Young Researcher Competition


The TRA VISIONS 2018 YOUNG RESEARCHER COMPETITION (previously called ACADEMIC STUDENT COMPETITION) is aimed at university and technical institute students pursuing bachelor, master and PhD degrees. This competition represents an opportunity for young researchers to showcase their work on an international stage at the 2018 Transport Research Arena (TRA 2018) event in Vienna, Austria, on 16th-19th April 2018.

Initially, participants will be invited to submit an abstract under one of the following TRA 2018 topics (Call for Ideas) which cover the general areas of:

RA1 Environment and Energy Efficiency

RA2 Vehicles & Vessels – Design, Development
and Production

RA3 Advanced Propulsion Systems

RA4 Smart Urban Mobility & Logistics

RA5 People Mobility – Systems and Services

RA6 Freight Transport and Logistics

RA7 Transport Infrastructure

RA8 Connected and Automated Transport

RA9 Digital Technologies for Transport

RA10 Safe, Secure and Resilient Transport Systems

RA11 Human Dimension in Transport

RA12 Socio-Economics, Innovation and Policy

The deadline for registration and final submission has now moved to 31/10/2017 23:59 CET.

The Submission should be a report based on the Final Project Template, a short presentation and a project poster accompanied by an optional short video (mandatory for all shortlisted). This will be followed by an Evaluation of Ideas period that is divided into two steps: a remote online evaluation in which two evaluators assess each eligible project and give a ranking, and a second evaluation phase in which the top 10 shortlisted ideas for each mode are evaluated by a judging panel during a Shortlisting Workshop which determines the three top ideas per mode (road, rail, waterborne and cross-modality).

Both the winning certificates and prizes will be awarded at TRA 2018 (Award Ceremony).



Register now and share your visionary ideas and get the chance to receive in return the TRA VISIONS Award for the best idea.

Participation is limited to young researchers who are registered in a college, university or technical institute from across the European Union, EU Candidate countries, potential EU candidate countries and European Economic Area. A young researcher is defined as a university and technical institute student pursuing a BSc, MSc, PhD or comparable degree. Those young researchers who have graduated earlier than 01/01/2016 are not eligible to apply. However, those who have already graduated from a PhD degree are welcome to participate in the senior researcher competition. Eligibility will be checked before full access to the TRA VISIONS YOUNG RESEARCHER COMPETITION is granted (a process that usually takes 2 to 7 days).

For more information regarding the Young Researcher Competition, download the “YOUNG RESEARCHER COMPETITION GUIDELINES 2018” or write an email to

Pillars / transport modes
  • Highways
  • Urban and rural roads
  • Passenger and freight transport
  • Cycling
  • Pedestrian
  • High-speed
  • Passenger and freight railways
  • Urban and light rail systems
  • Maritime
  • In-land waterborne
  • Short sea shipping
  • Deep sea shipping
  • Passenger transport and cruises
  • Floating infrastructures and support vessels
  • Aquaculture
  • Dredging
  • Co-modality, Inter-modality
  • Intelligent Transport System (ITS)
  • Logistics
  • Combined transport
  • Interfaces
  • Intermodal terminals
  • Integrated infrastructures
  • Public transport
  • Airports, Ports


