Frequently Asked Questions

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TRAIL Office: +31 (015) 2786046 or send an e-mail to

1. What is TRAIL?

TRAIL is the Dutch national (university) research school active in the fields of Transport, Infrastructure, and Logistics Since 1997, TRAIL has been officially accredited by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences as a legal Research School.

TRAIL has three core activities: Providing education at Ph.D. level; initiating and conducting scientific and applied scientific research; engaging in the transfer and exchange of knowledge.

Within TRAIL, Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Delft University of Technology, the University of Groningen , University of Twente and Radboud University Nijmegen (and soon also Eindhoven University of Technology) collaborate. Twelve faculties and institutes spanning the fields of economics, technology, policy and management, and the psychology and sociology sciences form a strong concentration of scientific experts in the fields of traffic and transport. Over 200 researchers, of whom 80 are PhD candidates, are active in TRAIL. TRAIL is also a network of researchers in The Netherlands active in the domain of Transport Infrastructure and Logistics.TRAIL plays an initiating and coordinating role, in several research programs, collaborative arrangements with public and private parties, and other collaborative initiatives that aim to connect scientific research and its applications in practice.

2. How can I apply for a PHD position at TRAIL?

The research of TRAIL is executed by the participating departments. Therefore TRAIL is not able to hire researchers itself. You have to apply to the TRAIL departments directly. The website for job openings is: .

3. Do I have to pay a tuition fee for a PHD position?

The general rule is that PhD students are paid from a research project. At the Dutch universities no tuition fee has to be paid by PhD researchers, they receive a modest salary for their work

4. Do you offer courses for PHD students in the field of Transport, Infrastructure and Logistics?

PhD Candidates who are appointed for a period of four years are expected to develop into independent and critical researchers in a field covered by TRAIL Research School . Therefore, the PhD Candidate will have to take part in the education program.
The curriculum that TRAIL Research School has set up offer great opportunities for PhD Candidates to obtain knowledge they will need in their careers and to develop necessary skills. Then they can successfully finish their PhD-thesis and can expect to enter the labor market in a good position, and to be sought after by research institutes, government institutions and the private sector. For more information about the up-coming courses/ workshops see our agenda on the website:

5. Can TRAIL provide me with specialized information about Traffic, Infrastructure and Logistics?
TRAIL has a large database with information about researchers/ professors/ other workers in the field and their expertise. For information contact the TRAIL office.

6. Is there a particular thesis structure I have to follow?
Yes, there is. The thesis will be part of the TRAIL Thesis Series. Detailed Author instructions are available at the TRAIL office. TRAIL can assist you with the publication of your thesis. For more information contact the TRAIL office.

7. What does TRAIL furthermore offer to its PhD students?

  • TRAIL organises master classes, where internationally leading experts give lectures on the most recent developments in their domain;
  • Every two years an international TRAIL congress is organized where TRAIL members can present their research results, listen to what other TRAIL members tell about their work, give and follow tutorial about recent developments in several domains and, most important, meet each other;
  • Furthermore, TRAIL is there to help the PhD students to do their study and research as good as possible and to help them in case of conflicts with their supervisors;Finally, TRAIL supervises the progress of the PhD students, the quality of their work and helps them to finish their dissertation within the time that is allocated (3 to 4 years).

8. Who can become member of TRAIL?

Every PhD student who is supervised by a TRAIL fellow and who has submitted and signed an application in the form of a filled in PhD contract.

9. Who can become a TRAIL fellow?
TRAIL fellows are researchers and teachers at the participating faculties, who satisfy strict criteria with respect to their scientific performance in the domain of TRAIL and their activities in the research school.

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