State Planning and Research (SP & R) Funding Request
For Pooled Fund or Minnesota Only Research and Development Studies/Projects
The Research Services Section (RSS) ; Office of Policy Analysis, Research and Innovation put into place the following process to request State Planning and Research (SP & R) funds. This process pertains to requesting funds to initiate or participate in a pooled fund project for:
- A project where MnDOT will serve as the lead state of a pooled fund
- A project in which MnDOT will contribute as a partner state to a pooled fund
- A project in which MnDOT will be the sole state (a 20% match must be identified to be eligible)
The MnDOT office requesting pooled fund dollars need to submit a cover memo along with the SP & R Funding Request form. The submitted memo should be addressed to the Linda Taylor, Director of Research Services Section and be from the Office Director of the requesting office endorsing the support of this request. Both forms should be forwarded to the RSS SP & R Coordinator, Deb Fick. The forms that should be used are:
Please be sure that all questions are completed on the SP & R request form.
The Requests for Funding are reviewed on a quarterly basis (March, June, September, and December). Decisions for approval are based on adequate funding available and eligibility for SP & R criteria. Once a decision has been determined on the funding request, the originating office will be notified via e-mail.
To comply with FHWA requirements, if a project is approved the TL assigned to the project will be required to submit quarterly reports and project status updates. If travel is going to be reimbursed by SPR funds, the TL will be required to submit travel expense forms and meeting minutes to the SPR Administrator.
If you have any questions in regards to this process, please do not hesitate to contact:
SP & R Program Administrator
Research Services Section, MS 330
Process for Awarding Funds If Request is Approved
A project where MnDOT will serve as the lead state of a pooled fund:
- Solicitation is posted on the TPF website (www.pooledfund.org) by SP & R Administrator
- Project is assigned a Solicitation Number by FHWA
- Solicitation is given a expiration date (usually 3 months from the date the solicitation is posted however extensions may be requested if additional time is needed to meet the funding target)
- Request to use 100% SP & R funds is submitted to FHWA**
- MnDOT’s commitment is made on the TPF website
**You should be aware that this process may take up to four months to gain approval for use of 100% SP & R funds or longer depending on whether the project becomes financially viable (funding target is met).
Once the project is financially viable and the FHWA has approved use of 100% SP&R funds:
- Project is assigned a TPF number and officially becomes a pooled fund project
- SP&R Administrator sends Acceptance Letters to participating states notifying them that we are now ready to accept the funds
- (The Technical Liaison that was identified on the request letter will be cc’d on the letters)
- Participating States transfer funds to Mn/DOT
- The Technical Liaison (TL) is notified when all the funds have been received and is given the ‘notice to proceed’. RSS assigns an Administrative Liaison (AL) to the project. The project Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meets to finalize the scope and select the researcher.
A project where MnDOT will contribute as a partner state:
- MnDOT’s commitment is made on the TPF website
- If the project has met the funding target and is approved for use of 100% SP & R funds, the Lead state forwards an Acceptance Letter to RSS SP & R Coordinator and the transfer of funds is made to the Lead agency
- The TL will be notified via e-mail when the transfer is processed and Mn/DOT will then become an official partner in the pooled fund
A project in which MnDOT is the sole state (Minnesota only):
- 20% non-federal match must be identified and verified
- A MPR (Minnesota Planning Research) number is assigned
- Funding is transferred to project
- Notice to proceed is sent to TL
To comply with FHWA requirements, when the project approved the TL assigned to the project will be required to submit quarterly reports and project status updates. If necessary, the lead State or the TAC may request that these reports be issued more frequently. It is preferred that the submission of reports be in electronic form. In doing so, the quarterly reports are posted online at the TPF website. States handle the posting of documents for project for which they are the lead, and the TPF Coordinator handles this function for FHWA-led studies.
There are no formal requirements as to what should be included in the quarterly report; however, from a program perspective, we ask that your reports include the following:
- Project number and title
- Project manager’s name and contact information
- Detailed description of work performed and plans for future
- Period of Performance
- Cost expenditures and projections
This is usually the type of information the co-sponsors will want. They are the #1 audience for the quarterly report. Other States may also be interested in the progress of the study. Quarterly reports are in one sense a way of addressing accountability (I.e., what are you doing with the money) and also an opportunity to report progress and to share preliminary results.
An example that can be used for this report is: SPR Quarterly Report Template (.doc)
Reports are due for each calendar quarter (I.e., Jan – March; April – June; etc.).
The quarterly reporting schedule is as follows (period of performance is in parenthesis):
- Due: April 30 (January - March)
- Due: July 31 (April - June)
- Due: October 31 (July - September)
- Due: January 31 (October - December)
If travel is going to be reimbursed by SPR funds, the TL will be required to submit travel expense forms and meeting minutes to the SPR Administrator.
If you have any questions in regards to the process, please contact:
SP & R Administrator
Office of Policy Analysis, Research, and Innovation
Research Services Section
395 John Ireland Blvd., MS 330
St. Paul, MN 55155