The National Academies

NCHRP 22-58 [RFP]

National In-Service Performance Evaluation Guidelines for Defining Acceptable Roadside Safety Hardware

Posted Date: 12/9/2022

  Project Data
Funds: $400,000
Contract Time: 36 months
(includes 1 month for NCHRP review and approval of each interim report and 3 months for NCHRP review and for contractor revision of the final report)
Authorization to Begin Work: 5/24/2023 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Roberto Barcena
   Phone: 202/334-2544
   Email: rbarcena@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 1/25/2023
Fiscal Year: 2023


A recurring theme in tests conducted and evaluation procedures formulated over the last 40 years has been the recommendation to conduct in-service performance evaluations (ISPEs) of roadside safety features.

The laboratory performance of roadside safety hardware is tested and evaluated using criteria published in the AASHTO Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH). The site location and installation of roadside safety hardware are guided by criteria published in the AASHTO Roadside Design Guide (RDG). ISPE criteria have become available under NCHRP Research Report 1010: In-Service Performance Evaluation: Guidelines for the Assembly and Analysis of Data

Research is needed to develop guidelines, at the national level, for defining acceptable field performance of roadside safety hardware.


The objective of this research is to develop ISPE guidelines to define and recommend nationally acceptable field performance criteria for roadside safety hardware based on NCHRP Research Report 1010.

The accomplishment of the project objective will require at least the following tasks.


Task descriptions are intended to provide a framework for conducting the research. The NCHRP 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.

PHASE I—Preliminary Evaluation

Task 1. Conduct an in-depth review and critical evaluation of the following reports:

·    NCHRP Research Report 1010;


·    "NCHRP Project 22-44: A Transportation Agency Data Collection Practice for Use with In-Service Performance Evaluations" Interim Report and Draft Guide for the collection, extraction, and documentation of ISPEs (contact Senior Program Officer, Roberto Barcena, at rbarcena@nas.edu for these documents.); and


·    National data available on ISPEs.

Review and evaluate other relevant documents, including department of transportation (DOT) practices, and published and unpublished research conducted through the NCHRP, FHWA, states, and pooled-fund-sponsored research.

Task 2. Synthesize Task 1 to identify elements and key factors that can contribute to the accomplishment of the project objective including ISPEs already conducted using the criteria in NCHRP Research Report 1010, and additional roadside safety hardware ISPEs to be considered in this project. Develop a list of existing ISPEs and a preliminary prioritized list of recommended ISPEs to be conducted in order to inform the research objective. Summarize state practices related to ISPEs. Submit Technical Memorandum No. 1 documenting the work performed in Tasks 1 and 2.

Note: Following a 1-month review of Technical Memorandum No. 1 by the NCHRP panel, the proposer will be required to meet virtually to discuss and present Technical Memorandum No. 1.

Task 3. Create a plan to accomplish the research objective to be executed in Phase II. The plan must address the identified ISPEs as budget permits, or include the ISPEs in the recommendations for future research.

At a minimum, the plan shall:


·    Establish criteria for determining the acceptability of in-service roadside safety hardware through ISPEs, and whether the results indicate the need for updates to hardware testing and evaluation; and


·    Define how ISPEs can contribute to determining the crashworthiness of in-service roadside safety hardware and supporting owner decisions with respect to the continued use of existing in-service roadside safety hardware.

Task 4. Prepare Interim Report No. 1, which documents the work performed in Tasks 1 through 3 and provides an update for the remaining of the research. Interim Report No. 1 shall include an annotated outline of the proposed guidelines. The updated work plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed for Phases II and III.

Note: Following a 1-month review the Interim Report No. 1 by the NCHRP, the proposer will be required to meet virtually to discuss and present Interim Report No. 1. Work on Phases II and III of the project will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP.

PHASE II—Execution of Plan

Task 5. Execute the plan according to the approved Interim Report No.1.

Task 6. Prepare Interim Report No. 2 that documents Task 5 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research. Interim Report No. 2 shall include a draft of the guidelines and a webinar. The updated plan must describe the process and rationale for the work proposed in Phase III.

Notes: The research team shall plan to meet with and take feedback from the panel when approximately 85% of Phase II has been completed, or when the results of the research are substantially complete. Additionally, the proposer must be available for other virtual meetings during this Phase as requested by the NCHRP panel.

Following a 1-month review of Interim Report No. 2 by the NCHRP, the research team will meet virtually with the panel to discuss the interim report. Work on Phase III of the project will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP.

PHASE III—Final Products

Task 7. Prepare final deliverables for the project including:


a.    A document with guidelines targeted to practitioners that summarizes the results and recommendations of the project.


b.    A stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” (see Special Note K).


c.    Two to be agreed-upon webinars to disseminate the project’s results. One of the webinars shall be directed to the Transportation Research Board’s AKD20 committee and AASHTO’s Technical Committee on Roadside Safety (TCRS). The feedback from the first webinar shall be used to enhance the second webinar whose target audience will be DOT practitioners.


d.    A conduct of research report documenting the project’s activities and lessons learned, including the recorded webinars, list of participants, questions and answers, feedback, and other records from the webinars.

Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research team preparation of the final deliverables. 


A. The contract for NCHRP Project 22-58 will be awarded for a fixed price of $400,000; this amount will not be subject to any adjustment by reason of the contractor’s cost experience in the performance of the contract. In addition to providing a detailed budget, the proposer should provide a proposed schedule of project milestones, deliverables, and progress payments that is tied to the detailed budget and schedule.

B. For budgeting purposes, proposers should plan for one in-person meeting in Washington, DC. Costs for the in-person meeting venue and travel costs for NCHRP panel members to attend the meeting will be paid separately by NCHRP.

C. 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.

D. 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 45 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.

E. 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.

F. 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/6739. Proposers may not contact panel members directly; this roster is provided solely for the purpose of avoiding potential conflicts of interest.

G. 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.

H. 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.

I. 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.

J. 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.

K. 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

L. 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.

M. 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.

Proposals must be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/jGamysX386HVoVnyB9y4 
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 1/25/2023.

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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