WYDOT Research Center

 

This notice is a Call for Proposals for the first quarter Research Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting

August 16, 2022

            RE:  Call for Proposals for Third Quarter Research Advisory Committee SPR-B Funds

To Whom it May Concern:

This notice is a Call for Proposals for the first quarter Research Advisory Committee (RAC) meeting. 

On October 6, 2022, beginning at 9:00 a.m., the WYDOT RAC will hold its first quarter meeting to review proposals requesting SPR-B funding.  Proposals for this meeting must be received by the Research Manager in Word format, no later than the close of business on September 12, 2022.  Proposals received after this date will not be considered for review.  Proposals must be sent to the following e-mail address:  enid.white1@wyo.gov.  If you need special accommodations for the meeting, such as closed captioning, a sign language interpreter, or other audio descriptions, please let the Research Manager know when you submit your proposal.

The proposals must be well-prepared, documents that define the research problem and objectives. The proposals must be Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act compliant.  Below are the requirements for proposals.  Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be sent back to the Proposer for corrections.

  1. Title Page:  The title page must contain the following information:
  • Project title:  The title should be brief and should immediately convey to the reader what the proposed study will cover.   
  • Name and address of the WYDOT Project Champion:  Every research project must be sponsored by a WYDOT employee.  The Project Champion, and/or his/her designee, acts as the research project’s technical contact responsible for overseeing most of the research services being provided.  Research project administration and payment tracking will be the responsibility of the research manager.
  • Name and address of Principal Investigator:  Provide the complete name, phone number, email address, and physical address of the Principal Investigator(s).
  • Date:  Date the proposal is sent to the Research Center. 
  1. Problem Statement:  The problem statement should set out all circumstances surrounding the current problem or issue that gives rise to the needs. The problem statement should emphasize how the problem or issue affects operations of WYDOT, stakeholders, and Wyoming highways.  The problem statement should tie the problem or issue to the WYDOT mission and goals.  It is important that as much detail as possible be included in the problem statement, and an explanation of the inadequacy of a technique, material, or specification can help define the extent of the problem better.
  2. Background Statement:  The background statement should provide the RAC more information and history on the problem or issue to be studied.  An explanation of the literature search and an explanation of how the issue affects WYDOT’s current policies, rules and/or regulations should also be included in the background section.
  1. Literature Review:  All proposals must have a literature review section that will provide the Research Center, FHWA, and the RAC with evidence that this research has not been conducted in another jurisdiction and how it relates to the proposed project.  This section should also set out why it is a good idea to proceed with the proposed project and how it will benefit WYDOT.  The literature review should be as comprehensive as possible.
  1. Objectives:  The objectives section defines what the Principal Investigator hopes to accomplish at the completion of the project, and sets out the goals that provide the optimum technique, material, or specification from a financial, operational, environmental, or social viewpoint.  The objectives section must include the following:
  • Output measures:  The direct or indirect link between the proposal and the WYDOT goals and/or TRB strategic plans.
  • Outcome measures:    The end result of the project.  Outcome measures should explain how the proposed project will improve efficiency, safety, or another measure while at the same time lower costs, accident rates or another measure.
  • Goals:  What will be accomplished by the proposed project?
  • Performance measures:  How to manage and/or improve a service or process, and by what unit of measure.  The performance measures should provide effectiveness, efficiency, quality, and/or timeliness of the project.
  1. Benefits:  To the extent possible, qualitative benefits from the proposed project should be stated.  These could include one or more of the following:
  • Estimated cost savings or cost avoidance.
  • Estimated reduction in crashes and fatalities. (For those studies involving cost savings or avoidance and reductions in crashes and fatalities, a cost-benefit analysis is highly recommended.)
  • How operational methods will be improved
  • How safety and mobility will be improved.
  • What percentage of increased public user support will be realized?
  • What specifications will be revised?
  • What public relations should improve, and if so, how?
  • The expected reduction in energy consumed, and how practices will be improved or simplified.
  • Whether WYDOT’s policies will be impacted, and if so, how.
  1. Applicable Questions:  Project Champion and Principal Investigator should also address the following in their proposal, if applicable:
  • Are there any potential barriers to implementation (e.g. material, technology, vendors, legal/regulatory, public perception)? For each potential barrier, identify strategies to mitigate these potential barriers.
  • What is the expected period for implementation?
  • Does the project involve action on Federal lands or other conditions that will require National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation (e.g. Categorical Exclusion or Environmental Assessment), and/or forest service or other permits?
  • What are the major uncontrollable factors and/or unknowns in the project such as weather, wildlife, material properties, traffic, etc.? For each uncontrollable factor, address whether there could be additional costs or delays.
  • Should the project be segmented into phases with go/no-go decision points based on known unknowns (e.g. technology, partnerships, regulatory)?
  • If the project involves evolution of one or more technologies, is a technology road map provided showing how these technologies fit together?
  • Will a Buy American Waiver be necessary?
  • Will any data produced by this project be considered confidential or sensitive?
  • Will the data and/or report from the final project be copyrighted, patented, or trademarked?
  1. Statement of Work:  The statement of work section should set out how the Principal Investigator plans to fulfill all deliverables for the research project.  The statement of work area must include a work plan/scope and a work schedule.
    1. Work Plan/Scope

