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Opportunities to Get Involved

There are many opportunities to get involved in the process of developing highway research and deploying technologies and innovations. See the following opportunities:

Research Opportunities

Who/Opportunity Description

Businesses Researchers Transportation Officials

Advanced Research Partnerships and Broad Agency Announcements and Other Contract Opportunities

As part of the Exploratory Advanced Research program, the Federal Highway Administration issues Broad Agency Announcements soliciting proposals for high-risk, high-payoff research and innovations to help solve critical highway challenges. For details, go to the Exploratory Advanced Research Web page. For other research contract opportunities, go to Federal Opportunities.

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International Activities

Through its Office of International Programs (OIP), FHWA works to improve the technological and institutional base of highway transportation system performance and program delivery in the United States and abroad. OIP's programs and activities include:

Researchers Transportation Officials

Peer Exchange

Under 23 CFR, Section 420.207(b), State R&T programs are required to use peer exchange—a practical and effective tool to foster excellence in R&T program management. Peer exchange provides an opportunity for participants to share best practices and management innovations through an open exchange of ideas, knowledge, and brainstorming. During a 2- to 4-day process, staff and management from a specific State R&T program work with a group of invited top-level State and Federal managers to exchange information particularly relevant to that R&T program. For additional information on conducting peer reviews, read FHWA's Peer Exchange Policy for State Planning and Research and State Planning and Research Guide For Peer Exchanges. Also useful for State departments of transportation is the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, NCHRP 20-111(G) Best Practices for State DOT Peer Exchanges for additional information.

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Research, Technology, and Education Partnerships

The highway community has numerous opportunities for formal and informal partnerships. For stakeholders, researchers, consultants, small businesses, and technologists seeking to become directly involved in highway research and technology deployment, please review the diverse opportunities identified in the partnerships section of the website.

Transportation Officials Researchers

Scientific Peer Review

Get involved through participation in the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) scientific peer review process that has been developed in response to the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB), "Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review." (December 16, 2004).
This bulletin has established government-wide guidance aimed at enhancing the practice of peer review of government-endorsed scientific information. Influential or highly influential scientific information pertaining to highway research and technology transfer will be peer reviewed. Selected peer review also may include a public involvement component. FHWA intends to use USDOT's Docket Management System to manage peer reviews and public involvement in the peer review process.


Small Business Innovation Research

The U.S. Congress established the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program to stimulate technological innovation, utilize small business to meet federal research and development needs, encourage participation by minority and disadvantaged businesses in technological innovation, and increase private sector commercialization of innovations derived from Federal R&D.

Businesses Researchers Transportation Officials

Transportation Pooled Fund

The Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF) Program allows State departments of transportation (DOTs) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to leverage resources, avoid duplication of effort, and collaborate on planning and research projects of mutual interest. A federal, state, regional, or local transportation agency may initiate pooled fund studies. Private companies, foundations, and colleges/universities may partner with any or all of the sponsoring agencies to conduct pooled fund projects.

Researchers Transportation Officials

Turner–Fairbank Highway Research Center Laboratory Assessments

The laboratory assessment process is designed to enhance laboratory performance and quality by providing feedback to laboratory managers and staff regarding their work. It provides a credible, professional, and objective assessment that further improves stakeholder confidence in the value of the work performed and outcomes produced. It also serves as an opportunity for technical experts, customers, and stakeholders to exchange views on a regular basis with Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) staff. While assessments focus primarily on the conduct of research, they also examine whether the researchers have achieved stated objectives.