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. The full schedule is also available as a Gantt chart (.pdf).

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.)

Last year's research solicitation process: 2020 Timeline (.jpg)

Step 1: Idea Submission

Ideas due: March 15, 2021

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

MnDOT: April 16, 2021

LRRB: March 1-12, 2021

Members of the MnDOT Research Steering Committee and Local Road Research Board (LRRB) review and select ideas for the academic research RFP.

Step 3: Request for Proposal (RFP)

Prioritized needs released: July 30, 2021
Proposals due: Sept. 14, 2021

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

Step 4: Proposal Review

MnDOT screening: Sept. 15 - Oct. 4, 2021
LRRB screening: Oct. 7 - Oct. 29, 2021

The MnDOT Research Steering Committee and the LRRB review and select proposals for presentation. Research needs with multiple proposals are reviewed using the criteria in the Multiple Proposal Review Form.

Step 5: Selection

MnDOT meeting: Dec. 1 - 2, 2021
LRRB meeting: Dec. 8 - 9, 2021

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 7: Contracting

March 15 - June 30, 2022
Contracts in place by July 1, 2022

Contracting is done to start the research/implementation effort using the university research work plan, available at right. Both the University of Minnesota contract document and the Materials Lab PI Work Plan are also listed. Use the TPF form to establish pooled-fund studies.