MassDOT Process for Soliciting and Selecting Research Projects

ATTENTION:  MassDOT is seeking PI Interest Statements for the following FY2022 research project.  PI Interest Statements, along with a two-page CV for each PI and co-PI, should be submitted no later than December 23rd, 11:59 p.m. (EST). 

Please click on the project title to see the Research Project Statement and learn more about the project. 

 Development of a Salt Spreader Controller Program that Correlates Material Dispensation Rate to Roadway Weather Parameters

The PI Interest Statement submission form is in Google.  Here is the link:

If you have trouble with the link, please contact UMTC Director Michael Knodler or 


MassDOT uses a multi-step process for soliciting and selecting research projects for funding. 

For MassDOT's 2021 Research Project solicitation and selection cycle (for FY2022 projects), MassDOT reached out to potential Project Champions (PCs) and Principal Investigators (PIs) and hosted five Research Roundtables sessions to bring state transportation practitioners and academic researchers together.  

The Research Roundtables are part of the Research Problem Statement solicitation process that MassDOT holds each spring.  

A series of Research Roundtables took place in April 2021. 
Research roundtables bring transportation practitioners and academic researchers together to discuss research, innovation, and state transportation priorities.  

Research Roundtables occurred on
April 5 (Themes: Roadway Engineering, Safety, and Maintenance)
April 7 (Themes: Engineering, Design, and Asset Management)
April 13 (Themes: Active Transportation, Mobility, Health, Safety, and Policy)
April 15 (Themes: Construction, Materials, and Maintenance)
April 30 (Theme: Transit)


This year's Research Problem Statement Solicitation period ended on May 24th.  

Here is a presentation by MassDOT's Manager of Research that gives an overview of MassDOT's process for soliciting and selecting Research Projects.   

Each Research Problem Statement must be submitted by a MassDOT or MBTA staff person who will serve as Project Champion (PC) if the proposed project ultimately receives funding.  The submitted topics should be related to surface transportation or intermodal transportation.  Also, the Research Problem Statements should address the following:

  • What question(s) is the PC seeking to answer through the project?
  • What deliverables should be part of the project, including any datasets or analytical tools?
  • How will the results of this project be used?
  • How will MassDOT benefit from this project



During this stage, MassDOT reviews the submitted Research Problem Statements and selects which ones will be advanced for potential funding.   



During this stage, MassDOT seeks academic researchers to conduct studies on the topics that are proposed for research funding.  A request goes out inviting qualified researchers to apply as PIs for the proposed projects.  

MassDOT FY2022 Research Project Statements

FY2022 Research Project Statements can be viewed by clicking on the project titles listed below. These projects are expected to range in duration from 9-15 months, to three years or more.   PI Interest Statements for these projects, along with two-page CVs for each PI and co-PI were due no later than Friday, October 15th (for projects #1-6 listed below) and by Friday October 22nd (for projects #7 & 8).  The PIs for each project will be selected thereafter. 

Please note: since these deadlines have now passed, PI Interest Statements for these projects are no longer being accepted at this time.  

For FY2022, MassDOT is seeking PI Interest Statements for the following projects.  Please click on a project's name to see the project's Research Project Statement. 

PI Interest Statements were DUE BY OCTOBER 15, 2021 for these six projects.

1. Complete Streets, v2: Respecting the Roots Landscape

2. Data-Driven Approaches for Transit Capital Planning

3. Development of Improved Inspection Techniques using LiDAR for Deteriorated  Steel Beam Ends

4. Field Study to Determine Salt Usage Efficiency on Two Pavement Types

5. Methods to Identify Problematic Carriers and Prevent Infrastructure Damage

6. Smart Work Zone Control and Performance Evaluation Based on Trajectory Data
PI Interest Statements were DUE BY OCTOBER 22, 2021 for these two projects.


During this stage, MassDOT selects the PIs for the proposed projects and works with each PI to develop a detailed Scope of Work (SOW).  Funding approval is then sought by the Federal Highway Administration.  The research projects begin once FHWA approval has been obtained and funding received.