Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Research & Innovation

Academic Research Solicitation

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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: 2019 Timeline (.jpg)

Step 1: Idea Submission

Ideas due: March 16, 2020

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 17, 2020

LRRB: March 12-17, 2020

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 31, 2020
Proposals due: Sept. 15, 2020

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. 16 - Oct. 5, 2020
LRRB screening: Sept. 16 - Oct. 5, 2020

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. 2 - 3, 2020
LRRB meeting: Dec. 9 - 10, 2020

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, 2021
Contracts in place by July 1, 2021

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.