Institute for Transport Studies (ITS)

Working with ITS

Providing the business community with a competitive edge through access to a unique combination of facilities, world leading research and key academic expertise to accelerate the creation of innovative solutions.

We offer a wide range of services to industry, government agencies and not-for-profit organisations and can help you maximise your benefits from the collective expertise held within the largest transport research institute in Europe. Please take a look – we are sure you will find an approach that suits your needs.

Framework agreements with call off research

Framework agreements provide a structured contractual basis for an ongoing relationship through which we can understand the needs of your organisation. A framework agreement is helpful not only to formalise an arrangement, but also to streamline the process for commissioning one-off ad-hoc work.

Consortium partnerships for external calls

This relationship may be a one-off in response to a single specific funding opportunity but may indeed be set up as part of a wider ongoing agreement. Knowing the way each partner works ensures an agile response to new opportunities.

For further information about frameworks and partnerships please contact Erik Thomasson, Research and Innovation Manager.

PhD Sponsorship

We are the largest group of transport research academics in Europe with over 50 postgraduate research students progressing at any given time. PhDs are an excellent mechanism for you to obtain dedicated in-depth research overseen by the Institute. A PhD will normally take 3 to 4 years to complete and research outputs will be achieved through the process. For more details please contact Dan Johnson, Postgraduate Research Tutor.

Continual Professional Development (CPD)

Employers are increasingly aware of the value of in-work training and skills development. We offer a wide range of Continual Professional Development courses and we have the teaching skills to develop bespoke packages. CPD can be delivered here at the University of Leeds or on-site at customer premises. We can also produce mixed CPD to incorporate transport-specific learning within a wider and more generic management training course – supported by colleagues in Leeds University Business School or with other experts (such as Computing, ‘Big Data’ or Civil Engineering). For more details please contact CPD co-ordinator.

Masters student projects

Each year, more than 60 students graduate from our Masters Student programmes. Students conduct an intensive research project and submit a written dissertation. A cost-effective means of commissioning research and potentially finding new recruits for your business is the proposal of dissertation titles and the provision of modest support or data for project work (undertaken over a 6-month period). Students choose their project titles in the Autumn term for completion the following summer. For more information about masters support schemes please contact the Masters Co-ordinator.

External seminars

Partners are invited to present on relevant topics in our external seminar series. The wide range of our Masters teaching programme offers many presentation opportunities. Our seminars are an opportunity for you to promote your own business and to potentially attract the best of our students when they graduate. We value contributions to external seminars which ground the student experience in real-world issues and challenges.  For more information about external seminars please contact the Masters Co-ordinator.


Sponsorship can take a number of forms from PhDs to philanthropic sponsor-funding of projects or facilities. For further information, please contact us.

For more general information about working partnerships you may also visit the University website Working with Business.

Strategic Partnerships

Strategic Partnerships create long-term relationships that can be exploited over time across a range of tactical interactions. They provide an opportunity for the development of large-scale collaborative research projects and knowledge transfer through long-term commitment from both researchers and the partner organisation. Partner benefits include:

  • Framework agreements for joint research. This allows for streamlining of the approval process - saving both time and money.
  • Preferred Partner status. If your organisation uses ITS as your primary research resource, you will be given first refusal to fund research ideas relating to your business.

Our current strategic partners include: ARUP, TfL, WYCA, Leeds City Council

Project Specific Partnerships

These are shorter term arrangements designed to take advantage of specific opportunities. 

  • Consortium partnerships for external calls
  • Calls we have been working on with external organisations:
  • H2020, Innovate UK, RCUK
  • Collaborative projects

PhD and student projects 


Our consultancy services provide direct access to the cutting-edge knowledge and skills of leading academics at the University of Leeds and to outstanding research facilities (such as the University of Leeds Driving Simulator and Leeds Institute for Data Analytics (LIDA). Consultancy can be undertaken within one of our five Research Groups or by teams spanning these groups to fit specific business requirements. As well as the skills within ITS, we can also draw in wider expertise from across the University as and when required. The University of Leeds is particularly proud of the breadth and depth of expertise we possess which makes us better able to tackle cross-disciplinary challenges than perhaps any other UK University. We can offer a broad range of consultancy services in transport including: 

  • Analytical Services
  • Expert witness services
  • Feasibility studies
  • Interpretation/analysis of data
  • Numerical modelling
  • Product development
  • Technical and strategic advice
  • Testing and use of specialist equipment
  • Evaluation of sustainable business and corporate responsibility activities
  • Development of consumer focused sustainability behaviour change interventions
  • Economic evaluation

We are happy to develop bespoke services to suit your requirements. If you would like to discuss your project needs. For general enquiries on consultancy, please contact Erik Thomasson, Research and Innovation Manager or speak directly to an academic if you have identified the ideal contact from this website.


We provide training and short courses for industry professionals looking to up-skill their staff or continue their professional development. 

Providing graduate employees

We have a responsibility to our partners and students to provide the next generation of transport professionals for business and the consequent relevant employment opportunities for our graduates. Because of this, we are keen for industry and other partners to help to shape the skill-sets and expertise of our graduates to fit the future economic, social and business needs. 

  • Recruitment days
  • Industrial advisory board
  • Student projects
  • Year in industry 

Each year we host employer visit days where employers from the transport sector visit the campus to give presentations to, and/or interview current students. This is a unique opportunity for students to gain direct access to employers, and for employers to gain access to ITS graduates. We have an ITS LinkedIn page, on which employers can upload job advertisements directly under the ‘jobs’ tab. If you would like to register your interest in our virtual employer days, or the visit days, please contact us.