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Public Roads Magazine

2025 Public Roads Student Writing Competition

Public Roads is pleased to announce its second annual Student Writing Competition! High school, undergraduate, and graduate students located in the United States focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics-related disciplines are encouraged to participate. This competition encourages students to apply their writing skills and acumen in the field of transportation, including safety, economic strength and global competitiveness, equity, transformation, and organizational excellence. The articles will be judged by Federal Highway Administration staff who are dedicated to strengthening a world-class highway system that promotes safety, mobility, economic growth, and enhanced quality of life for all Americans.

This opportunity gives students a chance to be reviewed by FHWA leadership and subject matter experts. Public Roads will award up to three articles in each student category to be published in its Winter 2025 issue. This issue will debut at the 2025 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Selected student authors will be notified of their article acceptance by email in December 2024.

Interested students should review the deadline calendar and read the guidelines carefully before submitting their applications.  

Download the guidelines (link to PDF)
Download the application (link to PDF)

Deadline Calendar:

  • Date the competition opens: March 1, 2024.
  • Date applications are due: 11:59 p.m. (EST) on April 1, 2024.
  • Date articles are due: 11:59 p.m. (EST) on May 1, 2024.
  • Date applicants are notified: December 2024.

Applications, questions, and final entries should be submitted to

Applications and drafts will not be accepted after the April 1 and May 1 deadlines, respectively.


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Established in 1918, Public Roads is the premier quarterly magazine of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Each issue covers the latest in highway research and development, innovation and technology, and program advancements that benefit the Nation and create safer, more resilient roadways and structures.

Public Roads emphasizes the continuing commitment of FHWA to be an international leader in promoting highway research and technology transfer for transportation professionals across the Nation and around the world. The more than 100-year-old magazine explores advances and innovations in highway, traffic, and bridge research and technology; critical national transportation issues; program advancement and achievements of FHWA and others in the highway community; and timely subjects of interest to industry professionals.

For almost 80 years, Public Roads was exclusively an in-house research journal for engineers, scientists, and economists. However, in the summer of 1993, Public Roads broadened its scope to represent all areas of FHWA while offering articles that appealed to a wider audience. The expanded audience now includes international, national, State, local, and Tribal transportation officials; members of highway-related professional societies and associations; researchers at technical libraries and technology transfer centers; professors and students of engineering and traffic management; members of pertinent congressional committees; and others interested in highway research and technology and FHWA policies and programs.


Last updated: Monday, March 18, 2024