TRB Projects and Studies
TRB typically has more than 200 active research projects and studies under way at any given time.
The majority of these are contract research projects administered by TRB’s Cooperative Research Programs, which include the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), the Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP), the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP), the National Cooperative Freight Research Program (NCFRP), and the Hazardous Materials Cooperative Research Program (HMCRP). Under all of these programs, TRB organizes panels of experts to provide guidance on technical aspects of the research.
The second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) was established in 2006 as a short-term program of focused research projects designed to increase understanding of the underlying causes of highway crashes and congestion. To carry out that investigation, SHRP 2 manages contract research projects that target goals in four interrelated focus areas—Safety, Renewal, Reliability, and Capacity.
TRB also manages a set of smaller-scale projects that focus on synthesizing current practices in the NCHRP, TCRP, and ACRP programs, as well as a separately administered Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Synthesis Program (CTBSSP). In addition, there are similarly managed programs of small studies focused on analyzing legal issues in the highway, transit, and airport fields.
TRB’s Studies and Special Programs Division conducts policy studies at the request of the U.S. Congress, the executive branch agencies, states, and other sponsors. Policy studies generally examine complex, often controversial, issues of national importance in transportation. Each study is carried out by a specially appointed, independent committee of experts. Studies cover all modes of transportation and a variety of safety, economic, environmental, and research policy issues.
Information on individual Cooperative Research Projects and SHRP 2 projects is available online via TRB’s website. The site includes access to information on current requests for proposals (RFPs) as well as information on potential upcoming projects that have not yet reached the RFP stage. Information on TRB policy studies that are in progress is available on the National Academies’ website.