Introducing the IPR Policy Fellowship Programme: Sustainable and automated transport

Posted in: Energy and environmental policy, Science and research policy, UK politics

Amy Thompson is Head of Policy Programmes and Communications at the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research (IPR).

In December 2021 my colleague Professor Andrew Heath (Department of Architecture Civil and Engineering) and I were successful in securing a Policy Support Fund from Research England. This fund supports universities to undertake research with local, regional, national and international regulatory organisations, such as parliament and central government.

Our application was to design and deliver a bespoke Policy Fellowship Programme on sustainable and automated transport that will directly connect University of Bath academics and researchers with policymakers working in departments responsible for delivering on solving key transport challenges, as set out by Grant Shapps, in his Department for Transport report: Decarbonising Transport. A better, Greener Britain, 2021.

We are delighted to be launching this programme this week.

The Policy Fellowship Programme: Sustainable and automated transport (PFP:S&AT) is designed for senior policymakers and decision-makers from government and the third sector and offers Fellows the opportunity to explore policy questions, or challenges, they are looking to address in their professional role.

The programme is structured around tailored one-to-one or group cohort virtual meetings and is delivered online and enables Fellows to meet with world-class academics across the University of Bath.

It is hoped that the PFP:S&AT will establish networks and relationships between our academics and policymakers in central and local government in order to help inform policymakers of the latest academic research and thinking related to sustainable and automated transport, and how the University of Bath may support their policy planning in order to meet the nationally set targets by 2050 at local, regional and national levels. It will also focus on areas where targets have scope to be exceeded and the benefits this may accrue.

The programme is designed to take established and emerging research on, for example, alternative fuels, EV’s, autonomous vehicles and Mobility as a Service, and to connect this directly with policymakers, so that they have the latest thinking, expertise and knowledge to help inform policy to transition our transport systems to a more sustainable, and healthier, future.

The programme will build on existing research and expertise at Bath, and our experience of running other Policy Fellowship Programmes, for other areas of policy, in order that successful and impactful knowledge exchange can happen between Bath and across strategically identified government departments and policy individuals.

The University’s interdisciplinary expertise provides perspectives which can inform key areas of sustainable transport policy, including:

  • Decarbonising our transport system before 2050.
  • Accelerating modal shift to public and active transport.
  • Decarbonising Road Transport.
  • Decarbonising how we get our goods.
  • Establishing the UK as a hub for green transport technology and innovation.
  • Place-based solutions to emissions reduction.
  • Reducing carbon in a global economy.
  • Designing and delivering policy change.
  • Inclusive provision and access to transport.
  • Changing behaviour.


The transition to sustainable mobility will have positive impacts on our future environments and our health. We hope that this programme will be of interest to policymakers from, but not exclusively: Department for Transport; Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Office for Zero Emission Vehicles; Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Department for Health and Social Care; Cabinet Office Policy Profession Unit; Bath and North-East Somerset Council; and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA).

The PFP:S&AT is free-of-charge, and our team will be able to facilitate future meetings, networking, or collaborations with our academic experts, following initial Fellowship meetings.

If you would like to find out more, including how to apply, please see:

We look forward to launching this programme and welcoming applications.

Posted in: Energy and environmental policy, Science and research policy, UK politics


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