PacTrans Call for Multi-Institution Project Proposals for FY 2018-2020

Due date: Jan. 19, 2018 for proposal abstracts and Feb. 26, 2018 for full proposals




PacTrans is now soliciting research proposals for multi-institution projects (two or more PacTrans universities) under the theme of “Providing Data-Driven Solutions for the Diverse Mobility Challenges in the Pacific Northwest.”

Each proposal can be for up to $180K of federal funds (with a required 1:1 non-federal match). Specific topic areas are listed as below:

  • Accessibility for All: focuses on new tools and platforms that increase access to transportation information, support new mobility services in both connected and isolated communities, and provide assistive technologies for those with physical or cognitive disabilities.
  • System-wide Efficiency: improves efficiency through technologies to connected users and infrastructure systems, identify travel service gaps, improve multimodal connections, and support system integration and optimization.
  • Improved Reliability across Modes: includes innovative methods for managing parking supply, decision support tools for winter road maintenance, and simulation tools for evaluating system performance under extreme conditions.
  • Data-Driven Solutions in Transportation: a cross-cutting theme, making extensive use of advanced sensing, communications, and data analytics tools in support of our efforts on accessibility, efficiency, and reliability. We anticipate that the developed data-driven solutions will support one or more of the non-exclusive topic areas.

Each proposal must clearly address one or more of the above topic areas. Also, they require meaningful contributions from more than one institution, and a 1:1 non-federal match. Cash match from other funding sources such as state DOTs and local agencies, corporations, and foundations is preferred. At a minimum, your proposal needs to identify the source of your match funds. If you can, it would be ideal to get a signed match letter from your match source. Ultimately we will need signed match letters from all funded PIs before distributing PacTrans funds.

The submission procedure contains two steps, (1) proposal abstract submission by Jan. 19, 2018, and (2) full proposal submission by Feb/ 26, 2018. Those who miss the abstract submission deadline are not allowed to submit full proposals. Proposal abstracts will be used for selecting the most promising proposals and for timely recruiting reviewers. They will be assessed by a panel, consisting of PacTrans Board of Directors and agency/industry experts, on how well the proposed research effort responds to this solicitation. An abstract will receive one of the two recommendations: encouraged to submit a full proposal or not encouraged to submit a full proposal.  PacTrans Board of Directors will share the initial assessment result to the abstract submitters.

Proposal abstracts need to be uploaded onto the PacTrans website by the abstract deadline using the “Multi-Institution Proposal Abstract Submission” page: click here.

Similarly full proposals need to be uploaded by the full proposal deadline, using the “Multi-Institution Full Proposal Submission” page: click here.

More detailed information about the proposal submission process including templates for the project details, text, budget, schedule, and deliverables can be found on the PacTrans proposal submission website. Anticipated period of performance starts from Jun. 30, 2018 approximately.

Submission Guidelines


Proposal abstract should be submitted by the online form or in an Adobe PDF file with the following required information:

  1. Project title
  2. PIs, their affiliations, and contacts
  3. Focus area (one or more of the topic areas listed in this RFP)
  4. Match funds provider(s)
  5. Proposal abstract (350 words maximum)
  6. Research type (applied research vs advanced research)

Full Proposals

Proposal Template <click here>

The full proposal should be NO MORE THAN TEN (10) pages (without references and match letters) and include the following categories:

  1. Project Title
  2. Project Type: USDOT collects statistics on the types of research that PacTrans funds. Most specifically they distinguish between advanced research and applied, or practical research. Your project will not be judged based on its type but please indicate whether your proposal is considered advanced or applied research.
  3. Collaborators and Affiliations: The project needs to identify the PI, lead organization, and collaborating institution(s) and respective co-PI(s). The study for multi-institution projects needs to include at least one additional consortium partner in a meaningful way for projects up to $180K. Please note that ONLY the five primary consortium universities of PacTrans are qualified partners.
  4. Project Goal: Identify the purpose of the project as it relates to the region (benefits to more than one state), the relevancy to the PacTrans theme (see above), and the strategic goal of Mobility.
  5. Relevancy of Institutional Partnerships: Projects should demonstrate the importance of working with more than one institution to address the project goal. That is, what is the ADDED value/benefit from working with another institution that cannot be done solely within one institution?
  6. Research Background and Problem Statement: What problem is being solved and why should anyone care.
  7. Approach: General framework for what you plan to do, approach, methodology, etc.
  8. Research Outcomes and Technology Transfer Plan: Please clearly describe deliverables of the proposed research. Also, consider potential stakeholder and how the results can be implemented. That is, how can the research/technology translate to innovative mobility options, policies, education, road improvements, crash countermeasures, etc. To facilitate technology transfer, at least one deliverable should be designed for technology transfer. It could be a video, website, or a presentation file. Technical report cannot serve for this purpose.
  9. Amount of UTC Funds Requested: A maximum of $180K is available for each project. IDENTIFY THE AMOUNT to be allocated to each institution.
  10. Non-federal Match: Justification for and commitment of the match is required. This can include a formal letter from the state agency, your university, or other non-federal source that shows the interest to commit the match, the amount, and type of match (in-kind or cash). Also, a contact person for the matching source should be identified in the proposal.
  11. References: The literature cited in the proposal need to be provided.
  12. Resumes: Copy and paste one-page resumes for the project’s Principal Investigators.

Please note that up to ten pages are allowed for categories 1-8 above. Each institution can lead no more than one funded multi-institution research project in each funding cycle. Although there is no limit on how many proposals may be submitted from an institution as the lead or supporting partner, all partners involved in each project must have a meaningful role clearly described in the proposal. Per a new USDOT requirement, data management plan for each funded project is required. PacTrans will require selected proposals to submit a data management plan later. In this stage, no data management plan is needed.

Budget Considerations

Proposal Budget Template <click here>

  • A detailed budget is needed and should clearly identify the source of the 1:1 non-federal matching. The budget should include funds for project reporting and travel to the PacTrans regional conference to present results to the Region 10 community.
  • A signed letter from the non-federal source (or related documentation) will be required for any selected project before funds are distributed.

External Review Process

  • PacTrans will request at least three external peer reviewers for each proposal. The reviewers will have one month to review.
  • Decisions will be made based on external review reports by the PacTrans Board of Directors.
  • Reviewer comments MUST BE sufficiently addressed by the winning PIs before funding can be allocated.

Due dates

  • Submission deadline for the proposal abstracts: Jan. 19, 2018
  • Initial feedback to abstract proposers: Jan. 30, 2018
  • Submission deadline for the full project proposals: Feb. 26, 2018
  • Decisions to proposers: April 2, 2018
  • Revised proposal with comments properly addressed by bidders for final acceptance: April 9, 2018
  • Final decision notification: April 23, 2018

Anticipated period of performance: up to two (2) years from contract start date (appx start: June 30, 2018)

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact the Region 10 Associate Director for your respective campus or PacTrans staff:

Dr. Jeff Ban, Associate Director in Research, University of Washington

Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Rahim, University of Idaho

Dr. David Hurwitz, Oregon State University.

Dr. Eric Jessup, Washington State University

Mr. Billy Connor, University of Alaska system (including Fairbanks, Anchorage and Southeast)