The work plan/scope area should demonstrate an understanding of the techniques and methods to be used to resolve the problem, and should contain all components necessary for the successful completion of the research.  The work plan/scope section should set out the tasks to be performed, and whether future phases will be necessary to reach the ultimate goal.  The work plan should allow the reviewers an opportunity to judge the potential success and cost of the research.

All projects that include the building of databases, software, or other computer type projects must include information on designs, computer programs needed or to be used, and storage capabilities.

    1. Work Schedule

The work schedule and work plan are interrelated, and the work schedule should set out a calendar that reflects the time to accomplish each plan component.  Milestones, decision points, and deadlines must be included in the work schedule.  A bar chart or other graphical representation can be used to accomplish this item.  

  1. Budget:  The budget for the project should be laid out in a format similar to that found in Figure 1.  The budget is nothing more than cost estimation, which should be the best guess on what costs will be. The cost estimate must include all monies requested for work that will be performed, whether that work will be billed against the SP&R funds or not.  Additionally, the Research Center and the RAC require the costs be broken into fiscal year totals.  All funding sources must be reflected in the budget.  If there is a different indirect cost rate for different funding streams for a project, each much be set out in the budget.

Approval letters from the Principle Investigators budget office must be provided with the proposal to show they approve the indirect costs rates set out in the proposal. 

All budgets must be approved by the proposers budget office.

Description Budget Amount Explanatory Note
Direct Cost    
     Total Personnel Cost    
       Principal Investigator    
       Other Personnel    
       Fringe Benefits    
   Research Travel    
   Report Generation    
   Equipment    
   Other    
Technical Transfer    
   Conference/Report Presentation    
   Miscellaneous Travel    
Indirect Costs    
   Project Administration    
   Overhead    
   Indirect Costs    
In-Kind Match    
TOTAL    

Budget Template.  Source:  Adapted from Appendix G, Final Report 1202F, Evaluating Department of Transportation Research Program: A Methodology and Case Study

  1.  Implementation

The primary purpose and objective of the research project is to improve the operational responsiveness of WYDOT.  Because the implementation process is lengthy and involved, assurances of a high probability of actual operational improvements assists in advancing a proposal.  A broad and descriptive outline of the implementation process should be included in the body of the proposal.  The proposal should also state who will logically be responsible for applying the research results, and specific standards or practices that might be affected by the research findings. 

  1. Technology Transfer

Another goal of conducting research is to improve or enhance transportation practices.  In order for research results to be useful, transfer of knowledge from the researcher must be made to new or potential users.  This transfer can be seen as a process encompassing the dissemination of the research results and knowledge regarding any new processes, methods, and products that increases the technical quality.  Like the implementation process, a broad but descriptive technology transfer outline should be written. 

  1. Data Management Plan

A Data Management Plan (DMP) shall be attached to the proposal and must set out how the data and/or datasets from the project will be maintained, archived, and shared.  The DMP must contain information on maintaining data and/or datasets both during and when the project is completed. 

When drafting the DMP, the Principal Investigator and Project Champion shall jointly determine:

  • Which data and/or datasets shall be linked to the final report.
  • Where the data and/or datasets shall be archived.
  • The retention period for archived data and/or datasets.
  • What file format will be used to archive the data and/or datasets.
  • How the data and/or datasets shall be labeled.
  • How the data and/or datasets will be cataloged.
  • What metadata shall be attached to the data and/or datasets.
  • What written consents, licenses, or other tools will need to be attached to the data and/or datasets to ensure privacy and intellectual property.

The procedure for accessing the data and/or datasets at the end of the project.