The National Academies

NCHRP 20-44(41) [RFP]

Deploying Transportation Resilience Practices in State DOTs: Implementation
[ NCHRP 20-44 (NCHRP Implementation Support Program) ]

Posted Date: 2/28/2023

  Project Data
Funds: $180,000
Contract Time: 15 months
Authorization to Begin Work: 8/31/2023 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Sid Mohan
   Email: smohan@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 4/20/2023
Fiscal Year: 2021


Resilience relates to activities ranging from planning through design and construction to operations and maintenance. Resilience depends on the participation of diverse agencies and organizations, and can be affected by social, economic, and funding considerations. Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, infectious disease outbreaks, and, most recently, COVID-19 caused major shifts in how transportation agencies view resilience.

Several challenges remain in implementing resilience practices into transportation agencies. One challenge is in getting top leadership and senior practitioners interested and committed in implementing resilience practices, given the other demands on their time. Another challenge is that many state departments of transportation (DOTs) want others to “take the first step,” particularly in areas still relatively new to an organization, before deciding whether to move in the same direction and at the same pace. Finally, the concepts associated with resilience change often, as new agencies contribute to the dialogue, and as new disasters focus attention on the importance of having a resilient transportation system.

NCHRP Research Report 970: Mainstreaming System Resilience Concepts into Transportation Agencies: A Guide provides transportation officials with a self-assessment tool to identify current and future opportunities to include resilience concepts into agency decision-making and procedures. The self-assessment tool can be applied to an array of natural and human-caused threats to transportation systems and services, and is designed to help transportation officials identify and implement actions and strategies to enhance resilience capacity. 

Efforts are needed to disseminate NCHRP Research Report 970 and the self-assessment tool, provide training on usage, and help transportation officials understand and consider resilience strategies that may be effective in their jurisdiction or situation. This will be done through engagement with state DOT staff and leadership to understand how NCHRP Research Report 970 can be used to benefit state DOTs, and development of presentation materials and supplemental tools (as needed) to make the guide content actionable by states based on DOT feedback. The presentation materials and supplemental tools will need to address the functional areas of a DOT, and DOT staff will be trained on how to use the guide as it relates to policies and programs for resilience (such as the Policy on Using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Resources to Build a Better America and FHWA’s Resilience guidance).


The objective of this project is to develop workshops to support state DOTs in implementing NCHRP Research Report 970: Mainstreaming System Resilience Concepts into Transportation Agencies: A Guide through the planning and facilitation of at least four pilot workshops with state DOTs. The workshops would cover the concepts underlying the guide and will allow different state DOT staff to assess their current resilience status and to identify state DOT-specific strategies.


NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how best to achieve the project objective. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished with existing or emerging technologies. 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.

To realize the objective, the following tasks and related deliverables are proposed, at a minimum. Proposers may recommend additional tasks and deliverables to support the project objective.

Task 1. Develop criteria and identify a list of potential participant states for the workshops that will be used by the project panel to help finalize the actual list of participant states.

Deliverable: List of criteria and list of potential participant states.

Task 2. Develop workshop content, presentation materials, and supplemental tools as needed to deliver the workshops.

Deliverables: Presentation materials and supplemental tools.

Task 3. Conduct a minimum of four pilot workshops using the draft tools, ideally one workshop in each of the four AASHTO regions.

Deliverables: (a) report on the outcomes of the workshops, and (b) report on the efficacy of the materials and tools.

Task 4. Obtain feedback from the pilot workshops on the draft tools, and refine them accordingly.

Deliverables: Refined materials and tools.

Task 5. Identify gaps in current material and recommend future research opportunities.

Deliverable: Report on recommended future research.

Task 6. Develop a short primer for senior leadership on this guide and its relevance to DOTs.

Deliverables: Primer for senior leadership.

Task 7. Develop a final project report that includes an implementation document describing the experiences of the four pilot workshops and highlights the benefits of using the guide.

