAN or Asia Pacific countries, all you need to do is to have a research idea and form/join an international consortium. If you need help, feel free to contact RailUniNet members for assistance.
Dr Anna Fraszczyk is a visiting professor at Mahidol University, UIC Railway Talents ambassador and RailUniNet secretary
Email: [email protected]
Dr Janene Piip is a career and talent consultant at JP Research & Consulting, Australia, UIC Railway Talents ambassador and RailUniNet member
Email: [email protected]