Young Researcher Competition


The TRA VISIONS 2024 YOUNG RESEARCHER COMPETITION will be aimed at Universities and Research Institutes for young researchers pursuing bachelor’s degrees and higher (Master’s and PhD) in all scientific domains involving transport, sustainability, mobility, energy, engineering, and related areas. The competition presents an opportunity for young researchers to showcase their work on an international stage at the Transport Research Arena (TRA) 2024 Conference scheduled for April 2024 in Dublin.

Initially, participants will be invited to submit an abstract (Call for Ideas) under one of the TRA 2024 Conference Topics / Overarching themes:

  • RA1 Safe & Inclusive Transport
  • RA2 Sustainable Mobility of People and Goods
  • RA3 Collaborative Digitalisation
  • RA4 Efficient & Resilient Systems

The registration period will be open until 31/10/2023 and has been extended from 30/06/2023, during which all the participants are invited to register their ideas through the submission of a title and a short abstract. Participants will then have a four-month period (until 31/10/2023) to further develop their proposal into a final project.

The Submission should include 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).

The submission phase will end with the submission of the aforementioned documentation (a final report, a short presentation, a project poster and an optional video) followed by an Evaluation of Ideas period during which a judging panel will determine which are the top 3 ideas per mode (road, rail, waterborne, air and cross-modality). The evaluation of ideas will be divided into three steps: an eligibility assessment, an online evaluation, and a judging panel

The winning certificates and prizes will be presented in a prestigious Award Ceremony during the TRA 2024 event.



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

13. The competition is open to young researchers registered in a College, University or Research Institute from across the European Union, EU Candidate Countries, Potential EU Candidate Countries and European Economic Area1. 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 2024” or write an email to


RA1 - Safe & Inclusive Transport

  • Transport safety
  • Future workforce & skills
  • People-centred & inclusive transport
  • Transport policy

RA2 - Sustainable Mobility of People and Goods

  • Urban, regional & rural transport
  • Zero emissions transport
  • Impact on health & the environment
  • Logistics and sustainable transport

RA3 - Collaborative Digitalisation

  • Digital transition
  • Transport data sharing
  • Connected, cooperative & automated mobility
  • Digital transport infrastructure

RA4 - Efficient & Resilient Systems

  • Resilient infrastructure
  • Resilient networks & operations
  • Circular economy & life cycle assessments
  • Transport energy transition

1 Group or individual entries are eligible for all transport modes. Entries may be submitted by any individual or research 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 / transport modes. Participants cannot submit the same abstract / video under different pillars / transport modes.

3 The registration period will be open from 07/02/2023 until 30/06/2023 31/10/2023 and the young researchers are invited to submit an abstract of their idea, under one of the TRA VISIONS 2022 Competition Research Topics / Areas.

4 The deadline for comprehensive project submission is 31/10/2023 at Midnight Central European Time (31/10/2023 23:59 CET). Any entries beyond this time will not be accepted, unless an extension is granted.

5 All abstracts must have a maximum of 250 words. It may contain up to 3 diagrams, high quality images or figures as appropriate. Participants need 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. Video entries in any language will be accepted; 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 Research Institute from across the European Union, EU Candidate Countries, Potential EU Candidate Countries and European Economic Area1.

14 Winners will be acknowledged on both the TRA VISIONS and the TRA 2024 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 2024 Conference in Dublin, Ireland. The contribution is dependent on the point of origin within Europe which could be the young researchers’ place of study or permanent 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 Lisbon. 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/senior researcher/senior scientist, her/his 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, air 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 North Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom

Projects may cover the topics on the list of research areas/topics outlined and include transport development and innovation aspects around the design, construction, research, equipment, training or operations of new and innovative transport and mobility concepts. 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, organization, supervising professor, etc). After an eligibility check, participants will then have to submit an abstract and a title describing their idea by 30/06/2023 23:59 CET 31/10/2023 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 (documents available for download from the website). The Final Project can be submitted at any time repeatedly (only the latest version uploaded will be considered) up until the 31/10/2023 23:59 CET.

Final Report

The Final report should include the following:

The main text 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.

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 and economic feasibility, safety, security, 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/senior researcher/senior scientist
  • 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 (top 10) 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.



07 FEB 2023

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.

FROM 07 FEBRUARY 2023 TO 30 JUNE 2023 31 OCTOBER 2023

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 (about 250 words)

31 OCT 2023 23:59 CEST

End of registration period /
abstract submission deadline

31 OCT 2023 23:59 CET

Final version submission deadline


The final project has to be submitted no later than the 31st October 2023

31 OCT 2023

Deliverable: Final Deliverables

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 2023 TO 31 JAN 2024


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 2024 23:59 CET

Video for shortlisted Ideas

31 JAN 2024

Deliverable: Video

Upload video containing description of the idea/project (top 10 projects only).

15-18 APR 2024

Awards ceremony

TRA 2024

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

More information

For more information about the competition download
the “Young Researcher Competition Guidelines 2024”
(Size: 288 kByte)

Award – TRA VISIONS 2022

The top three winners for each mode (road, rail, waterborne, airborne and cross-modality) have been announced during the TRA VISIONS 2022 award ceremony during the Transport Research Arena (TRA) 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal. TRA VISIONS 2022 awarded prize money sponsored by industry (ERTRAC, Europe’s Rail, Waterborne TP, Damen, Collins Aerospace, alice, UITP) to the winners.



Cross Modality










Cross Modality