John Heasman Bursary


Why does the Bursary exist?
Who can apply?
What funding is available?
What support will I get from the BPA?
What else can be expected?
How does the selection process work?

Why does the Bursary exist?

We set up the John Heasman Bursary in 2006 in recognition of the contribution John Heasman, a former President and Director General of the BPA, made to the parking sector and, in particular, to forming the BPA, to promote research and encourage professionalism in the parking sector.

This Bursary encourages research in parking. The parking and traffic management sector is an under-researched area, and covers a vast range of subjects including the:

  • design and construction of car parks
  • effect that parking provision has on traffic congestion and the urban landscape
  • effective management of kerb space
  • technological innovations such as, the development of smart parking technology and how parking can support electric vehicle use
  • many media and public concerns that managing on and off street parking raises
  • effect parking can have on local economies and the high street
  • how mobility as a service (MaaS) will impact on the market, and how it can work with the forecast changes in mobility.

Bursary recipients are expected to present a final research report that has evidence, statistics or a narrative that: contributes to advancing knowledge of the sector, increases professionalism or identifies a new perspective or business to the sector.

Last years recipient Martin De Heaver said

“The BPA were very supportive of my research, and provided opportunities to present my work to new audiences, and to connect with experts across the industry.  I am also very grateful to the BPA head office team, who even took part in the detailed video studies. Gaining a detailed understanding of how drivers search and find parking, and how parking finder apps affect this could help the industry to optimise its services, maximise utilisation, reduce traffic congestion associated with parking search, and make our urban areas a little easier to live in." 

Who can apply?

Applications are welcome from individuals doing non-commercial research of value to, and supports the parking profession. The research could be a stand-alone project, a dissertation or part of a course module.

Candidates from outside the UK are welcome to apply, as long as the research undertaken benefits the UK parking sector.

Applications are considered by the John Heasman Bursary Advisory Group. Any applications we receive after the deadline are held on file and submitted to the group for consideration.

Please submit your application using John Heasman Bursary application form and email it to Joey McLaughlan

What funding is available?

The value of the bursary in 2019 is £10,000. Candidates may apply for bursary funds for research that has not yet been carried out. Candidates can make an application outlining their research topic, how much funding they require and what contribution their research will make to the parking profession.

We reserve the right to award the bursary to the most relevant research projects as appropriate each year. If no suitable projects are identified, the funding will be held over to the following year.

What support will I get from the BPA?

Successful bursary candidates are allocated a mentor who become their point of contact during their research, and they will also give guidance and assist on the reporting needs. Bursary candidates attend a meeting of the bursary panel once a year to report on progress.

What else is expected?

The chosen candidate(s) is expected to present their research findings at a BPA conference, seminar, regional meeting(s) or workshop, for example it could be the BPA annual expo Parkex. The results of this work may also be published in the trade journal, Parking News, our membership magazine

How does the selection and interview process work?

The John Heasman Bursary Advisory Group identify suitable topics annually, seeking external research requirements.

The Group appoints an interview panel, which is normally includes; the Chair of the Group plus two Group members, one BPA staff member and a specialist technical advisor/support, where appropriate.

The panel create a short list of suitable candidates from the applications received. Each short-listed candidate is invited to interview and the most suitable candidate selected. Criteria for making the award is used to ensure all candidates are interviewed consistently.


If you would like to apply or need more information about the bursary, please contact Joey McLaughlan or call 01444 447515.