V-TRC June 2016 Update

UPDATE (June 2016)

VTrans, through their internal prioritization process, has funded its FY17 VTRC research program.  In addition to an ongoing assessment of the research effort by the UVM TRC, two new projects were advanced to being this fall.   UVM researchers Carol Vallett and Jennifer Jewiss will advance a study at VTrans Assessing VTrans employee retention:  who stays, who leaves and what to do about it.  Professors Huston, Dewoolkar and Xia from the UVM School of Engineering will advance a research effort for Monitoring Condition of Structural Elements during Accelerated Bridge Construction.

This spring VTrans engaged a peer review process to gather input on their Research program for other state DOTs, and initiated a strategic planning process to examine the strengths and weaknesses of their research program and provide guidance on how to increase the effectiveness of the program in the future, including the VTRC partnership.  We anticipate an update in July and determination on new VTRC research proposal opportunities at that time.

V-TRC (Vermont Transportation Research Collaborative) FY16

Request for proposals for V-TRC (proposals due September 11)

Budget worksheet for proposals for V-TRC (proposals due September 11)

Problem Statements Submitted July 7, 2015

Reviewer’s Guide to Problem Statement Evaluation

V-TRC is a new collaboration between the UVM Transportation Research Center (TRC) and the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans).  This replaces the process previously known as the RAC, and will test a new annual process of prioritizing research efforts and funding that will most efficiently support VTrans’ Mission.  The process, initiated in June, leads to submission of formal research task proposals (September 15, 2015), the selection and compilation of a final research agenda (January 31, 2016), and implementation of a new research effort lead by the TRC in June 2016.  Approximately $300,000 is available from VTrans for this research effort.

The first step is a series of 3 Focus Groups based on VTrans’ Five Strategic goals to surface research themes and ideas and to provide an opportunity for UVM researchers and VTrans staff (and invited members from other state agencies) to participate in joint engaged conversations in June to develop specific research tasks. VTrans has invited personnel from other state agencies to participate in the focus groups to develop research tasks and partnership opportunities.

Emerging from the focus groups is an opportunity to compose specific problem statements that will be subject to a prioritization process at VTrans to identify the key issues around which a call for research tasks will be developed.

Major Milestones after Focus Group Meetings

JULY 7, 2015 – Formal Problem Statement Due (VTrans employees, UVM researchers and faculty, other state agencies can all participate).

JULY – Internal VTrans review and prioritization of problem statements; VTrans selection of those to move forward to inform a request for proposals by VTrans.

AUGUST 11, 2015 – TRC releases a call for work plans, led by UVM researchers in partnership with VTrans (and other state agency) personnel addressing the prioritized problem statements that emerged. All work plans must incorporate direct input from VTrans personnel.

SEPTEMBER 11, 2015 – Research work plans are due to the TRC. Work plans submitted for external peer review.

NOVEMBER 1, 2015 – Reviews provided to PIs to consider revisions or responses to be submitted to VTrans November 20th.

JANUARY 2016 – V-TRC annual meeting at VTrans; researchers are invited to present work plans and discuss outcomes.

– VTrans internal review and ranking of proposals; selection of final projects to be advanced for funding.

– TRC compiles final research agenda based on internal VTrans prioritization process and presents final composite research plan. VTrans approves final plan and awards TRC a Federal Aid Program to implement the research agenda with task start dates from June 1 – October 1, 2016. Research projects undertaken by PIs will have a 2-3 year timeframe.



For more information:

Joe Segale, VTrans Policy, Planning, and Research Bureau Director802-477-2365, joe.segale@state.vt.us
Glenn McRae, UVM Transportation Research Center Associate Director802-656-1317, glenn.mcrae@uvm.edu

2015 Research Brainstorming Notes:

Goal 1

Goal 2

Goal 3

Goal 4

Goal 5


Vtrans and state agency personnel attending research brainstorming meetings


Problem Statement Submittal Form (Deadline July 7)

V-TRC web page (1)


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