All of our grant programs are open to eligible prinicipal investigators from our six partner universities at Portland State University, University of Oregon, Oregon Tech, University of Arizona, University of Utah, and University of Texas at Arlington.
With the extension of the FAST Act, the National Institute for Transportation and Communities (NITC) will be receiving one additional year of funding. NITC's Executive Committee has developed four new funding opportunities that build on the excellent work NITC researchers have accomplished and increase the impact we are having nationally on improving mobility to build stronger communities. With this funding, we aim to increase our efforts in integrating racial equity into transportation education and research.
Given that our grant will be ending, these opportunities all emphasize projects that are relatively short in length, rely on existing expertise, and will have specific outputs and outcomes– rather than projects that would be the start of longer-term, multi-phase efforts. We encourage faculty and researchers to review all of the opportunities available and decide which to pursue.
This request for proposals is for projects that translate past NITC research into practice. Through this opportunity, we aim to ensure that NITC research makes the impact on practice that we know it can. The audience for the products of the projects selected for funding will be practitioners. Researchers will build on previous research accomplishments and strengthen partnerships with transportation agencies and community organizations. Examples of possible products include developing a tool (e.g. guidebook, software, spreadsheet), conducting pilot projects with agencies to implement research results, technical assistance or training materials to implement results, or curriculum development based on NITC-funded research (e.g., university level, K-12, or professional development courses). Other ideas are included in the RFP.
We estimate awarding up to $350,000. Individual project requests should range from $25,000 to $75,000. Projects should aim to take about six to nine months. All awards will require a 1:1.2 non-federal match.
As a part of NITC’s commitment to racial equity, we will be funding faculty to develop curriculum resources that integrate racial equity into undergraduate and graduate transportation planning and engineering courses. The modules could involve components such as lecture materials, readings and other resources (e.g. videos, podcasts), case studies, data sets, assignments, and in-class exercises. The aim is to develop materials that could be pilot tested in courses during the 2021-22 academic year. Individual project requests should be no larger than $7,500 in direct costs and are intended to pay for faculty salary. Projects should aim to take about 3 to 6 months.
General Research - An Extension of our Flagship Funding Program
Similar to the past five years, funding will be available for NITC faculty and researchers for research projects consistent with our theme. Because of the total amount of funding available (about $450,000) individual project requests should range from $50,000 to $75,000 and be scoped to be completed within 15 months. All awards will require a 1:1.2 non-federal match. In addition, since this is the last year of NITC funding, PIs are discouraged from proposing the first phase of a multi-phase research effort.
NITC Research Roadmap
Building on a deep body of transportation research developed over the past decade through the NITC consortium, this grant opportunity is designed to further strengthen the relationships between researchers and find new collaborations across the NITC universities. The end goal is to develop research roadmaps that identify key research gaps and can help pave the way for future research collaborations. Teams of NITC researchers from multiple campuses will work together to develop a roadmap on a specific topic that builds on NITC’s past work. The collaborative effort will also involve practitioners who would benefit from new research. Each roadmap will review past research conducted by NITC and other researchers, identify remaining gaps, and discuss what research is necessary to best meet the needs of transportation professionals and policymakers.
Up to six teams will be funded at $50,000 each to develop a roadmap within six to nine months of funding. Each team must include faculty from multiple disciplines and multiple NITC campuses. Matching funds will be provided by NITC universities. Later in May, NITC will start this process by engaging its researchers to refine a list of roadmap topics and identify researchers to lead and participate on different topics. Once the priority list of topics has been identified, the Executive Committee will work with NITC staff to identify multi-campus teams for each topic.
ONGOING GRANT PROGRAMS
We are continuing to fund these grant programs on an ongoing basis.
One of NITC’s objectives is to increase student interest in pursuing transportation degrees that align with transportation and livable communities. This funding is intended to help develop curriculum and other education programs at each partner university that can be replicated at other locations or otherwise enhance transportation education more broadly. Projects are coordinated by each campus Executive Committee representive.
NITC encourages participation of undergraduate students, particularly women and underrepresented groups. We have designated funds to support underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students participating in transportation research. The goal of the program is to expose and encourage women and people of color to transportation research and job training opportunities. PIs can request up to $5,000 for an undergraduate student or $7,500 for a graduate student. Funding occurs on an ongoing basis.
PREVIOUS GRANT PROGRAMS
We are not funding new cycles of these grant programs at this time. However, we still have many active projects underway, supported through these programs.
This specific grant program was intended to help maximize implementation of U.S. DOT’s commitment to livable communities while providing regional and local agencies, such as metropolitan planning organizations, transit agencies, and municipalities, more opportunity to engage in research. NITC solicited research problem statements from interested organizations, then released an RFP to eligible PIs to develop proposals responding to one or more specific research problems identified. Partner organizations matched NITC pooled projects 1:1 with cash match.
The purpose of these awards was to assist researchers interested in transportation but who had not had an opportunity to undertake a small transportation project that fit within NITC's theme.