Photo:Awards 2019

The Lee Schipper Scholarship 2020 awardees – this year with a first scholar from Africa!

Three new researchers have been awarded the prestigious Lee Schipper Scholarship Award for transformative research proposals to challenge conventional wisdom. In addition to the classic international window awarded to two researchers since 2012, this year a third tailored scholarship supporting researchers from Africa was secured and successfully awarded to a meritorious young researcher thanks to the support from the Volvo Research and Educational Foundation.

Zhou Wei

Dr. Konstantinus on the field

The “Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarship for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency” targets supporting the momentum of Lee Schipper’s contribution to the enrichment of the international policy dialogue in the fields of sustainable transport and energy efficiency. Lee Schipper, international physicist, researcher, musician and co-founder of EMBARQ, today the Urban Mobility program of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, inspired and shaped the thinking of a generation of students and professionals. The Scholarship, which provides funding support and mentoring advise, is aimed at expanding the contributions to research and policy dialogue in the field of sustainable transport and energy efficiency supporting young researcher’s initiatives triggering and catalyzing transformative research and policy papers.

This year’s awardees are:

  • “Evaluating Conditions for Regional Maritime Transport in Southern Africa”.

Dr. Abisai Konstantinus is the first African scholar in the history of the Lee Schipper Scholarship. He is a maritime expert based in Swakopmund, Namibia with experience as a seafarer, marine pilot, lecturer and researcher in the African maritime domain. Dr. Abisai holds several degrees in Maritime Studies (CPUT), MPhil: Shipping Law (UCT), PQE: ICS, MSc: Shipping Management and Logistics (WMU) and a PhD Transport Engineering (UCT). His research will focus on the development of regional maritime transport in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region. His study will delve on the perceptions and experience of shipowners and operators to assist in identifying strategies to overcome barriers in regional maritime transport and favor its strategic role in the region as viable alternative to the more carbon-intensive road transport in the region.

  • Scholarship # 2, Mr. Jungwoo Chun
  • Institutional Innovation, Change Agents and the Electrification of Personal Transportation

Mr. Jungwoo Chun, a Korean national, is a PhD candidate in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachussets (USA). His research looks into the electrification of personal and commercial transportation, with a political economy focus on the role that key institutions and institutional stakeholders play in promoting the policy reforms that lead to vehicle electrification based on case studies of institutional dynamics in Denmark, Norway and Iceland. His objective is to contribute to the knowledge base for institutional and policy transformations required to promote electric vehicle adoption globally which is accelerating in the years to come.

  • Scholarship # 3, Ms. Fariba Siddiq
  • Cross-Cultural Gender Differences in Travel: Ride-Hailing’s Emerging Role

Ms. Fariba Siddiq, a Bangladeshi national, is a PhD candidate in the Department of Urban Planning and a researcher at the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (USA). Her research will analyze gender differences in ride-hailing access and use experiences through a cross-cultural study in two global cities, Dhaka and Los Angeles. Her research will explore how and to what extent are these burgeoning ride-hailing services affecting safe and independent movement of women, before and after COVID-19. Her research will also provide insight into ride-hailing services’ use by different segments of the population and whether the use of this new mode is bringing in any transformational change in terms of access to opportunities in developed and developing countries, both for women and men.

With the support of the World Resources Institute and the World Bank, all scholars will traditionally present their work at the Transforming Transportation conference to recognize and get inspiration from young researchers whom will shape the future of our sector. This year’s 2021 edition will be hosted online.

On behalf of the Scholarship Board and the Schipper Family, co-founders Holger Dalkmann and Ramon Munoz-Raskin congratulate the new scholars and thank the Volvo Research Foundations and other partners for their support.

The next call for the 2021 scholarships will be out in December 2020.

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Invitation to submit an Expression of interest in writing a think piece: gender informed mobility planning. Pdf, 622.2 kB. (Pdf, 622.2 kB)

This invitaton is an opportunity for scholars in sub-Saharan Africa to write a think piece on the theme of “Gender-informed mobility planning, governance and policy in African cities: status, barriers, ways forward.” Through this invitation, VREF welcomes expressions of interest (EoI) for a commissioned work on this theme.

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Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarships for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency targets supporting the momentum of Lee Schipper’s contribution to the international policy dialogue in these fields.

This yearly award is aimed at supporting young individual researchers and students in is pursuance.

Call deadline now extended to: April 4, 2022 .


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The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

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