Photo: Istockphoto

Informal and Shared Mobility in Low- and Middle-Income Countries (ISM)

FIRST CALL FOR Expressions of Interest for establishing a VREF International Research Program (IRP)

  • Thematic profile of the program

Question: Can research that focuses on the impact of shared mobility on youth mobility be included?

Answer: In this call, VREF is emphasizing cross-region comparative studies and themes on the wider scale of impacts. So impacts are one of the themes, but we encourage the applicant to look into the wider scale.

Question: How will the new VREF program integrate with other work on access? I depart from the idea that moving is not an end in itself and we need to assess how shared mobility services are providing access and connection to people.

Answer: VREF, throughout its programs always has a focus on access and questions of equitable access. A part of mission is inspired research related to sustainable transportation and equitable access

Question: Will themes on decarbonization/decarbonizing ISM be included?

Answer: Decarbonization is included as part of IMPACT.

Question: Inland water transport options in some cities are pertinent to the study of ISM in LMIC. Does the remit of this program extend to that area?

Answer: Urban waterway transport, particularly in terms of more flexible services, can be included in the work of the IRP. The thematic orientation of the IRP should be well motivated in the EoI.

Question: Is gender equality mobility included?

Answer: Questions about Gender equality/equity are part of the IMPACT theme.

  • Geographical aspects

Question: Does the research proposal/program have to focus on BOTH informal and shared mobility? Is it possible to concentrate more on informal transport/mobility in different global south cities?

Answer: It will be possible to focus on informal transport mobility in global south cities though we encourage a wider perspective.

Question: Can the focus be limited to LMICs?

Answer: VREF is envisaging the IRP to have a focus on LMICs, but also include comparative work between different regions in the world.

 Project organization and staffing, composition of research teams, funding and budget

Question: Should leading academic institutions of a consortium be in a low/middle-income country?

Answer: The consortium leader does not need to be affiliated with a university or research institute in an LMIC. The lead partner can be located anywhere. Anyway, be aware that the majority of the funding goes to LMICs.

Question: Is it okay if the consortium has only one university with academic standing which is leading the research and other researchers are individuals or NGOs from different countries?

Answer: Principally yes, individual researchers can be included in an IRP, but VREF strongly recommends that they have an affiliation with a research institute or university. Exceptional, well-motivated cases will be considered by VREF. N.B. The main part of funding will go to universities or research institutes of academic standing.

Question: Has VREF identified potential co-founders? Or will it be left up to applicants to identify locally appropriate co-funding?

Answer: VREF has not identified any co-founders generally speaking; applicants are encouraged to identify and engage in co-funding that is appropriate to the consortium's content and direction.

  • Other items

Question: Is the call is for an expression of interest or for a planning grant?

Answer: The call is for an expression of interest (EoI) to establish an international research program, but the EoI will also automatically function as an application for a planning grant.

Question: Will only one research be funded for a period of 3/5 years?

Answer: This call will result in funding of one (1) IRP. VREF expects that the IRP will have a selection of research projects in the portfolio. In addition to the IRP, the VREF ISM program will initiate other types of projects as well, but that is not included in this call.

August 2022
Upcoming Events
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
v31  1 2 3 4 5 6 7
v32  8 9 10 11 12 13 14
v33  15 16 17 18 19 20 21
v34  22 23 24 25 26 27 28
v35  29 30 31        


- Fourth Call for Research Proposals Pdf, 1.3 MB. (Pdf, 1.3 MB)

Deadline: 1 September 2022


- Catalysing Curriculum Change at Universities in SSA 2022 Pdf, 1.3 MB. (Pdf, 1.3 MB)

Deadline extended to 1 Nov. 2022


Deadline: 31 October 2022

MOBILITY GRANT 2022- MAC-MG 2022 Pdf, 447.1 kB. (Pdf, 447.1 kB)

Deadline: 31 October 2022

Blog! Blog! Blog!

Global Mobility Research

This Meeting of the Minds' blog monthly releases interviews of global transportation researchers from the VREF's Future Urban Transport Program Network.


This CityFix series, produced by the WRI (World Ressources Institute) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and supported by the VREF, discusses walking and cycling in cities with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

About VREF

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). 

Our Vision: Sustainable transport for equitable access in urban areas


© Copyright VREF