WCTRS organises the Young Researchers’ Initiative (WCTRS-Y) with the aim of encouraging young members of the society to raise their capabilities, and to become acquainted with the works of the society senior members in undertaking and managing key activities of the society. By doing this, WCTRS prepares a new generation of young colleagues who will gradually take the lead and renovate the society. Young participants who distinguish themselves in this initiative, are promoted by the Steering Committee (STC) of the WCTRS to more formal roles within the society. For example, they may be nominated to join the Scientific Committee (SCC) of the WCTR as associate members, or invited to participate as reviewers of the papers submitted to the society Journals, or join the group preparing newsletters of the WCTRS. Ed-1 of WCTRS-Y was organised to accompany WCTR-15 in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013, and Ed-2 accompanied WCTR-16 in Shanghai in July 2016.
WCTRS-Y covers three main activities, namely, Y-I, Y-II and Y-III. Each of these is run under the STC and coordinated by a member of the STC named the WCTRS-Y Leader. The current leader is Laetitia Dablanc, University of Paris-East (http://www.ifsttar.fr/en/menu-haut/annuaire/presentation/personne/dablanc-laetitia/), who replaced Professor Ali Huzayyin who initiated WCTRS-Y and led the 2013 and 2016 editions.
The three activities are:
WCTRS-Y1: A one-day mini conference to accompany each main world conference
The first Activity (YI) provides hands-on experience and on-the-job training, which allows young members of the society to get acquainted with conference organisation, to network with colleagues and learn from their seniors, and to attend the main WCTR and enjoy full benefits of society membership. It is run entirely by young researchers and includes a conference chair, two conference organising volunteers, authors of papers, paper reviewers, and session chairs. The young conference chair and the two conference organising volunteers currently receive honoraria of Euro 1000 each (or the equivalent in US$), which is paid after successful completion of YI as recommended by the WCTRS-Y Leader.
Two members of the STC act as “Advisors” and review the results of paper reviews of the young reviewers to confirm adequacy. The whole process of organisation of the conference is guided by the WCTRS-Y Leader. This one-day conference is organised on the Sunday before the main WCTR, every three years. Excellent papers, as recommended by the two Advisors and accepted for YI, may be eligible for Journal publication, as well as consideration for prizes following the rules applied by WCTRS. Throughout the process, and in the closing session of YI, the two STC Advisors and the WCTRS-Y Leader give educational advice and support to the young organisers.
The second Activity (YII) aims to inspire Ph.D. students to compete for further transport research, to be stimulated to submit papers for WCTR conferences, and to enjoy benefits from society membership. Currently four grants are on offer:
Award of the grants is based on submission of technical proposals by applicants, which are independently reviewed by three members of the STC, who recommend the winners to the committee for approval. The winners receive advance payment of 30% of the grant and the remaining 70% is paid after acceptance of single authored papers by the winners, based on the grant proposal and presented in the WCTR conference during a Special Session organised by WCTRS. The same reviewers who accept the winning proposals review the papers of the grant holders. Excellent YII papers as recommended by the reviewers can be eligible for consideration of possible Journal publication and prizes following the rules applied by WCTRS for this.
The third Activity (YIII) covers the development of an online facility for young members of WCTRS through a page on the main website of the society, and a newsletter, for example, advertising Post-Doctoral grants from Universities worldwide, and jobs for young researchers in transport research institutions. It also includes establishment of a Facebook page or mailing group to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and discuss transport research etc. Two young members of WCTRS are sought to run this activity and the applicants are approved by the STC, based on their experience and CVs. Each of these volunteers currently receives honoraria of Euro 500 (or the equivalent in US$), which is paid after successful completion of YIII and upon recommendation of the WCTRS-Y Leader.