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Digital Roads of the Future


The call for applicants for Cohort 2 is now closed.

Call for Cohort 3 will be published soon. For updates please follow:

A total of 27 FUTUREROADS fellowships are available for the most talented researchers from around the world.

The aim is to recruit, train and support individual fellows over 36 months, who wish to contribute towards a future where advances in data and materials science enable the physical road infrastructure assets to be cognisant of their state, and able to communicate it to their digital twin and robotic systems.

This involves a transformational step change from assumption-based to information-rich modelling, manual to self-sensing health monitoring, and negative to positive social and environmental outcomes.

MSCA, COS and NH are funding the programme. UOC, NH and COS are working together to deliver successful recruitment, training, supervision and inter-sectoral short visits and secondments for fellows.

Who can apply?

The programme is open for all applicants who meet the MSCA mobility rules for fellows.
The first cohort of 8 fellows were recruited in June 2022. A second call for up to 12 fellows was open in July 2022 and a third call for up to 7 fellows will open in 2023. Each fellowship will last 36 months.

Check your personal eligibility below:

How to apply

Applicants should follow these steps before making an application:

Step 1: Read the Call for Applicants

Step 2: Read the Guide for Applicants

Step 3: Contact an eligible primary supervisor (as per the Guide for Applications) to discuss your intended application

Step 4: Download Ethics Form and Project Description & Plan template

Step 5: Fill out Ethics Form and Project Description & Plan template

Step 6: Please check you have included<

  • Cover letter, CV and publication list (merged as one document)
  • Completed Project Description & Plan template
  • Degree certificates (merged as one document)
  • Completed Ethics Form
  • Step 7: Go to the University portal and follow the application steps listed

    Step 8: Submit application

    When to apply

    Application timeline for cohort 3:

    • Opening of call: TBC
    • Deadline for applications: TBC
    • Evaluation period: 11 weeks
    • Applicants will receive answers: TBC
    • Fellowship period begins: TBC

    Dates in this section will be updated for future application rounds.

    Further details such as the research challenges can be found in the Call for Applicants document and here within the research section of this website.

    Personal eligibility

    • PhD degree or evidence of completing PhD degree requirements and waiting to receive the degree
    • 0-2 years of postdoctoral research experience (after completing the PhD) in any Future Roads scientific areas. Applicants with 3-4 years of postdoctoral research experience will be considered in exceptional cases.
    • Availability to start the fellowship within two months at most from the date of receiving the fellowship offer
    • Comply with the MSCA Mobility rule, i.e., applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activities (work, studies, etc.) for more than 12 months in the UK in the three years immediately prior to the application deadline. The latter excludes time spent as part of a procedure for obtaining refugee status under the Geneva Convention, compulsory national service, and/or short stays such as holidays are not considered.

    Why apply?

    The fellowships are focused primarily on digital twins, smart materials, data science, automation and robotics, and sustainability solutions for the road infrastructure industry. The programme allows applicants to have the freedom to develop their own ideas with access to excellent facilities.

    FUTUREROADS will enhance fellows’ understanding of the methodologies and approaches of other scientific disciplines at the highest level. The aim is also to establish a multidisciplinary training platform to strengthen researchers’ capabilities such that they are capable to work anywhere in Europe and, therefore, attracting researchers from around the globe to Europe and contributing to the European goals of increasing the numbers of researchers with innovation skills in Europe.

    The programme supports incoming fellowships for postdoctoral researchers on a competitive basis. It aims at high-potential individuals primarily interested in following a career in the transportation infrastructure sector or academia.

    What is included in a fellowship?

    Successful applicants will receive an employment contract with a standard postdoctoral salary and will be entitled to individual mobility and research budgets. Fellows are offered career development support and training events to develop their non-scientific skills.

    They are expected to take part in teaching activities at UOC and are encouraged to apply for additional competitive funding.

    Selection committee

    • Ms. Jemma Andrews (Chair), University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
    • Prof. Erik Schlangen, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
    • Dr Janvi Shah, National Highways, United Kingdom
    • Sarah Atkinson, Costain Group Plc, United Kingdom
    • Ass. Prof. Liberato Ferrara, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
    • Prof. John Miles, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom