Photo: Infestation



Mobility and Access in Sub-Saharan African Cities

Released date: 210518

Deadline: 210915

VREF invites applications for research grants to support projects that will be implemented 2022 under the VREF programme “Mobility and Access in African Cities” (MAC). This Call is the third one of the MAC programme, following earlier calls in 2019 and 2020. Deadline for submission of applications is 15 September 2021.


Being carried out 2019 – 2024, Mobility and Access in African Cities (MAC) is a VREF-funded initiative with the purpose of increasing the knowledge and capacity base on equitable and sustainable mobility and access in cities in sub-Saharan Africa.
The MAC programme seeks to contribute to forming a new generation of highly skilled sub-Saharan university researchers and teachers, as well as to engage professionals, policy makers and actors within civil society who are committed to achieving goals of sustainable and equitable urban mobility and access. Leading international experts can also contribute to the programme through collaborative research projects with their sub-Saharan African counterparts.

The MAC programme is implemented through four activity streams:

  • 1. Building academic capacity and skills
    2. Supporting next generation African scholars
    3. Research and knowledge building
    4. Building communities of learning – dissemination and dialogues

What research themes and who can apply

The current third call for research projects within the MAC programme is directed to the following groups:

  • › Sub-Saharan university-based researchers who have expertise on sustainable and equitable mobility and access in sub-Saharan African cities;
    › Sub-Saharan university-based researchers who have not previously engaged in transportrelated research but who have expertise that could fruitfully be applied to these areas;
    › Sub-Saharan university-based researchers with strong interests in carrying out
    interdisciplinary research that can contribute to new knowledge and insights on issues related to sustainable and equitable mobility and access

This year the MAC programme particularly welcomes project proposals that engage young scholars and reflect gender balance in the work of the research team.
The Call focuses on small, cross-disciplinary projects within the following core themes of the MAC programme:

  • - Theme 1: User Needs and Practices, Equity Issues
    - Theme 2: Governance, Politics, Institutions and Finances
    - Theme 3: Emerging Business Models and Services Options
    - Theme 4: Safety, Health and the Urban Environment
    - Theme 5: System Design and Modal Integration
    - Theme 6: Analytical Tools

In 2020 VREF published a series of position papers within these themes.

The Call is directed at exploratory, comparative research on issues that are relevant to the themes. This work can entail the exchange of e.g. empirical work (such as case studies), methodologies, analytical tools, data collection, policy experiences or research results from work on sustainable and equitable mobility and access in specific urban contexts in sub-Saharan Africa.

This type of comparative research can encompass both the exchange of in-depth knowledge that has already been accumulated over time but has not previously been placed in a comparative perspective, as well as new, exploratory work on emergent issues or approaches within the respective thematic areas.

VREF foresees that successful research proposals will approach these areas through crossdisciplinary approaches that link perspectives and approaches from multiple disciplines or areas, e.g. engineering, social sciences, behavioural sciences, and the humanities.

Project leaders of exploratory research projects that have previously been funded by the MAC programme are eligible to apply for continuations of such research projects in the form of in-depth studies based on the results of their exploratory projects.

Read the call and guidelines in details... Pdf, 1 MB.

Read also the Q&A document Pdf, 346.8 kB. that will be updated as soon as we get more relevant questions that may help you in your application process.

Completing info:

September 2023
Upcoming Events
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
v35          1 2 3
v36  4 5 6 7 8 9 10
v37  11 12 13 14 15 16 17
v38  18 19 20 21 22 23 24
v39  25 26 27 28 29 30  


Call for Project Proposals Pdf, 402.9 kB.

Deadline: 15 September 2022


- Fourth Call for Research Proposals Pdf, 1.3 MB.

Closed: 1 September 2022


- Catalysing Curriculum Change at Universities in SSA 2022 Pdf, 1.3 MB.

Deadline extended to 1 Nov. 2022


Deadline: 31 October 2022

MOBILITY GRANT 2022- MAC-MG 2022 Pdf, 447.1 kB.

Deadline: 31 October 2022

Blog! Blog! Blog!

Global Mobility Research

This Meeting of the Minds' blog monthly releases interviews of global transportation researchers from the VREF's Future Urban Transport Program Network.


This CityFix series, produced by the WRI (World Ressources Institute) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and supported by the VREF, discusses walking and cycling in cities with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

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


© Copyright VREF