The National Academies

NCHRP 20-44(44) [RFP]

Implementing the Design Practices Guide for Applying Climate Change Information to Hydrologic and Coastal Design of Transportation Infrastructure
[ NCHRP 20-44 (NCHRP Implementation Support Program) ]

Posted Date: 2/28/2023

  Project Data
Funds: $130,000
Contract Time: 24 months
Authorization to Begin Work: 8/31/2023 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Sid Mohan
   Email: smohan@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 4/17/2023
Fiscal Year: 2022


National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Project 15-61 developed a proposed design practices guide, Applying Climate Change Information to Hydrologic and Coastal Design of Transportation Infrastructure, that provides hydrologic and hydraulic (H&H) engineers with tools needed to amend current practice to account for future climate change. The guide addresses potential effects of climate change, such as sea level rise and extreme rainfall events on H&H project and programmatic design, and will aid in the planning, design, operation, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure to prepare for these effects. The guide provides a comprehensive framework for considering and, where appropriate, incorporating climate change into inland hydrology and coastal analyses. To the extent possible, the guide is applicable to the tools and datasets available today, but is not tied to them. The guide is structured so that it will remain relevant when new tools and datasets become available in the future.

A follow-up project, NCHRP 15-61A, “Updates to the Design Practices Guide for Applying Climate Change Information to Hydrologic and Coastal Design of Transportation Infrastructure,” was initiated to address important research topics that require further analysis and elaboration in the design practices guide before the design guide is submitted to the AASHTO Technical Committee on Hydrology and Hydraulics (TCHH) for review and consideration for AASHTO adoption.

An implementation focused project, NCHRP Project 20-44(23), “Pilot Test of Climate Change Design Practices Guide for Hydrology and Hydraulics,” conducted pilot tests with several state departments of transportation (DOTs) to assess the effectiveness and ease of implementation of the proposed design practices guide for projects of varying size and complexity. Pilot tests were conducted by Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, and Oregon DOTs. A wrap-up workshop with the pilot test participants was held on November 17-18, 2022.

NCHRP Project 20-44(44) is intended to support the adoption of the design practices guide by AASHTO TCHH to supplement the AASHTO Drainage Manual. The activities envisioned in this implementation project will improve the usefulness and usability of the design practices guidance through astute user feedback. This will further publicize the guide and the good results obtained through these projects.


The objective of this project is to enhance and expand the implementation of the design practices guide, focusing only on inland hydrology/hydraulics, by providing training and disseminating the results to a broad audience of practitioners and decision makers.   


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 research plan shall describe appropriate deliverables that include, but are not limited to, the following tasks.

Task 1. Conduct a survey or scan of states, and develop an overview of the states that have developed and deployed a programmatic approach to the implementation of the design practices guide, the results which would be useful for states to contact their peers for follow up activities, collaboration, etc.

Task 2. Develop training materials on inland hydrology/hydraulics and conduct at least two workshops (with at least one workshop held in person) focused on inland hydrology/hydraulics that’s recorded in an e-learning format that can be hosted by AASHTO, using the Shareable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) standard. 

Task 3. Provide general recommendations or a checklist for DOTs on how to revise or add to their own policies and procedures based on the information developed from this project.

Task 4. Provide a list of other applicable, existing trainings that may be suitable for state DOTs to undertake inland H&H design of transportation infrastructure.

Task 5. Provide recommendations on how to ensure maintenance and viability of the materials developed in Tasks 1 – 4 after support from NCHRP ends at the end of this project.

Task 6. Prepare a conduct of research report that documents the results of the project accompanied by appropriate presentation materials and a plan that identifies opportunities for additional dissemination.


All materials developed for the execution of the above 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.

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. 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 $130,000.

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 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. Contact the responsible staff officer assigned to this project to obtain the panel roster. 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/Cjwl9BukzTX9Gq8axcgf 
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 4/17/2023.

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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