1 Group or individual entries are eligible for all pillars. Entries may be submitted by any individual or team that consists of up to a maximum of 7 participants.
2 Only one entry will be accepted per person/team and all entries must fall into one of the outlined pillars. Participants cannot submit the same abstract/ video under different pillars/ transport mode.
3 The registration period is from 21/12/2016 to 30/06/2017 31/10/2017 in which young researchers are invited to submit an abstract of their idea under one of the TRA 2018 conference Topics.
4 The deadline for comprehensive project submission is 31/10/2017 at Mid-Night Central European Time (31/10/2017 23:59 CET). Any entries beyond this time will not be accepted unless an extension is granted.
5 All abstracts must be 220-250 words. They may contain up to 3 diagrams, high quality images or figures as appropriate. Participants are encouraged to submit at least two high resolution images or diagrams. The minimum resolution should be 1920x1080 pixels at 72 dpi (monitor resolution).
6 All submitted entries will automatically give their permission for their abstract to go public on the project website and on the TRA VISIONS contest book. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that such publication does not breach the copyright of others.
7 All submissions need to include a report based on the Final Project Template (available for download from the TRA VISIONS website), a short presentation and a project poster accompanied by an optional short video (about 1 minute). The submission of a video is mandatory for all shortlisted ideas (Top 10 ideas per mode). The shortlisted students will be notified well in advance in order to develop the short videos.
8 All submitted entries need to be in understandable, academic English, of general European interest and need to ensure a clear understanding of the idea. We will accept video entries in any language; however, foreign language videos must include English subtitles.
9 All abstracts and videos must be the work of the young researchers. Participants may submit work already published, provided it is their own work and its publication to the TRA VISIONS website does not breach the copyright of others.
10 The maximum allowable number of final submissions is 100 per mode. This limitation works on a first come first serve basis.
11 No “copyright” infringing content can be included.
12 Only entries submitted within the online submission section of the TRA VISIONS website will be accepted.
13 The competition is open to young researchers registered in a College, University or Technical Institute from across the European Union, EU Candidate Countries, Potential EU Candidate Countries and European Economic Area1. A young researcher is defined herein as University and Technical Institute student pursuing (or recently completed) a BSc, MSc, PhD or comparable degrees. Those who graduated earlier than the 1st of January 2016 are not eligible to apply.
14 Winners will be acknowledged on both the TRA VISIONS and the TRA 2018 websites and may be acknowledged elsewhere.
15 All finalists (one nominee / team representative per winning team) will receive a contribution towards their accommodation and travel expenses to the TRA 2018 Conference in Vienna, Austria. The contribution is dependent on the point of origin within Europe which could be the young researchers’ normal place of study or normal place of residence. It is a condition of this award that the finalists attend the conference. It is up to all finalists to organize their own travel arrangements to Vienna. The organizers will endeavour to make available low cost accommodation, subject to availability.
16 There will be 3 winning ideas per transport mode. The winning young researcher prizes per mode consist of 1st (5000€), 2nd (3000€) and 3rd runner-up (2000€). All finalists will be given a certificate acknowledging their achievement.
17 Entrants must indicate a supervising professor and his/her organisation and contact details. The TRA VISIONS organisers can contact the supervising professor to verify the submitted idea and the entrants’ status. Entrants must provide all requested details when entering the competition, as outlined in the Application Form. Entrants must comply with all rules to be eligible for the prizes. No responsibility is accepted for ineligible entries or entries made fraudulently. Entrants will be deemed to have accepted these rules and to agree to be bound by them when entering this competition.
18 The TRA VISIONS organisers do not accept any responsibility for late or lost entries due to poor performance of the Internet or any other technical difficulties on the applicant’s side – applicants are advised to apply as early as possible.
19 Without the expressed permission of the organisers, this competition is not open to employees or contractors of the TRA Conference, or anyone already involved or participating in it, or any person directly or indirectly involved in the organisation or running of the TRA VISIONS competition, or their direct family members.
20 Evaluation of ideas is divided into three steps: An eligibility assessment, an online evaluation and a judging panel. The eligibility assessment is conducted by the TRA VISIONS organisers. Submissions which comply with the stated requirements are evaluated in a remote online evaluation in which two evaluators assess each eligible project and give a ranking. The final evaluation phase in which the shortlisted top 10 ideas for each mode are evaluated by a judging panel during a shortlisting Workshop determines the three top ideas per mode (road, rail, waterborne and cross-modality).
21 The Judges decision is final in every situation including any not covered above and no correspondence will be entered into. The Judges reserve the right to have discretion regarding the rules. The organisers reserve the right to cancel the competition at any stage, if deemed necessary in their opinion, and if circumstances arise outside of their control. The competition will be cancelled if financial support anticipated by the organisers does not materialise. In such circumstances, no costs will be refunded.


1 Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, FYRO Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom

Projects may cover design, construction, research, equipment, training or operations of new and innovative concept ideas and products. Existing products, devices, services or procedures will not be considered.

Output: The participants should engage in further research and use their creativity, knowledge and personal effort in order to produce an innovative concept idea of high quality standards. The “concept idea” is not required to be a completely engineered “ready to build” product. The idea may also contain new (“quantum leap”) technical solutions, based on solid engineering judgment and feasibility estimation. All submissions should include evidence of originality identifying any similar work and, if so, what distinguishes the submission from this other work.

Upon registration participants should register their personal details (username, password, name, surname, organisation, supervising professor etc). After an eligibility check, participants will then have to submit an abstract and a title describing their idea by 30/06/2017 23:59 CET 31/10/2017 23:59 CET using the Abstract submission form available from the TRA VISIONS website.

Final project submissions should be submitted in electronic format, using the “Final Project” template, the “Poster” template and the “Presentation” template (available for download). The Final Project can be submitted at any time repeatedly (only the latest version uploaded will be considered) up until the 31/10/2017 23:59 CET.

