PacTrans Call for Small Project Proposals for FY 2024-2026 ***UW ONLY***

*All other consortium partner PIs consult with your respective university’s associate director for your small project proposal process.

Due date: February 12, 2024 for proposal abstracts and April 12, 2024 for full proposals

                   

PacTrans small research projects can be funded for up to $75K of federal funds, require a 1:1 non-federal match, and will be solicited based on the PacTrans theme of “developing human-centered and transformative multimodal mobility solutions for an equitable Pacific Northwest.”

There is $150K total per institution to be divided among the projects. Specific topic areas (themes) for this solicitation are as follows:

  • Equity and Accessibility: understand major factors that limit access to efficient and affordable transportation options, and design innovative methods and tools that empower equitable mobility and better access to jobs, Medicare, and other economic/social opportunities.
  • Multimodal Systems and Connectivity: leverage new technology-based companies, the collective expertise of the consortium, and incentive programs supported by local agencies, to remove barriers for multimodal integration and to ensure a resilient, reliable, and sustainable supply chain for optimal movements of goods and people.
  • Safety, Resilience and Reliability: develop approaches that work toward a long-term USDOT goal of vision zero and new strategies for safe/efficient evacuations, reliable travels of people and goods, and for fast and resilient recoveries from major disruptions in both urban and rural contexts, for both passenger and freight movements.
  • Human-System Integration: identify the factors that limit or facilitate system interactions with humans and foster infrastructure-vehicle cooperation technologies and research, including infrastructure/vehicle sensing and data collection, cooperative and infrastructure-enabled traffic-vehicle control, and related issues such as cybersecurity (of both vehicles and the infrastructure) and privacy protection.
  • Transformative Solutions: a cross-cutting theme to develop flexible and adaptive solutions to anticipate and respond to changing opportunities and challenges in future transportation. Such solutions include new technologies and tools, modeling methods, policies and standards, and best practices that will transform transportation practice and policy.

Each proposal must clearly address one of the above topic areas. Also, they require 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 likely source(s) of your match funds. 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 February 12, 2024, and (2) full proposal submission by April 12, 2024. Those who miss the abstract submission deadline are not allowed to submit full proposals. PacTrans Board of Directors will share the initial assessment result with the abstract submitters and leave the decision to them on whether to proceed with a full proposal submission. All proposal abstracts and full proposals must be submitted before the specific deadlines to be considered.

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

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

More detailed information about conducting PacTrans-funded research can be found in our PI Handbook. The anticipated period of performance starts from August 16, 2024 approximately.

 

Submission Guidelines

Abstracts

Proposal abstract should be submitted in one page Adobe PDF file consisting of key contents below:

  1. Project title
  2. PIs, their affiliations, and contacts
  3. Focus area (one or more of the topic areas listed in this RFP)
  4. Possible/Likely 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 SIX (6) pages (without references, resumes, similar work disclosure, and match letters) and should 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 and any respective co-PI(s).
  4. Project Goal: Identify the purpose of the project as it relates to the region (benefits to more than one state), the relevance to the PacTrans theme (see above), and the strategic goal of Mobility.
  5. Research Background and Problem Statement: What problem is being solved and why should anyone care?
  6. Approach: General framework for what you plan to do, approach, methodology, etc. This also includes the task list table included in the proposal template.
  7. Technology Transfer Plan: Outputs, Outcomes, and Impacts: USDOT is becoming increasingly interested in Technology Transfer, which they break down into three parts: outputs, outcomes, and impacts. (For more on these parts see the recent USDOT T2 Primer here: https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/12262). Please clearly describe all of your intended outcomes and outputs, as well as the probable impacts of your work.
  8. Amount of UTC Funds Requested and Budget Justification: A maximum of $75K is available for each project. Make sure to populate the summary budget table in the proposal template.
  9. 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. However, to minimize the amount of match letter asks we do of our external partners, we do not require you to provide match letters during the proposal phase but only after your project is selected (it is optional). We do however highly encourage you to be in conversations with potential match partners and make those conversations known in this section.
  10. Similar Work Disclosure: PacTrans needs to ensure that work proposed for our funding is not overly similar to work already funded elsewhere. Please briefly describe any similar work currently funded through other sources that is closely related to the work proposed here and, more specifically, highlight the differences between the two scopes. PacTrans may request a copy of the most closely related proposal or project report for evaluation purposes.
  11. References: The literature cited in the proposal needs to be provided.
  12. Resumes: Copy and paste one-page resumes for the project’s Principal Investigators.

Please note that up to six (6) pages are allowed for categories 1-10. Per 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.

 

External Review Process

  • PacTrans will request three external peer reviewers for each proposal. The reviewers will have one month to review. To view the external peer review form, please click here.
  • Decisions will be made by the PacTrans Board of Directors based on those external reviews.
  • Reviewer comments MUST BE sufficiently addressed by the winning PIs before funding can be allocated.

 

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 attendance at the PacTrans regional conference to present results to the Region 10 community. Please upload as an excel spreadsheet.
  • A signed letter from the non-federal source (or related documentation) will be required for any selected project before funds are distributed.

 

Due dates

  • Submission deadline for the proposal abstracts: February 12, 2024
  • Initial feedback to abstract proposers: February 26, 2024
  • Submission deadline for the full project proposals: April 12, 2024
  • Decisions to proposers: May 13, 2024
  • Revised proposal with comments properly addressed by bidders for final acceptance: June 3, 2024

 

Questions

If you have any questions please do not 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. Jennifer Dill, Portland State University

Dr. Xianming Shi, Washington State University

Dr. Osama Abaza, University of Alaska system (including Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Southeast)