Dr Heywood’s research interests lie mainly in Russian and Soviet history from the late nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. His particular interests are the Russian/Soviet railway system and Russia’s participation in the First World War. He is also interested in inter-Allied relations with special reference to Russia’s foreign procurement policy.
His most recent book is a biography of the Russian railway engineer Iurii V. Lomonosov (1876-1952), published with Ashgate (2011).
At present he is working on a study of Russia's railways in the First World War that will reassess the importance of railway transport difficulties as a cause of the February Revolution in 1917. This project was started with a 10-week research trip to St Petersburg in autumn 2010 funded by the British Academy and the Russian Academy of Sciences, and continued in 2011 and 2012 with shorter trips funded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.
Dr Heywood is also co-organising (with Professor John W. Steinberg of Georgia Southern University and Professor David McDonald of the University of Wisconsin at Madison) an international collaborative project to mark the centenary of Russia's participation in World War I and the Russian revolutions. Entitled 'Russia's Great War and Revolution, 1914-1922: The Centennial Reappraisal', this project was launched formally in Aberdeen in July 2008 with a symposium funded by the British Academy, the British Association for Slavonic and East European Studies, the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation and the University of Aberdeen.