The National Academies

NCHRP 20-130 [RFP]

Incorporating Human Factors Guidelines into Transportation Projects, Programs, and Practices

Posted Date: 12/26/2023

  Project Data
Funds: $450,000
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: 7/1/2024 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Dr. Yi Zhao
   Phone: 2023342967
   Email: yzhao@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 2/16/2024
Fiscal Year: 2024


The Human Factors Guidelines (HFG) for road systems serves as a reference to assist practitioners in safety, operations, and design. The HFG aims to develop a greater understanding of road users’ capabilities and limitations and how these issues could be incorporated into transportation agencies' decision-making processes. A fourth edition of the HFG is currently under development as part of the NCHRP Project 22-46. This edition seeks to document the best available human factors and road user interactions research and practices in road safety analyses and design to optimize data-driven safety analysis and decision-making.

Although significant efforts have been made to develop the HFG and support its use, many practitioners are not familiar with the guidelines, and even fewer utilize them. As the transportation community continues to work toward zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries, it is necessary to promote widespread use of the HFG so that a data-driven approach on how road users interact with the roadway environment contributes to traffic safety efforts that are underway. Furthermore, it is important to acknowledge that within the Safe System Approach (SSA), there is a need to create self-enforcing/self-explaining roads. Achieving this will require the integration of vital human factor knowledge into design and operational systems to support the SSA.

Research is needed to develop an implementation plan to enhance awareness, promote the use of available resources for implementation, and identify additional needs for the successful deployment of the HFG.


The objective of this research is to develop an implementation plan to help incorporate the use of HFG into state departments of transportation’s (DOTs) decision-making process, and support expanding and integrating human factors more thoroughly into transportation projects, programs, and practices.

The implementation plan comprises two components:

  • An application handbook, which is designed for state DOT staff, focusing on the integration of the HFG into their day-to-day responsibilities. The document shall include references, real-world case studies, and additional material providing resource needs, benefits, challenges, and other factors to consider when implementing the HFG.
  • A communication, outreach, and marketing plan, which is designed for state DOT subject matter experts to articulate and promote the benefits of the HFG to potential audiences including peers, upper management, other stakeholders, and the general public.

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 — Planning

Task 1. Conduct a comprehensive literature review to determine the use of the HFG within transportation projects, programs, and practices at international, national, state, and local levels. The review shall include published and unpublished research conducted through the NCHRP; the Federal Highway Administration; other national, state, and local agencies; and international organizations.

Task 2. Based on the results from Task 1, identify HFG's stakeholders and target audience.

Task 3a. Research the existing implementation, experiences, and/or gaps in adoptions of the HFG among the stakeholders identified in Task 2. This would include lessons learned and communications activities related to other safety or transportation tools or programs, e.g., SSA, Complete Streets, and data-driven safety analysis. Investigate the NCHRP Active Implementation approach and frameworks to support implementation (see Special Note J).

Task 3b. Request feedback from stakeholders on how to successfully incorporate the HFG into transportation projects, programs, and practices.

Task 4. Synthesize the results of Tasks 1 and 3 to identify resources (e.g., presentations, stand-alone multimedia interactive tools) to support the use of HFG in transportation programs and the knowledge gaps related to the project objective. These gaps shall be addressed in the final product or the recommended future research as budget permits.

Task 5. Develop an annotated outline for the implementation plan to accomplish the research objective.

Task 6. Prepare Interim Report No.1 that documents Tasks 1 through 5 and provides an updated work plan for the remainder of the research. The updated work plan must describe the tasks and rationale for the work proposed for Phase II.

Note: Following a 1-month review of Interim Report No.1 by the NCHRP, the research team will be required to meet virtually with the NCHRP project panel to discuss the interim report. This report shall be prepared no later than 6 months after the project initiation. Work on Phase II of the project will not begin until authorized by the NCHRP.

The Phase I budget shall be limited to $100,000.

PHASE II — Execution

Task 7. Develop resources to support the use of HFG in transportation programs, such as SSA, Complete Streets, and data-driven safety analysis by transportation agency staff per the approved Interim Report No. 1.

Task 8. Prepare the draft implementation plan. The plan may also include a roadmap and other supplemental implementation materials and activities. The draft implementation plan shall be submitted to the NCHRP 7 months before the contract end date.

Task 9a. Identify at least 15 representatives of state, regional, tribal, and local DOTs and other appropriate practitioners and stakeholders. The final list of representatives will be reviewed and approved by the NCHRP.

Task 9b. Conduct a workshop with the approved representatives and collect feedback on the draft implementation plan. Revise the draft implementation plan taking into account feedback gathered during the workshop.

Note: The costs for the workshop, including invitational travel for at least 15 attendees (not including members of the research team), shall be included in the detailed budget for the research. For the purpose of estimating these costs, assume that the workshop 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.

Task 10. Identify additional resources needed to support HFG implementation to be developed under future efforts based on the findings from Task 9b.

Task 11. Prepare the final deliverables, which at a minimum shall include the following:

  • A research report that documents the entire research effort;
  • An implementation plan that includes an application handbook and a communication, outreach, and marketing plan;
  • Media and communication material (e.g., presentations, 2-page executive level flyer, graphics, graphic interchange format (GIF)s, press releases); and
  • A stand-alone technical memorandum with the additional resources needed to support HFG implementation. 

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 2023. 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/6942. 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. The text of the final deliverable is expected to be publication ready when it is submitted. It is strongly recommended that the research team include the expertise of a technical editor as early in the project timeline as possible. See Appendix F of the Procedural Manual for Contractors Conducting Research in the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Program for technical editing standards expected in final deliverables.

I. 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.

J. Refer to the NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf for additional information on implementing the research products.

K. 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.

L. 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/vmKXCnqREObcoXQUrE5V 
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 2/16/2024.

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 IV 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).

To create a link to this page, use this URL: http://apps.trb.org/cmsfeed/TRBNetProjectDisplay.asp?ProjectID=5535