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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Public Roads - Autumn 2023

Date:
Autumn 2023
Issue No:
Vol. 87 No. 3
Publication Number:
FHWA-HRT-24-001
Table of Contents

What's New

Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program Research Showcase at Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting

by Latoya Jones
Crowd of people sitting around tables in front of a video screen and an elevated stage that has people sitting at a table and a person standing at a lectern on it. Image Source: FHWA.
TRB attendees listen to presentations by fellows during the 2023 DDETFP Research Showcase lectern session.

The Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program (DDETFP) advances the U.S. transportation industry’s workforce by attracting the Nation’s brightest minds, retaining top talent, and encouraging future transportation professionals to seek advanced degrees. Since 1983, the program has awarded more than 4,500 fellowships to students across the United States who are pursuing degrees in a transportation-related discipline while conducting transportation-related research. 

DDETFP is a U.S. Department of Transportation program managed by the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Administration and annually awards approximately 150 to 200 merit-based fellowships. Applications are evaluated and ranked according to technical evaluation criteria listed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) posted to https://www.grants.gov/. The awards range from $1,500 to $35,500, based on ranking and academic level. NOFOs for DDETFP fellowships are typically posted annually on https://www.grants.gov/ in late winter/early spring, and awards are announced in the fall of that fiscal year. DDETFP fellowships are awarded through a competitive selection process, and funding can be used to pay for things like tuition, a stipend, and travel costs to attend the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting.

There are three DDETFP Fellowship categories:

  • Graduate: supports students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in transportation-related disciplines. 
  • Local Competition: provides grants to students pursuing degrees in transportation-related disciplines at an institution of higher education designated as a minority-serving institution or a community college. 
  • Grants for Research: provides grants to students engaged in transportation research, development, and technology transfer activities at USDOT facilities.

During the 102nd TRB Annual Meeting held January 2023 in Washington, DC, fellows in the 2022 cohort participated in the 30th DDETFP Research Showcase. This showcase provided an opportunity for these fellows, 150 of the Nation’s brightest emerging transportation professionals, to present their research, meet and network with other DDETFP fellows and transportation professionals from across the Nation, and take advantage of other TRB meeting sessions and workshops.
 
“The entire experience was ‘eye opening’ to put it all into one phrase. The exposure to different professionals in public and private organizations, spanning the entire country, was a one-of-a-kind educational opportunity. Being invited to participate was an honor, and I appreciate the mentorship I received from past DDETFP scholars,” said Jeremiah Bailey, graduate-level fellow from Texas Southern University. 

Highlighting the research work of the 2022 DDETFP cohort, the 30th DDETFP Research Showcase included three poster sessions during which the fellows shared their studies with TRB meeting attendees. The range of topics presented during the sessions represented the diversity of research that students are conducting across the Nation. Additionally, FHWA’s Office of Administration organized one lectern session during which four graduate-level students presented their research findings to their peers with a question-and-answer session. Topics included individual needs and methodologies for an equitable and accessible transportation system; lawsuits, consent decrees, and ballot measures as tools for transit equity; and a study of transportation education and career readiness. Lastly, as a culmination of the DDETFP Research Showcase, a closing ceremony was held. At the ceremony, fellows heard speeches from senior transportation officials, including FHWA’s Executive Director Gloria Shepherd and TRB’s Executive Director Victoria Sheehan, and the accomplishments of the 2022 DDETFP cohort were recognized. DDETFP partners as well as former USDOT officials and program fellows also helped celebrate the 30th DDETFP Research Showcase. The DDETFP Research Showcase demonstrates the variety of solutions DDETFP fellows have developed to meet the future challenges in the transportation field. 

Eisenhower believed that connecting, respecting, and educating people would lead to a better tomorrow. DDETFP continues to honor his vision and legacy. “The DDETFP is and has been a critical tool for the development of transportation professionals such as myself. If not for acceptance into the DDETFP, attending graduate school would have been very difficult and I may not have achieved the success that I’ve garnered,” said Division Administrator Jermaine Hannon of the FHWA Indiana division office.

Latoya Jones is the program manager responsible for administering the DDETFP in the FHWA Office of Administration. She has a B.S. in social science education and a master’s in urban and regional planning from Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University. 

For more information about the DDETFP, visit https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/careers/ddetfp.cfm or contact Latoya Jones at latoya.jones@dot.gov or 404-562-3587.