Research - Submission & Approval Process

Research Proposal Cover Sheet

Research Proposal Review Sheet


Research will be selected based on whether the proposed work supports the CSU-UTC program goals, and if it is consistent with the theme of Highway Work Zone Safety and Efficiency. In regards to the selection criteria, research projects must as a minimum:

  • be responsive to national transportation strategies/priorities;
  • demonstrate a level and certainty of matching support from non-federal sources;
  • have objectives that advance the state of knowledge and practice in transportation; and
  • have a quality research team as determined by the research committee.


In addition, research proposals that:

  • are responsive to the critical needs, challenges, and opportunities in our region;
  • to some extent involve academic, government and/or industrial partners other than the principle investigator’s colleagues at his/her institution; and
  • have some type of linkage of the research team to education and/or technology transfer projects/objectives of the UTC

will receive preferential consideration.

To ensure that the Center will be able to make substantive contributions, it is essential that projects are multi-disciplinary, with an attempt to collaborate with non-university partners and involve things such as the following:

  • the use of labs, products and equipment,
  • employment of students and faculty,
  • the applicability of research to educational programs, and
  • a clear financial contribution of projects.

The involvement of non-university partners will tend to support the achievement of the required one-to-one matching of federal monies, which, in itself represents a significant constraint as well as an opportunity.


The Research Selection Program will include input from members of the Research Committee, which is a sub-committee of the Advisory Board. The Research Committee will be composed of three to five individuals with knowledge and expertise in the transportation, work zone safety, and human factors areas. The Center Director and Associate Directors will be given voting status on the Research Committee. The individual members of the Research Committee may or may not be the same as the Advisory Board. The intent is that the Research Committee must have the technical expertise to judge the merits of the white papers as well as proposals, and/or be able to identify appropriate peers for external reviews.

Two-page white papers, accompanied by a completed Research Proposal Cover Sheet, will be accepted from faculty and reviewed by the Research Committee members. The Research Committee will select those proposals that are most consonant with the Center's themes and goals and request detailed proposals from the Principal Investigator(s). The Research Committee will forward these to at least one technical reviewer. All reviewers must be recognized in the discipline area represented by the white paper. External reviews will be conducted based on whether a proposal meets the minimum set of criteria stipulated above and will use the Research Proposal Review Sheet to guide their evaluations.

Proposals will be returned to the PI with the reviewers’ comments and recommendations. The PI may then address any deficiencies and resubmit the proposal. The Research Committee will rank all peer-reviewed proposals based on their level of consonance with the Center’s research priorities. The Center Director will then either accept or reject a proposal based on the Research Committee’s ranking and the available funding.