MassDOT Process for Soliciting and Selecting Research Projects

 A series of Research Roundtables have been scheduled for April 2021.  The research roundtables bring transportation practitioners and academic researchers together to discuss research, innovation, and state transportation priorities.  

Research Roundtables flyer (click here for a copy of the flyer and RSVP info)
Research Roundtables are scheduled for April 5, 7, 13, and 15. 

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 is reaching out to potential Project Champions (PCs) and Principal Investigators (PIs) and hosting four 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.  

This year's Research Problem Statement Solicitation period ends on Monday, 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.   

FY2022 Research Problem Statement Submission Form (fillable pdf) 
FY2022 Research Problem Statement Submission Form Guidance 

Each Research Problem Statement is 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.  



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.    

MassDOT FY2021 Research Project Statements

FY2021 Research Project Statements can be viewed by clicking on the project titles listed below. These projects are expected to range in duration from 6-12 months, to two years or more.   PI Interest Statements for these projects were due in October 2020, and PIs for the projects were selected thereafter. 

Best Practices for Cost Recoveries

Carbon-Neutral Drop-In Transportation Fuels, Literature Review

Automated Guardrail Inventory and Condition Evaluation

Uncovering the Root Causes to Truck Rollover Crashes on Ramps

Multisource Data Fusion for Real-Time and Accurate Traffic Incident Detection via Predictive Analytics

Massachusetts Depth to Bedrock Project

Outdoor Information Panels to Convey Real-Time Travel Information for Ridership Recovery

Developing Massachusetts Specific Trip Generation Rates for Land Use Projects

Measuring Accessibility to Improve Public Health

Optimization of MassDOT's High Performance Thin Lift Mixtures

Revised Load Rating Procedures for Deteriorated Prestressed Concrete Beams

Ultra-High Performance Concrete Reinforced with Multi-Scale Hybrid Fibers and Their Durability-Related Properties