The National Academies

NCHRP 20-44(28) [RFP]

Development of a Technology Transfer Plan for State Departments of Transportation Research Programs

Posted Date: 5/12/2020

  Project Data
Funds: $160,000
Contract Time: 24 months
Authorization to Begin Work: 9/1/2020 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Sid Mohan
   Phone: 202-334-1249
   Email: smohan@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 7/2/2020
Fiscal Year: 2020

Several National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) research publications have identified best practices and strategies to communicate research results, and to engage with stakeholders, fellow researchers, and the general public. These include research publications such as NCHRP Synthesis 280: Seven Keys to Building a Robust Research Program, NCHRP Report 610: Communicating the Value of Transportation Research, NCHRP Synthesis 522: Managing State Transportation Research Programs, and NCHRP Synthesis 461: Accelerating Implementation of Transportation Research Results. The NCHRP research showed that it is generally a combination of approaches and strategies that foster success, and speed the implementation of research results and realization of research benefits. The research also noted that successful communication and marketing efforts link researchers and research results with their intended audience by strengthening the information flow throughout the research process.
There is, therefore, a need for the preparation of technology transfer materials, processes, and procedures to assist state research managers in developing marketing efforts appropriate for a state DOT research program, to develop alliances with other organizations to leverage available resources, to improve access to needed skills, and to enhance consensus building.
The objective of this research is to develop materials, processes, and procedures for a regional technology transfer program that would address the needs of the nine member states of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Research Advisory Committee (RAC) Region 3, to communicate recently completed research that could have regional interest. The member states of RAC Region 3 are: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the project objective. Proposers are expected to describe project work plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must capture, in sufficient detail, the proposers' current thinking to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objective.
The research plan should delineate the tasks required to develop a methodology necessary to accomplish the research objective. At a minimum, the research should address the following: 
  • Develop dissemination strategies promoting the results of up to five recently completed research projects. The projects will be selected by the participant states and will serve as examples of different types of research projects that may have regional interest. The dissemination strategies must include the appropriate tools and methods state DOTs can use for the research results being disseminated, as well as resource implications of each strategy proposed (including, but not limited to, time, cost, and personnel resources).
  • Develop at least one example dissemination video, showcasing one of the selected research projects. The video will be no more than 5 minutes long, and must be accompanied by a brief how-to-do guideline on developing similar videos.
  • Develop a 90 minute webinar on how to effectively communicate the results of research projects, to be conducted with members of the state DOT research staff, other state DOT employees, state DOT research contractors, and local agencies. The webinar must have adequate time allocated for questions and interactions with the participants.
  • Conduct targeted technology transfer visits for selected research projects to develop state-specific implementation activities.
  • Develop an implementation guide documenting the implementation activities and strategies to be used by other state DOTs interested in developing similar dissemination strategies and technology transfer programs. The guide is anticipated to be no more than 50 pages in length and will include a one-page executive summary.
  • Develop a project report that documents the activities and results of this project. The project report is anticipated to be no more than 25 pages in length.
The work plan must be divided into tasks as determined by the proposer, and each task must be described in detail, capture the research approach, and be consistent with the project objective.
All materials developed for the execution of the proposed tasks must be organized in a comprehensible and distributable format for future use by the project participants, as well as for the use of other organizations that are not participating in this project. All data files generated during the project will be provided to NCHRP.
Prior to and following the completion of each task, a web meeting will be hosted by NCHRP, during which the contractor will present the content to the project panel and NCHRP.
Following receipt of the draft final report, the remaining 45 days shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for contractor preparation of the final report.
A. 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. NCHRP wishes to award the contract for NCHRP Project 20-44(28) for a fixed price of $160,000; this amount will not be subject to any adjustment by reason of the contractor’s cost experience in the performance of the contract. 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.
B. Proposals shall be organized as described in Section IV of “Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals.” Item 4, “Research Plan,” is limited to 15 pages. Item 5, “Qualifications of the Research Team,” is limited to no more than one page per individual member of the proposing team. Item 6, “Accomplishments of the Research Team,” is limited to no more than four pages. Items 4, 5, and 6 to be single spaced, 12 point font or larger, on 8.5” x 11” pages.  
C. Item 5 in the proposal, "Qualifications of the Research Team," must include a section labeled "Disclosure." Information relevant to the NCHRP's need to ensure objectivity and to be aware of possible sources of significant financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the project 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 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.
D. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP 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) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities.
Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 12 of the proposal. 
E. 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.
F. The requirement for Quarterly Progress Reports, as described on page 9 of the "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals”, is waived. By the 5th business day of each month, the contractor shall electronically provide NCHRP a Monthly Progress Report covering the previous month, not to exceed 1 page in length, which identifies:
  • Tasks/work completed during the month,
  • Tasks/work in progress,
  • Schedule for pending deliverables and for completion of remaining tasks, and
  • Issues requiring direction or decisions from NCHRP or the project panel.
G. Direct all questions regarding the project or proposal preparation to:
Sid Mohan
Senior Program Officer
Cooperative Research Programs, Transportation Research Board
500 5th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001

Proposals should be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/rqQCzdX08jaSZ0XwzQL1  
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on 7/2/2020.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected.

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for TRB to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a printable version of the Liability Statement (pdf). A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at http://www.adobe.com.

General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (updated July 2019). Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected. This brochure is available here.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).

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