The National Academies

NCHRP 25-67 [RFP]

Guide to Mitigation of Adverse Effects on Cultural Resources

Posted Date: 12/14/2022

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Contract Time: 24 months
Authorization to Begin Work: 8/28/2023 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Jennifer L. Weeks
   Phone: 202-334-2122
   Email: jlweeks@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 2/21/2023
Fiscal Year: 2023


When a transportation project has an adverse effect on historic properties, under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act mitigation is required. Typical mitigation measures include Historic American Buildings Survey / Historic American Engineering Record / Historic American Landscapes Survey (HABS/HAER/HALS) completion, archaeological data recovery and associated research, and educational publications. 

Mitigation is proposed and selected in consultation with Section 106 stakeholders. Increasingly, cultural resource specialists are considering implementing creative mitigation alternatives, such as establishing mitigation banks or the development of online or video interpretive content about the significance of a given resource that meet the expectations of the public, the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), and other consultation parties. However, practitioners are uncertain how to advance innovative mitigation measures for a given resource that would achieve broad public benefit and meet the expectations of the SHPO.  

Research is needed to identify cultural resource mitigation measures that successfully achieve broad public benefit for cultural resource protection. This research would facilitate successful mitigation for environmental benefit and compliance with the National Environmental Protection Act and the National Historic Preservation Act.


The objective of the research is to develop a guide for transportation cultural resource specialists and practitioners to mitigate the adverse effects of a project on cultural resources. The research should identify factors and conditions that create public benefit or otherwise create “success” with respect to mitigation measures proposed for a given category of resource and provide direction on how to evaluate and select measures for adoption.


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 with specific tasks 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 research plan should (1) include a kick-off teleconference with the research team and NCHRP convened within 1 month of the contract’s execution; (2) address how the proposer intends to satisfy the project objective; (3) be divided logically into detailed tasks necessary to fulfill the research objective and include appropriate milestones and interim deliverables; (4) include robust engagement of appropriate stakeholders in data collection and product validation; (5) incorporate opportunities for the project panel to review, comment on, and approve milestone deliverables; and (6) include an interim report and panel meeting scheduled to transition the project from data collection and analysis to production of the final deliverables.  

It is expected that the research will:

  • Focus on surface transportation project cultural resource mitigation;
  • Identify and organize commonly used and creative or innovative cultural resource mitigation strategies and techniques for different categories of cultural resources;
  • Address how to identify a “successful” cultural resource mitigation strategy or measure;
  • Identify how to assess the public benefits of cultural resource mitigation strategies within different project types and affecting various cultural resources to understand the varying levels of impact and/or value of each;
  • Identify and provide guidelines and tools that facilitate the selection and implementation of effective processes and practices for identifying and implementing cultural resource mitigation; and
  • Identify and address institutional barriers (staff, time, political will or executive direction) that limit or otherwise influence the selection and implementation of cultural resource mitigation.

Notes: The costs of any in-person events proposed to support this research, including invitational travel for a specified number of attendees (not including members of the research team), should be included in the detailed budget for the research. For the purposes of estimating these costs, assume that any in-person event will be held at a TRB facility (Keck Center in Washington, DC, or the Beckman Center in Irvine, CA). NCHRP will cover costs associated with NCHRP panel member travel. Catering services for all participants including panel members should be included in the detailed budget for the research.


The final deliverables expected will include, but are not necessarily limited to:

  • A guide to facilitate an agency’s efforts to identify and implement effective cultural resource mitigation tailored for a specific resource or context. 
  • An interactive compendium of cultural resource mitigation strategies that can facilitate analysis and decision-making on the selection of mitigation measures to implement in various contexts, including specific strengths and weaknesses of the measures in practice and project examples or types where the measures have been successfully implemented.

Note: Proposers are encouraged to use software commonly available to state DOTs. The proposal should describe the conceptual format of the compendium. Web-based applications are not advised. If web-based, the compendium tool shall conform to the Cooperative Research Program (CRP) WebResources (see Special Note L).

  • A stand-alone technical memorandum that identifies implementation pathways, key implementers of the results, and well-defined scopes of work for product dissemination and pilot implementation of the research products (see Special Note I). 
  • A conduct of research report that documents the entire research effort.

 Note: Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency 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/6746. 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. CRP’s WebResources multi-site is hosted within an open-source content management system called WordPress in Amazon Web Services using an Ubuntu operating system. CRP manages two instances of WebResources (1) UAT used for development and review, and (2) PROD is CRP’s live production site. A list of approved WordPress plug-ins can be found here: https://crp.trb.org/approved-plugins/. WordPress plug-ins not listed in the approved list can be evaluated, but may not be approved. Contractor is responsible for lifetime subscription (if available) costs of new plug-ins, and must transfer the license to CRPs to ensure that the functionality from the plug-in will continue to operate correctly in the future. The selected contractor will be working within the UAT site for all updates.

Proposals must be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/Y90uNw1puEv7KZlB7ucs 
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 2/21/2023.

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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