Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

Information for Submitters
In the past some misunderstandings have arisen with regard to intellectual property issues concerning research problem statements. This document is provided to clarify our expectations regarding research problem statements provided to ODOT in response to our annual solicitation process. 

The annual solicitation is simply an open request to identify researchable problems in transportation. Problem statements come to us primarily from ODOT employees. We have opened the solicitation to a broader group because of the quality of research ideas that can originate from sources outside ODOT. Our intent is and always has been that problem statements are submitted with no conditions. This process is patterned after the National Cooperative Highway Research Program solicitation. 

On a few occasions sponsors have expected their problem statements to be treated as grant applications or contract proposals, assuming that selection of the problem statement by ODOT will result in hiring the sponsor to perform the research. This is not and never has been our intent. 

In practice, when problem statements originate outside ODOT, and the sponsor expresses an interest in performing the work, we sometimes contract with that person for the work. Persons submitting these problem statements typically have a keen interest and well-developed expertise in that topic. As a result, problem statement submitters are often highly qualified and motivated to perform the research. However, selection of a principal investigator is never automatic.

If you intend to submit a problem statement, please consider the following conditions.

1. When a research problem statement is selected and is funded, selection of a principal investigator is an open question. As a first step, an ODOT Research Coordinator is assigned to manage the project. Second, a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is appointed to help provide technical guidance and oversight on the project. Within the scope of budget considerations and state contracting rules, the Research Coordinator and the TAC are responsible for selecting a principal investigator and, if necessary, developing a contract. Whenever a project sponsor is interested in contracting for work related to the project, that individual or organization will be considered, but will not necessarily be awarded a contract. 

2. In no case can a contract be awarded to a private individual or firm without going through an open, competitive (RFP/RFQ) selection process. 

3. Individuals who submit problem statements but do not participate as paid investigators have the option to explore voluntary participation in the research by lending their expertise as a member of the Technical Advisory Committee. 

If you are not willing to accept these conditions please do not submit a problem statement.