Now Accepting Nominations for the 2018 VREF Advanced Studies Institute on Sustainable Urban Freight Systems (VASI-SUFS)

August 4th - 11th, 2018 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

in Troy, New York


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is organizing the 2018 VREF Advanced Studies Institute on Sustainable Urban Freight Systems (VASI-SUFS).  The VASI-SUFS will bring together a select group of Junior Faculty, Post-Docs, and advanced PhD students conducting research on sustainable urban freight systems (UFS). The main goal is to develop a new generation of researchers and practitioners with a holistic view of UFS issues and their solutions that, ultimately, will bring about new paradigms of freight transportation research, education and practice that foster sustainable UFS.  The VASI-SUFS is organized and supported by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - VREF Center of Excellence for Sustainable Urban Freight Systems; University of Southern California -MetroFreight/VREF; University of Gothenburg – Urban Freight Platform; and the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF). The organizers are looking for nominations for the VASI-SUFS which will be held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York from August 4 – 11, 2018.  Additional information can be found at:


The main objectives pursued by this educational program are to provide VASI-SUFS participants (i.e., advanced graduate students, post-docs, and junior faculty) with:

·         The opportunity to interact with senior researchers, and learn first-hand how researchers from other countries approach UFS research (methods, data, research results, new topic areas).

·         A solid understanding of the interplay between UFS, the environment, the economy, and its role in the betterment of local communities.

·         The foundations for a lifelong search for excellence and appreciation for the work of researchers from other countries.


During the program:

·         Senior researchers from the Americas, Europe and Asia will provide distinguished lectures on their research on sustainable UFS; and will spend time collaborating with VASI-SUFS junior participants (Junior Faculty, Post-Docs, and advanced PhD students).

·         VASI-SUFS participants will provide presentations of their research on UFS and related topics.

·         VASI-SUFS participants will collaborate in the definition of a strategic development initiative that includes a long term agenda of research on sustainable UFS.


The VASI-SUFS will provide to all participants:

·         Registration

·         Accommodations in double occupancy rooms (for non-local participants)

·         Meals: breakfast and lunch

·         Internal travel during the program


Based on the specifics of each case, the travel costs of participants will be either: (a) fully funded (primarily from developing countries); (b) provided with a travel voucher up to US$750 for eligible travel related expenses, to be reimbursed once the VASI-SUFS is over; (c) expected to be covered by participant’s home institution or other funding source. In order to broaden participation as much as possible, universities are encouraged, but not required, to co-sponsor their nominees. This will enable the VASI-SUFS to increase its impact and defray the costs of the participants who do not receive additional support.

Academic institutions are invited to nominate participants that meet these requirements:

        Be Junior Faculty, Post-Doc, or advanced Ph.D. students conducting research on UFS or related topics. 

        Be individuals with demonstrated leadership ability and the potential to conduct cutting edge research in transportation in the future.

        Be almost certain to be able to attend the VASI-SUFS (August 4th – 11th, 2018) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

        Be willing to participate in the technical activities organized as part of the VASI-SUFS.


To nominate participants:

1.      The advisor or supervisor must send a PDF letter recommending the candidate and a statement indicating whether or not additional funding will be provided to support the candidate’s participation in the VASI-SUFS. In the interest of expanding participation as much as possible, the VASI-SUFS organizers will welcome such cost-share of expenses.

2.      The candidate must provide the information below via the following link: Click here  

·         The candidate’s statement of interest (one page) including a description of the reasons the candidate wants to participate in the VASI-SUFS.

·         The candidate’s one page resume.

·         A one page abstract of the candidate’s research topic with a discussion of the topic’s connections with sustainable UFS. This will be a critical factor in the selection of VASI-SUFS participants. Priority will be given to candidates in topics closely related to UFS.


Nominations must be received by Friday March 23, 2018, though early nominations are encouraged. Nominees will be notified of acceptance decisions by Friday, April 6, 2018 to ensure there is enough time to make travel arrangements.


We look forward to receiving your nominations. Inquiries could be sent to: [log in to unmask]