Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Research & Innovation

Academic Research Solicitation

Academic Research Solicitation

The timeline below describes our annual academic research solicitation process from idea development to project funding.

March: Ideas Due (Ideas collected year-round from local agencies, researchers, and MnDOT staff at meetings and IdeaScale.) April-June: Idea Review (Ideas are prioritized by practitioners and selected by research governing boards for need statement development.) July: RFP Issued (Eligible universities invited to respond to need statements with written proposals. Universities may also submit unsolicited proposals.) Sept. - Oct.: Proposal Review (MnDOT and LRRB technical experts evaluate proposals. Boards select proposals for presentation.) Dec.: Presentations (MnDOT and LRRB hear presentations.) Dec. - Jan.: Funding Awards (MnDOT and LRRB announce projects for funding.)

Step 1: Idea Submission

Ideas due: April 1, 2024

Minnesota transportation practitioners submit research project ideas to the Research & Innovation office via the Ideascale website or at a MnDOT State Aid Prescreening Meeting (cities and counties-only).

Ideas are collated and reviewed by the MnDOT Research Steering Committee and the Local Road Research Board (LRRB). The ideas that best meet MnDOT and local transportation research priorities are used to develop research need statements.

The Research & Innovation office works with idea-submitters to complete a MnDOT Need Statement Form or LRRB Need Statement Form with a MnDOT, county or city champion.

Questions? Email research.dot@state.mn.us or call 651-366-3780.

Step 2: Idea Prioritization

April 1 - May 21, 2024

Members of the MnDOT Research Steering Committee and LRRB review and select ideas to promote for the academic research requests for proposal (RFP).

Step 3: Request for Proposal

Request for proposal opens: July 31, 2024
Proposals due: Sept. 10, 2024

Qualified universities are invited to submit proposals based on the research need statements that address the research need as described with the tasks, costs, deliverables, and schedule.

Step 4: Proposal Review

Sept. 11 - Nov. 6, 2024

Following an evaluation by the project champions,  the MnDOT Research Steering Committee and the LRRB review and select proposals for presentation. If a need statement receives multiple proposals, they are reviewed and compared using the criteria in the Multiple Proposal Review Form.

Step 5: Selection

MnDOT meeting: Dec. 11-12, 2024
LRRB meeting: Dec. 4-5, 2024

The MnDOT Research Steering Committee and the LRRB hold separate meetings to hear presentations and select projects for funding. Funding awards are announced in late December. Note that MnDOT and the LRRB can also fund projects off-cycle as needed.

Step 6: Work Plan Development

Jan. 1 - March 31, 2025

Technical Advisory Panels (TAPs) are formed to guide the development of work plans and oversee future work. Learn more about TAPs and TAP member roles by viewing the guidelines.

There are several types of workplan. The one you use will depend on your institution and the nature of your research. The University Research Work Plan is the most commonly used. The workplan templates are listed at right.

Step 7: Contracting

April 1 - June 30, 2025
Contracts in place by July 1, 2025

Contracts must be in place before research may begin. Tasks and deliverables are defined based on the workplans prepared in Step 6.