Information for Proposers
The Highway (NCHRP), Transit (TCRP), Airport (ACRP), Freight (NCFRP), Hazardous Materials (HMCRP), and Rail (NCRRP) Cooperative Research Programs regularly advertise for competitive proposals by releasing detailed project statements (i.e., requests for proposals) on this website. Those who have an interest in receiving research project statements must periodically browse the Requests for Proposals webpage or register to be notified by email of new project statements as described below.
Because these programs seek practical remedies for operational problems, it is emphasized that proposals should indicate strong capability gained through extensive successful experiences in the relevant problem area. Consequently, any agency interested in submitting a proposal should first make a frank, thorough self-appraisal to determine whether it possesses the capability and experience necessary to ensure successful completion of the project.
The specifications for preparing proposals are quite strict and are set forth in the brochure entitled Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals. Proposals will be rejected if they are not prepared in strict conformance with the section entitled "Instructions for Preparing and Submitting Proposals." Particular issues that are often of concern are further addressed below:
The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the Liability Statement (also available in the notes section of the request for proposals). Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.
As specified in the standard contract language, all data, written materials, computer software, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies.
The contract summary should specify whether the contractor would prefer a cost-reimbursement, cost-plus-fixed-fee, or fixed-price contract. Proposal expressing a preference for a fixed-price contract must still include a detailed budget, as well as a proposed payment schedule based on contract deliverables.
The budget should follow the format described in the brochure.
Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a “federally” Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.
- The National Academies prefer fixed, as opposed to provisional, overhead rates in a contract. The total contract amount is fixed and any modifications to overhead rates during the course of the contract will force adjustments to direct cost items so that the total amount is not exceeded.
- Preliminary descriptions of the expected trips should be included for any budget that includes travel costs.
- Fixed fees may not exceed 7% of contract costs, exclusive of any prime or sub-contract fixed fees.
Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Plan
The proposer’s plan for involvement of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE) is a factor in selection of the contractor, and the contractor’s adherence to its DBE plan will be monitored during the contract period. Contractors are required to submit periodic reports comparing actual with proposed payments to DBEs.
NCHRP Active Implementation (NCHRP only)
The NCHRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of NCHRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state DOTs and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Implementation Needs”, must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project. The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice.
Materials Required from the Selected Proposer
The proposer selected to carry out the project will be asked for several items:
TRB does not identify the selected proposer until a contract is signed and requests that that information be kept confidential.
- Completed representations and certification form (the form will be included with the correspondence),
- Approved indirect cost rate agreement (or materials suitable for justifying the proposed indirect cost rates),
- Travel policy statement or provisions, and
- Salary and wage schedule.
Notification of New Requests for Proposals
To sign up for any CRP Announce listserv, please send an email to LISTSERV@LSW.NAS.EDU from the email address you would like to receive the announcements with one or more of the following lines as the body of the email depending on which list or lists you would like to join (please note that the NCHRP list may also receive SHRP2 RFP notifications):
You may send multiple commands in a single email. To stop receiving emails, substitute "UNSUBSCRIBE" for "SUBSCRIBE." If you need help subscribing to or unsubscribing from the listserv, contact Joseph Snell at 202-334-3502 or email@example.com.