Final report

The Final report should include the following:

The main text should be in electronic format and neatly presented in an academic format. The final submissions must be more than 2 pages but must not to exceed 20 pages.
It should comprise of a description of the methodical approach, the concept, its basic principles, the assumptions made and an indication of how the concept contributes to the state of the art.
It must show how the concept meets the future market and society needs and address potential technology gaps.
A comprehensive literature survey to demonstrate knowledge on the field should be included. The report should include clear references.
It should address issues such as safety, environment, production, logistics, etc. where necessary and provide some evidence, in the form of calculation or engineering judgment and feasibility. The above requirements should be presented according to the following table of contents:

Management summary


Selection of transport mode / pillar and related research topics: describe the selected transport mode and research topic that the concept idea fits into.

Literature survey: describe existing published concept ideas fitting to selected research topics.

Description of Idea - Proposed solution: describe the proposed solution including advantages as compared with existing concepts. Address how “Contest Targets” are met considering the specific research topics.

Potential technological gaps and issues in research topics: describe the identified technology gaps and themes for further development in the areas of technical feasibility, safety, environment, production, logistics etc. For example for a project within waterborne:

Detailed design description covering the following (where applicable):

- sizing and principal dimensions including approach for sizing
- speed/powering/propulsion
- weight estimation
- load capacity
- stability analysis
- sea keeping analysis
- general arrangement plans
- cost analysis (investment costs)
- cargo rate analysis

Appendices, if necessary, should provide additional details to support the concept.

Drawings, illustrations, calculations and data listings should only appear in the appendices where necessary and should all be submitted in electronic format.


The Presentation should include the following:

Title slide containing: Project title, key specifications, team members, contact data, supervising professor.
Motivation and objectives of project.
Methodological approach
Summary of key results, added value to state of the art should be highlighted
Conclusion and further research demand
Illustrations should be used throughout the presentation describing the concept idea. All illustrations need to have a high resolution.
Quantity of max.10 slides

A short supportive Video is optional and should be uploaded separately. Ideas which are shortlisted are obliged to submit a video.
Videos can show a real moving picture, interviews with team members and/or commented slides


The Poster should include the following:

Project title
Key Characteristics (a few bullet points highlighting the most distinct characteristics of the project)
Motivation and objectives of your project
Methodology (as illustration / figure)
Project Results
Further steps/ Research demand and outlook
Team/ Project Partners

Submissions should be submitted to TRA VISIONS in electronic format via the registration website.


21 DEC 2016

Official start date for the contest


This is the registration period where all the participants are invited to register their ideas and submit a title and a short abstract of their ideas for the academic contest.


Deliverable: Registration & Abstract

Register online as a team leader or as a member of an existing team. Required information include Supervisor, young researcher profile etc.

- Name, Organization, Team,
- Research Area of Contribution.
- Title and Short description (abstract) of idea. (220-250 words)
31 OCT 2017 23:59 CET

End of registration period /
abstract submission deadline

Has been extended from 30 JUN 2017 23:59 CET

31 OCT 2017 23:59 CET

Final version submission deadline


The final project has to be submitted no later than the 31st October 2017

31 OCT 2017

Deliverable: Final Deliverable

Final Project Report: Upload final project template containing anonymous final document containing the final project contribution from the team.

Final Project Presentation: Upload Presentation template containing final project presentation from the team.

Final Project Poster: Upload Poster template containing final project poster from the team.

Attachments & others: Upload any attachments related to the final project (supporting video, excel spreadsheets, CAD files etc.)

FROM 31 OCT 2017 TO 31 JAN 2018

During this period the ideas will be evaluated and the judging panel will determine the top three ideas per mode. A short video will also be developed for every winning idea and all the ideas will be published in a book.

31 JAN 2018

Video for shortlisted Ideas

31 JAN 2018

Deliverable: Video

Upload video containing description of the idea/project.

18-21 APR 2018

Awards ceremony


The IP rights of any project submitted will be according to each University’s procedures and policies.


For more information about the competition download
the "Young Researcher Competition Guidelines 2018"
(Size: 186 kByte)


The top three winners for each mode (road, rail and waterborne) have been announced during the TRAVISIONS 2016 award ceremony at TRA 2016 in Warsaw on 18th April 2016. These winners had the chance to meet the EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, after the ceremony to discuss their ideas and future. TRAVISIONS 2016 awarded prize money sponsored by industry (DAMEN, ERTRAC, UNIFE, UIC, NEWRAIL, Techflow Technology) to the winners.