Our research is primarily funded by the Department for Transport.

Ideas for research can come from anywhere, including the general public and research community. Many projects are suggested by individual organisations in industry and cross-industry groups.
Industry is involved throughout a research project: proposing, sponsoring, endorsing, overseeing and disseminating the research.

The research process

Research Process


Facilitation and funding for your research

Tell us about research needs and ideas that your organisation cannot pursue in isolation. We review hundreds of research suggestions each year.
Once we have agreed that your proposal has cross-industry value, we work with you and other stakeholders to define the research questions and agree the best approach to delivery. 
  • When the research question is clearly defined, we either use expertise within RSSB or run an open procurement. Use Contracts Finder to find out about research activities tendered by RSSB.
  • When the research question is open-ended and we need to explore new solutions or approaches to cross-industry challenges, we can run research competitions. They are open to innovators, academics and the supply chain. 
  • Grants are also available to help consortia run projects with a direct industry application, in exchange for full or partial sharing of the findings. A consortium can apply for up to half of the total cost of a project, with the partners contributing at least 20 per cent in cash and the remainder in-kind. You can find guidance and an application form at the foot of the page.
  • We establish strategic partnerships with academia to co-fund specialised research. Examples include our work on engineering and safety risk modelling with the University of Huddersfield, and economic modelling with the Institute of Transport Studies at the University of Leeds.
  • In some cases, a knowledge search may help you to make use of information that is already out there, and avoid duplication.

Next steps

Use the forms at the foot of the page to:

  • propose a new research idea
  • apply for a grant.