Undergraduate Transportation Research Assistantships Summer 2014

Undergraduate Transportation Research Assistantships Summer 2014

Request for Proposals from UVM Undergraduate Students
Submissions should be made by 5pm on March 24, 2014 to: Glenn McRae (glenn.mcrae@UVM.edu)
The UVM Transportation Research Center is soliciting proposals to support undergraduate researchers working on projects addressing Sustainable Transportation Systems during the 2014 summer term through its University Transportation Center grant. The TRC will support up to 4 Undergraduate Transportation Research Assistants (URAs) with funding of $5000 each (wages and expenses for the student). Some of the award can be requested for supplies, conference fees or travel. Students working with a TRC Faculty Associate will receive preference but any UVM faculty member can advise a student.
Proposals must be submitted by a full time UVM student who will have senior standing in September 2014 and who has an expressed interest in pursuing graduate studies or professional work in the transportation field. The student must have the direct support and supervision of a UVM faculty member who is knowledgeable and qualified to evaluate the proposed research effort.
The proposed research work to be conducted must address Sustainable Transportation Systems specifically under one of the following topic headings:
  • Adaptation to climate change and resiliency
  • Improved tailpipe emissions models for transportation project evaluations
  • Understanding travel behavior, especially in Rural or micropolitan areas including transit
  • Understanding non-motorized travel systems
  • Transportation GHG reduction strategies from land use and demand-side policies
  • Using technology to expand mobility options
  • Transportation workforce for environmental sustainability (delivering future skills, knowledge)
Submission of all materials must be in a single PDF packet submitted by the deadline of 5pm on March 24, 2014. Only full submissions will be considered. A single PDF file containing the following elements must be submitted:
1. Cover Page with:
a. Student name, contact information, degree program and anticipated graduation date
b. Supporting Faculty name, department and contact information
c. Title of research
d. A one paragraph synopsis of the research problem or question that the student will be engaged in addressing. Specifically state how this addresses the research priorities noted above.
2. A one page work plan for the period May, 19-August 22, 2014 that will guide the student’s research activities and where appropriate indicate how it links to their program of study. Make note of the approximate number of research hours and how the researcher expects to distributes them across the period of research. Note specific benchmarks and desired outcome of the research.
3. A statement (up to 2 pages) by the student specifying their interest, qualifications and ability to address the research proposed and their interest in furthering their work through future graduate studies and professional aspirations.
4. The student’s current resume (make note of current GPA).
5. An endorsement of the research plan and student by a UVM Faculty member, stating how they know the student, how qualified the student is to carry out the work, why the research is important, and how they might support and help evaluate the work of the student.
Submissions should be made by 5pm on March 24, 2014 to: Glenn McRae (glenn.mcrae@UVM.edu)
6. A short itemized budget of up to $5000 to support the student and activities (any expenses or materials must be specifically related to the student’s work and effort (e.g., travel, data, software). The majority of the budget should be used to support the student’s research time. The student will be employed as a Temp Employee at the TRC at a rate of $12/hr for 35 hours per week for up to 12 weeks. If the student’s work is to be combined with other resources, funding or access to equipment they should make note of this in their budget explanation. Conference travel may occur anytime before May 2015.
The TRC will choose up to 4 proposals and notify the student and their faculty sponsor no later than April 9th. Faculty members may endorse more than one student.
Evaluation of Proposals
The TRC will establish a clear and transparent review process for proposals with reviewers chosen from the matrix faculty, TRC staff, Faculty Associates and External Advisors as the Grad Coordinator determines. It reserves the right to approve proposals that best represent a likely portfolio of students that will provide the balance and focus that the TRC is interested in advancing in its educational program at UVM.
  • Proposals must be submitted by the established deadline
  • They will be reviewed for completeness
  • They will be submitted to a TRC review team for scoring based on the criteria in the RFP
  • Final rankings will be established by the TRC Matrix Faculty and Graduate Coordinator based on building a balanced portfolio of students to advance TRC goals.
Proposal Review
  • Research clearly addresses Sustainable Transportation Systems, a priority topic area and the articulation of the research question and approach is clear and well-conceived. Up to 40 points
  • Supports a UVM student with clear skills capable of carrying out the research and who articulates a professed interest in pursuing graduate study in a transportation related field. Up to 40 points
  • Faculty mentor has a demonstrated record of transportation related research as evidenced by journal papers and conference presentations with graduate or undergraduate students (Up to 20 points).
Other Requirements/ Options for Undergraduate Transportation Research Assistants:
  1. Students may be granted office space and general support at the TRC (to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  2. Students must be enrolled as full-time students at UVM and have senior standing in September 2014.
  3. Submit a complete summary of their research results by August 22, 2014.
  4. Participate actively in communicating their experience doing transportation research and the results of the research through the TRC both during and after the summer.
  5. Upon selection students will be required to apply through UVM’s Student Employment Office for the Transportation Research Assistant position. This is for compliance with University policies regarding student employment.
Questions on the process may be directed to Glenn McRae (glenn.mcrae@uvm.edu) 656-1317
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