PhD Studentship: Applying a Sociotechnical Systems Approach to Improve Cycling Safety and Increase Cycling Participation

University of Southampton

Research group: Transportation, Faculty of Engineering and the Environment

1,011 pedal cyclists are killed or seriously injured per billion vehicle miles, compared to 26 car drivers (ROSPA, 2016). In 2016 over 18,000 cyclists were injured in road accidents, including 3,499 who were killed or seriously injured. The figure, however, could be much higher as many minor to moderate accidents go unreported (ROSPA, 2016). Typical cycling accidents include the motorist emerging into, or turning across, the path of the cyclist and cyclists’ riding off the pavement into the path of a vehicle or making right turns into the path of a vehicle (ROSPA, 2016). The number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on the roads are disproportionately high and the perceived risk of road cycling is a barrier for engaging in this form of active travel. There is a need to increase the prevalence of active travel. Reducing car travel by increasing cycling has potentially a threefold public health benefit of reducing road accidents, reducing emission pollution and reducing obesity.

A PhD is being offered, as part of the Socio-Technical Approach to Road Safety (STARS) project, to apply a sociotechnical systems approach to improve cycling safety and develop and test recommendations to increase participation in cycling.

Full funding is available for a UK student. The candidate must have a strong background (Undergraduate or Masters or equivalent professional experience) in the field of Psychology, Ergonomics, or Human Factors and be able to work effectively in a research team. We are seeking a motivated individual who will bring their own ideas to this important topic area.

For informal enquiries about the project, please contact Dr Katie Plant ( or for general information about admissions, please contact the Graduate School Office (  

To apply, please complete an application for a PhD in Engineering and the Environment by clicking the 'apply' button below. 

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South East England