Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Research Services

Implementation Project Guidelines

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MnDOT Research Implementation Project Guidelines (PDF)

What Is Implementation?

Good research implementation projects save time, money or resources by helping put new ideas and technology into practice. They might solve a long-time problem or improve how MnDOT does business. We are looking for pilot projects of new technology or research that can set the stage for future full deployment. (We’re not looking to fund standard equipment purchases, a mass deployment or basic research with these funds.)

The types of projects funded often include the development of manuals or best-practices guides, training curricula, technology pilots, new method testing, proof-of-concept validation and innovative equipment evaluation.

Examples of Past Projects

Address Problem or Need

The proposal needs to clearly state the problem being solved, the opportunity or need that is being satisfied.

Research Connection

The implementation project must demonstrate, test or advance a new practice. Preferably, it builds on completed national, state or local research, including from the following programs:

  • Federal Research
    • NCHRP project or other Federal Cooperative Research Programs
    • Pooled Fund Project (MnDOT lead, MnDOT participation in pooled fund project/program, or single state project)
  • State Research
    • MnDOT Research Project
    • Other State DOT Research Project
    • Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) Inst. or MN Guidestar Program
    • MnDOT’s Maintenance New Technology Research and Equipment Committee (NTREC) program
    • MnDOT’s Pavement Research Facility - (MnROAD)
  • Local Research
    • Local Road Research Board (LRRB) research projects

Demonstrate Application

The proposal needs to indicate how the results of the implementation project will be used or applied within the department. State how the results could lead to full implementation in day-to-day practice and whether there is commitment to support implementation statewide, and how the benefits can be quantified.

Identify Internal Champions

Implementation proposals must identify a MnDOT staff person as the project manager to move forward for funding consideration, and it is helpful to identify a management champion at the DE, ADE or Office Director level.

Other Considerations

  • Evaluation and Report - Each project should product a final product or publishable report on the project outcomes.
  • Equipment purchases
    • Should be kept to a minimum and only include items necessary to support the implementation project.
    • Can be used as seed money to demonstrate the viability of the equipment. Pilot projects proposed should be limited to a specific area or location.
    • Not intended as a funding source for full deployment of equipment through the state.
    • Can‘t be used to supplement equipment budget.
    • Should not include standardized equipment
  • Construction Projects
    • Implementation in a construction project should be discussed at the conceptual stage to determine feasibility of the financing, and how the project report will be completed. 

Selection Process

  • Submit an Idea
    • Provide a short description of the implementation idea on the MnDOT/LRRB IdeaScale web site:  http://mndot-lrrb.ideascale.com/
    • The implementation idea must be submitted by a MnDOT employee
  • If Your Idea is Selected, Submit an Implementation Proposal
    • MnDOT Research Services will send a proposal form to selected idea submitter, requesting detailed information about the proposed implementation project.
    • Complete the form as thoroughly as possible (more than one person can contribute) and submit the draft to Research Services.
    • Research Services will assist with the completion of the final form for submission to the Transportation Research and Innovation Group (TRIG).
  • Review, Funding Decision and Completion of Work Plan
    • Proposals for implementation funding are reviewed by the Transportation Research and Innovation Group, the governing board for MnDOT’s research program.  
    • Each proposer gives a short presentation (15 minutes, plus 5 minutes for Q&A) of his or her proposal to the TRIG board.
    • If funding is approved, the proposer and Research Services will determine an appropriate contracting mechanism and work with the investigator to complete a detailed Implementation Project Work Plan (either university or consultant). Research Services is available to assist with completion of the Work Plan.
    • Once the Work Plan is approved, the project moves forward to the procurement stage (contract, work order, etc.)