As an industry-driven research program, ACRP relies on a flow of quality research ideas. Traditionally, ACRP primarily has used a bottom-up approach for these ideas, expressed as formal problem statements. ACRP’s Oversight Committee has adopted a strategic plan for the program that includes as a priority ensuring “that problem statements are of the highest quality and greatest relevance to the airport industry.” As a key step to achieving this strategic priority, ACRP is developing a series of research roadmaps, one for each of its 10 topic areas. The goal of these research roadmaps is to identify gaps in knowledge and practice, uncover key opportunities and challenges, and outline and prioritize specific research ideas needed to address these gaps. The roadmaps will also produce research ideas to be entered into ACRP’s IdeaHub, its online collaboration platform for turning ideas into problem statements to be considered for funding.
Airports face unique, numerous, and ever-evolving environmental challenges and opportunities. Common environmental topics have focused on noise, water quality, and air quality. More recently, issues related to sustainability and resiliency have emerged. A research roadmap is needed to help airport industry practitioners identify and prioritize research needs related to environmental issues.
The objective of this research is to develop an airport environmental research roadmap. The roadmap should recommend priorities and timing, set a strategy, and provide a rationale for the recommendations. In addition, the roadmap should:
Focus on airport environmental research needs to be undertaken within the next 5 years;
Consider existing relevant environmental roadmaps and research recommendations;
Consider the needs of airports of all sizes, geographies, levels and types of activity, and resource constraints;
Recognize airports are a component of communities and intermodal transportation systems;
Address potential positive environmental effects that airports can generate;
Reflect priorities of a broad group of stakeholders;
Prioritize research with consideration to ACRP’s strategic plan;
Create environmental research ideas to be entered into ACRP’s IdeaHub for further development into problem statements; and
Include a long-range (i.e., beyond 5 years) environmental research needs assessment that accounts for uncertainty, data limitations, emerging technologies, and evolving policies.
The ACRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the research objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective. The work proposed must be divided into tasks, and proposers must describe the work proposed in each task in detail.
The research plan should include, at a minimum, a stakeholder outreach plan to develop and/or vet the roadmap, and an interim report that describes work done in early tasks, including a preliminary draft roadmap.
The research plan should also include, at a minimum, the following checkpoints with the ACRP project panel: (1) kick-off conference call to be held within 1 month of contract execution to discuss the amplified work plan, (2) web-meeting to approve stakeholder outreach plan, and (3) interim meeting to review the results of the interim report.
Note: Following receipt of the interim report, there should be 1 month for ACRP review and comments and for the interim meeting.
The final deliverable will be the airport environmental research roadmap.
Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, there should be 2 months for ACRP review and comments and for contractor preparation of the final deliverables. For budgeting purposes, proposers should assume that ACRP will provide access to web-enabled teleconference services. ACRP will pay panel members’ travel costs for the face-to-face meeting. Proposers should assume that the meeting will be held in Washington, DC.
C. Proposers should include in their proposals a preliminary draft roadmap outline, example graphics, and other material to convey their initial thinking on the features and contents of an airport environmental research roadmap.
D. Airport environmental research has been grouped traditionally into topics such as noise, water quality, and air quality; proposers are encouraged to also consider nontraditional themes for grouping topics (for example, compliance, environmental aspirations, natural resource management, resiliency, emerging issues).
E. Proposals are evaluated by the ACRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) the proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises--small firms owned and controlled by minorities or women; and (6) the adequacy of the facilities.
Note: The proposer's plan for participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal.
F. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a “federally” Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
G. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," in each proposal must include an Implementation Plan that describes activities to promote application of the product of this research. It is expected that the implementation plan will evolve during the project; however, proposals must describe, as a minimum, the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in applying the research product, (e) the activities necessary for successful implementation, and (f) the criteria for judging the progress and consequences of implementation.
H. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the ACRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research must be presented in this section of the proposal. For example, under certain conditions, ownership of the proposing agency, other organizational relationships, or proprietary rights and interests could be perceived as jeopardizing an objective approach to the research effort, and proposers are asked to disclose any such circumstances and to explain how they will be accounted for in this study. If there are no issues related to objectivity, this should be stated.
I. A strategic priority for ACRP is to assure quality in its research projects. ACRP therefore encourages the principal investigator of the successful proposer to participate in a 1-day Symposium on ACRP Research in Progress that will be held during the Transportation Research Board’s 2019 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Proposers may include this cost in their proposed project budget.
J. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB’s Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB’s policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, “Use of Copyrighted Material,” in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.
K. If the research approach includes human subjects testing, proposers should be aware that the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has its own Institutional Review Board (IRB) that must review and approve the results of the proposing agency’s IRB process. It should be assumed that this step will require several weeks.