Call for Applications, SLOCAT-VREF Young Leaders in Sustainable Transport programme

The SLOCAT Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport and the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) are accepting applications for the third round of the SLOCAT-VREF Young Leaders in Sustainable Transport programme. The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2021.

The SLOCAT-VREF Young Leaders in Sustainable Transport programme seeks to empower Young Leaders to help foster far-reaching and unprecedented change and build long-lasting bridges with the transport community and other constituencies. It aims to build bridges between the transport community and young people to explore new perspectives by creating an interface between knowledge and policy. It will raise the capacity of young people and provide them new skills in evidence-based policy analysis for sustainable transport.


Who qualifies for the Toung Leaders programme?

The third generation of SLOCAT-VREF Young Leaders in Sustainable Transport is envisioned to consist of young scholars and young professionals from the Global South (i.e. Africa, Asia and Latin America). Eligible candidates are people who are currently PhD students, recent graduates and young people with less than three years of work experience (see more details below under Criteria).


Activities in the first and second round

In the first round in 2019, the programme engaged six Young Leaders, bringing them together to help bolster the interconnections between the work of young experts and academics and the wider sustainable, low carbon transport community. These six Young Leaders attended key gatherings of the United Nations, like the 2019 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change 25th Conference of the Parties, and the Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum. Besides, the Young Leaders in 2019 completed individual policy-based research activities and presented them in a webinar.

In the second round in 2020, four Young Leaders engaged in several activities around knowledge exchange and advocacy. The four Young Leaders brought their diverse background on psychology, freight and activism to SLOCAT’s flagship report, the SLOCAT Transport and Climate Change Global Status Report, and virtual discussions, such as SLOCAT fireside chats and the high-level event En Route to COP26. To connect their knowledge to advocacy, the Young Leaders co-authored policy briefs on pandemic recovery for active mobility, jobs, sustainable freight and travel behavior impacts.


Programme Offerings

Young Leaders will engage in key activities around international processes, thus fostering a stronger professional network, contributing to wider thought leadership and developing highly beneficial skills related to knowledge-based policy making and advocacy. Moreover, the programme will offer participants the opportunity to connect to other young, up-and-coming professionals working in the global policy space related to the wider sustainable development and climate change action movements. Finally, Young Leaders will be strongly involved in determining the ultimate activities and outputs of the programme, further ensuring benefits to career development.

The programme will run from October 2021 to September 2022 with a transitional phase of activities towards the UN Climate Change Conference COP27.



Suitable candidates fulfill the following criteria:

  • Recently graduated from a graduate school programme or up to three (3) years of work experience in an organisation working on global climate and sustainability agendas.
  • Strong interest in knowledge-based policy-making, as well as in the role transport can play in putting communities on pathways toward sustainable development and climate change action.
  • Educational background in sciences and/or humanities; efforts are to be made to recruit Young Leaders beyond transport-related fields.
  • Fluency in English (oral and written). Preference will be given to applicants who come from and/or focus their activities on Global South regions.

In this third round of the SLOCAT-VREF Young Leaders in Sustainable Transport, it is intended to recruit three to four participants. Interested individuals are warmly encouraged to submit a CV and a cover letter (of not more than 600 words) answering the following question: “What opportunities on sustainable transport do you see emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and how would you link these opportunities to your work/research?”

The deadline for submissions is 30 September 2021.Please submit your application to Nikola Medimorec ( Interviews with candidates will be held in the second and third week of October.

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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


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