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Resources for Problem Statement Submitters

Research projects start with the identification of a specific problem affecting Oregon's transportation system. Projects are selected using a two-stage competitive process designed to select the projects that are most likely to positively impact safety, access and mobility, durability and service live, the environment, and/or lead to cost savings and cost avoidance.  A Stage 1 problem statement form is used to submit research project ideas. 


Information About Project Selection



Writing a Successful Problem Statement

Because the research budget is limited relatively few of the problem statements submitted will receive funding to become research projects. Developing a problem statement that is well written and contains all the requested information will help improve the chances of it being selected.
The following section includes tips for writing a successful problem statement. There is no guarantee that the problem statement you submit will be selected but following these tips may improve its chances.
Tips and Recommendations
In your development of a problem statement, the Research Section highly encourages that do the following:
Work with a Research Section Staff Member Research Coordinators will assist you in the preparation of a problem statement. Please contact Linda Perkins at Linda.Perkins@odot.state.or.us with your contact information and a brief description of the research topic.
Start Early – problem statements that are well thought-out and put together have a better chance of being selected.
Review Research’s Strategic Priorities – for each general topic of research, such as planning or traffic safety, annual research priorities are set (http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TP_RES/ResPriorities.shtml). Reviewing these is a good way to generally determine how your idea aligns with current priorities.
Collaborate – discuss your research idea with colleagues who have experienced similar issues or who might be involved in implementing the research findings. Work together on the problem statement.
Search the Internet for Relevant Resources – a quick search on the internet will likely yield some relevant information on your research topic and help to strengthen your problem statement:

Name Link
ODOT Research Section Publications http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TP_RES/ResearchReports.shtml
Transportation Research Search (TRiS) http://ntlsearch.bts.gov/tris/searchinput.do 
TRIS is an online database of transportation research reports, books, conference proceedings and journal articles. Users may search the database by subject, keyword, author, title, etc. The search results include a list of publications sorted by year or relevance. The title of each publication is linked to additional information, including an abstract and a link to the document (if available). 
Research In Progress (RIP) http://rip.trb.org/search/advanced_search.asp
RIP is an online database of ongoing research projects. The database includes descriptions of the projects as well as the project start and end date, and the contact information of people involved.  
ODOT Library

Website: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TD/TP_RES/Pages/ODOT-Library.aspx 

Online catalog:

ODOT Specifications http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/SPECS/index.shtml
Other Tips - Watch a webinar from the Transportation Research Board (TRB), "How to Write an Effective Research Statement Video" or read excerpts from the Transportation Research Board's (TRB), Conduct of Research Committee publication, "How to Write an Effective Research Statement."
Discuss the Project with the Person who has the Authority to Implement the Results - ODOT’s research program is designed to find solutions to real transportation problems.  It is expected that the results of a research project will be used.  Gain the support of the person who has the authority to implement the results by discussing the project with them. 
Consider Risk– while a discussion of risk is not required for the Stage 1 problem statement, risk is an important criteria used in the final selection process. Consider risk when describing your research idea.

FY 2016 Research Project Selection Timeline
October 1, 2015
Open solicitation for Stage 1 problem statements
November 15, 2015
Stage 1 Problem Statements due
December 2015
Stage 1 problem statements reviewed and selected by Expert Task Groups (ETGs) note: selection results will be provided on this web site
January 2016 Stage 2 problem statements developed
February 2016
Research Advisory Committee (RAC) identifies projects to be funded (depends on available funding)
July 2016
Research projects may begin

Problem Statement Forms
Problem Statement Form 
Completed problem statement forms should be submitted electronically to the ODOT Research at odotnewresearch@odot.state.or.us or faxed to the Research office at (503) 986-2844.