Research

The universities in the PacTrans consortium have invested heavily in safety and environmental sustainability research to address transportation issues in the region and nationally. We have several sought-after data sources accumulated over many years of research that accounts for the users, vehicles, system network, roadway, and environment. We have many researchers across the five universities that are experts in all five of the Strategic Goals highlighted by the US DOT (safety, sustainability, state of good repair, livable communities, and economic competitiveness) whose expertise can complement the PacTrans objectives of safety and sustainability. Our universities also have a significant presence with research labs. Click here to learn more about partner research labs at our consortium universities.

 

resea1

 

Funding Arrangement

PacTrans receives its funding from the USDOT to operate as a University Transportation Center (UTC). As our About page [insert internal link to our about landing page] discusses, our initial center received a total $6.9M to disseminate for research over over its four-year lifespan and our second center received $7.66M to disseminate for research over its four-year lifespan. As such, every UTC is required to match funding on a 1:1 basis. This means that for every dollar given by PacTrans to a principal investigator for research, another dollar must be given from another entity. PacTrans is required to provide documentation to RITA for dollars matched. Therefore, all PacTrans research projects are required to have matching on a 1:1 basis.

For more information, please read the PACTRANS COST SHARE EXPLANATION

 

Types of Research

Pactrans engages in two types of research projects: what we call “Small Projects,” and “Multi-Institutional Project.” The small projects are designed to help foster pilot projects within each consortium university. The large sized projects (or Multi-Institutional Projects) are designed to include one or more partner institutions. The basics differences between the two types of projects are outlined in the table below.

resea2b

Two final important differences between the two types of research are as follows:

  1. With Multi-Institutional Projects, each institution can lead no more than one research project, while with Small Projects, each institution can lead as many as they are selected to receive funding for; and

  2. With Multi-Institutional Projects, the applicant must justify the project’s relevance or value/benefit from working with another institution that cannot be done solely within one institution.

 

Success Stories

While research is not an end unto itself; and its ultimate purpose is to improve the state of practice, not all research results in practical findings. When a project’s results do merit dissemination to the classroom, policy makers, practitioners, etc. it is vital that that last step be taken. Otherwise, the system breaks down and the research runs the risk of being just another report gathering dust on a shelf while important information exists inside that has the potential to improve our world.

Thus PacTrans actively participates in a process with all of its funded research of finding “Success Stories.” Success Stories are just that, research that merits the added funding and effort to make sure that the findings and conclusions of the project are disseminated to the appropriate entities. This is done through a process called Technology Transfer. For more on tech transfer please refer to this page.

 

Research Contents

Requests for Proposal (RFP) and Calls for Success Stories – When the time comes, PacTrans uses these subsections to house forms and procedures for applying for PacTrans funding. Once each fiscal year you can expects to see requests for proposal for multi-institution projects, requests for proposal for small projects, and requests for success stories that will receive funding for technology transfer.

Reporting – This subsection provides links to all pertinent forms and other sources of information regarding research and commitments. It also clearly outlines the dates that each project commitment is due.

Multi-Institutional Projects – Here is a database of both PacTrans funded, completed multi-institutional projects (2012-2013 and 2013-2014) and ongoing multi-institutional projects (2014-2015 and 2015-2016). Titles, principal investigators, abstracts, research timeframes, and application materials can be found within. Links to final reports will be provided as projects are completed.

Small Projects – Here is a database of both PacTrans funded, completed small projects (2012-2013 and 2013-2014) and ongoing small projects (2014-2015 and 2015-2016). Titles, principal investigators, abstracts, research timeframes, and application materials can be found within. Links to final reports will be provided as projects are completed.

Multi-Institution and Small Project Uploads - When the time comes, PacTrans uses these subsections to allow researchers to upload finished projects directly to us via the website.