MassDOT Process for Soliciting and Selecting Research Projects
MASSDOT USES A MULTI-STEP PROCESS FOR SOLICITING AND SELECTING RESEARCH PROJECTS FOR FUNDING.
For MassDOT's 2023 Research Project solicitation and selection cycle (for FY2024 projects), MassDOT reached out to potential Project Champions (PCs) and Principal Investigators (PIs).
The FY2024 Research Problem Statement Solicitation period ended on May 15, 2023.
Here is a 2021 presentation by MassDOT's Manager of Research Dr. Lily Oliver that gives an overview of MassDOT's process for soliciting and selecting Research Projects.
MassDOT hosted three Research Roundtables sessions during April 2023 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. Research Roundtables bring transportation practitioners and academic researchers together to discuss research, innovation, and state transportation priorities.
The Roundtable dates and topics were as follows:
April 5, 2023, 2:00-3:30 pm. Safety, Roadway Engineering, and Design
April 7, 2023, 10-11:30 am. Active Transporation, Mobility, Policy & Planning, and Transit
April 11, 2023, 2-3:30 pm. Asset Management, Materials, Maintenance, and Construction
RESEARCH PROBLEM STATEMENT SOLICITATION
Research Problem Statements (proposed research project ideas) were submitted through an online form at MassDOT:
FY2024 RESEARCH PROBLEM STATEMENT ONLINE SUBMISSION FORM (link no longer active)
PDF Copy of the Research Problem Statement Form
(for information purposes only -- RPSs must be submitted via the online form)
Research Problem Statements (RPSs) could be submitted either by MassDOT/MBTA Project Champions (PCs) or by Researchers who haad identified a PC and obtained their approval for the submission. RPSs submitted by Researchers were required to be accompanied by an attached statement from the identified PC indicating their approval for the submission. That PC would then serve as the PC should the research project idea receive 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?
SELECTION OF PROJECTS BEING PROPOSED FOR RESEARCH FUNDING
During this stage, MassDOT reviews the submitted Research Problem Statements and selects which ones will be advanced for potential funding.
SUBMISSION OF PI INTEREST STATEMENTS BY RESEARCHERS
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. Potential Principal Investigators (PIs) for these projects are asked to submit brief PI Interest Statements along with 2-page CVs for each PI/co-PI, by the deadline.
SELECTION OF PIs FOR RESEARCH 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.
ARCHIVES -- PAST RESEARCH PROJECTS
Below are the Research Project Summaries for projects that were advanced for funding in FY2023, and for which PI Interest Statements were requested. The deadline for PI Interest Statements submissions for these projects was in the fall of 2022.
PI Interest Statements were due by September 30, 2022 for the following 9 projects:
PI Interest Statements were due by November 4, 2022 for the following project: