The National Academies

NCHRP 23-31 [RFP]

Strategies to Foster the Implementation of Knowledge Management

Posted Date: 12/22/2022

  Project Data
Funds: $250,000
Contract Time: 24 months
(includes 1 month for NCHRP review and approval of the interim report and 3 months for NCHRP review and for contractor revision of the final report)
Authorization to Begin Work: 7/15/2023 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: David M. Jared
   Phone: 202/334-2358
   Email: djared@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 2/14/2023
Fiscal Year: 2023


State departments of transportation (DOTs) began to explore knowledge management (KM) in the early 2000s. Since then, several state DOTs and U.S. DOT administrations have implemented KM activities and programs. The transportation community has conducted several research projects that examined how other industries have adopted and implemented KM. Also, NCHRP and others have published reports on the value of KM, including NCHRP Report 813, A Guide to Agency-Wide Knowledge Management for State Departments of Transportation (https://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/173082.aspx).  

Despite substantial research on the use of KM in transportation, loss of institutional knowledge due to retirements and turnover, and other workforce changes, state DOTs have not widely adopted formal KM practices. Some state DOTs are trying to develop KM practices to capture this institutional knowledge quickly but need more resources and strategies for KM implementation. 

Research is needed to document the evolution of KM stewardship at state DOTs and insights into their successes and challenges in adopting and implementing KM. Strategies are needed to help state DOTs foster KM investment, development, and sustainability.


The objective of this research is to provide strategies and proven approaches to foster KM investment, development, and sustainability. The research shall, at minimum, (1) include a summary of the evolution of KM stewardship at state DOTs, and (2) identify and analyze successes and challenges state DOTs have encountered in adopting and implementing sustained KM programs. 


The NCHRP is seeking 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 described in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach in meeting the research objective.


Task 1. Conduct a literature review. The review should focus on the history and evolution of KM stewardship within state DOTs since the early 2000s. As possible, the review should identify the state DOTs that have implemented KM and the units of these DOTs involved in KM stewardship.

Task 2. Develop a stakeholder outreach plan. The primary purpose of the outreach is to identify lessons learned from KM implementation, including challenges and obstacles, and specific factors that contributed to the success or demise of KM at state DOTs. Outreach should include, but not be limited to, KM experts and decision-makers with authority over KM programs within state DOTs. The plan shall be submitted to NCHRP for approval. NCHRP approval is required before work on subsequent tasks begins.

Task 3. Conduct stakeholder outreach. Collect input from stakeholders as outlined in Task 2 using digital and/or in-person methods. Identify stakeholders interested in participating in a practitioner workshop in a later task. 

Task 4. Submit an interim report. The report shall summarize findings from Tasks 1 to 3. The report shall also include recommendations for strategy development in Phase II. Findings from the report shall be presented to NCHRP at an in-person meeting. Travel expenses for panel members are covered by NCHRP. NCHRP approval of the report is required before work on subsequent tasks may begin.  


Task 5. Develop draft strategies. The strategies should be suited to state DOT capabilities, inclusive of lessons learned, and structured to advance KM investment, development, and sustainability within state DOTs. NCHRP approval of the developed draft strategies is required before work on subsequent tasks may begin.

Task 6. Conduct an online workshop for practitioners. Host the workshop for practitioners to evaluate the draft strategies. In addition to state DOTs, encourage participation by AASHTO/TRB committees, industry, and academia, especially by those involved in state DOT KM programs. Refine strategies per input obtained from the workshop. Submit a technical memorandum on workshop findings and any proposed revisions to the strategies for NCHRP approval.

Task 7. Submit draft final deliverables. Deliverables shall include (1) conduct of research report summarizing the research effort, (2) strategies finalized in Task 6, (3) an implementation plan (see Special Note I), and (4) a slide summary of the research.

Note: Following receipt of the preliminary draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the revised 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 8½” 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/6742. 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, et al. 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.

Proposals must be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/QAsTdsPHRuH3odhzXl5D 
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 2/14/2023.

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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