Deliverable: Final project report.


Travel, accommodations, and meals and incidentals for all workshop attendees will be a responsibility of the selected contractor and must be budgeted within the project’s total budget of $180,000.

All materials developed for the execution of the tasks must be organized in a comprehensible and distributable format for future use by project participants, as well as for the use of other organizations not participating in this project. All data files generated during the project will be provided to NCHRP.

In developing the research plan and tasks, proposers should build in appropriate checkpoints with the NCHRP project panel including, at a minimum, (1) a kick-off web-enabled meeting to be held within 1 month of the contract’s execution date; and (2) at least three additional web-enabled teleconferences tied to NCHRP review and approval of any other interim deliverables as deemed appropriate.

Costs for meetings with the NCHRP project panel, including hosting of web-enabled meetings, the interim meeting venue, and travel costs for NCHRP panel members to attend the interim meeting will be paid by NCHRP. The proposed budget should include travel costs for project team members to attend the interim meeting and any engagement events included.

The proposal should contain sufficient information about the anticipated content and design of the final deliverables to demonstrate an understanding of the audience for the research results and of effective dissemination and implementation pathways. Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for contractor preparation of the final deliverables.


A. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs were revised in May 2022. Please take note of the new and revised text which is highlighted in yellow.

B. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8 ½” X 11” paper, and the entire proposal must not exceed 60 pages (according to the page count displayed in the PDF). Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be rejected. For other requirements, refer to chapter V of the instructions. 

C. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs have been modified to include a revised policy and instructions for disclosing Investigator Conflict of Interest. For more information, refer to chapter IV of the instructions. A detailed definition and examples can be found in the CRP Conflict of Interest Policy for Contractors. The proposer recommended by the project panel will be required to submit an Investigator Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Form as a prerequisite for contract negotiations.

D. Proposals will be rejected if any of the proposed research team members work for organizations represented on the project panel. The panel roster for this project can be found at https://www.mytrb.org/OnlineDirectory/Committee/Details/6620. Proposers may not contact panel members directly; this roster is provided solely for the purpose of avoiding potential conflicts of interest.

E. Proprietary Products - If any proprietary products are to be used or tested in the project, please refer to Item 6 in the Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals

F. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively knowledgeable in the problem area. The project panel will recommend their first choice proposal 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. A recommendation by the project panel is not a guarantee of a contract. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS - the contracting authority for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) will conduct an internal due diligence review and risk assessment of the panel’s recommended proposal before contract negotiations continue.

Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 11 of the proposal. 

G. 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 Academy of Sciences. 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 Academy of Sciences. 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. 

H. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals. 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. 

I. The required technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” should (a) provide recommendations on how to best put the research findings/products into practice; (b) identify possible institutions that might take leadership in applying the research findings/products; (c) identify issues affecting potential implementation of the findings/products and recommend possible actions to address these issues; and (d) recommend methods of identifying and measuring the impacts associated with implementation of the findings/products. Implementation of these recommendations is not part of the research project and, if warranted, details of these actions will be developed and implemented in future efforts.

The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf 

J. If the team proposes a Principal Investigator who is not an employee of the Prime Contractor, or if the Prime Contractor is proposed to conduct less than 50% of the total effort (by time or budget), then section five of the proposal should include: (1) a justification of why this approach is appropriate, and (2) a description of how the Prime Contractor will ensure adequate communication and coordination with their Subcontractors throughout the project. 

K. All budget information should be suitable for printing on 8½″ x 11″ paper. If a budget page cannot fit on a single 8½″ x 11″ page, it should be split over multiple pages. Proposers must use the Excel templates provided in the Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs.

L. The requirement for Quarterly Progress Reports, as described on page 9 of the Procedural Manual for Contractors Conducting Research, is waived.

Proposals must be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/6BNGfphvuksQve221vIu 
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 4/20/2023.

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 fillable PDF version of the Liability Statement. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at https://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". 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.

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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