Small Starts Grants

The Small Starts grant assists researchers (based at NITC partner universities) who are interested in transportation but have not had an opportunity to undertake a small project ($20,000 or less) consistent with NITC's theme of:

Improving the mobility of people and goods to build strong communities.

    Download the RFP: 2019 Small Starts Grant.

    NITC issues the call for proposals for this grant in the late summer of each year. Sign up for our newsletter to receive updates.


      Faculty members and research faculty eligible to serve as Principal Investigators (PIs) at Portland State University, Oregon Institute of Technology, University of Arizona, University of Oregon, University of Texas at Arlington and University of Utah may submit proposals.

      Institutional Letter of Commitment required. See RFP for details.


      • RFP Opens: July 15, 2019
      • Proposal due: September 13, 2019
      • Peer Reviews: Sept-Oct 2019
      • Award Selection: Oct-Nov 2019
      • Projects begin & funds become available: December 1, 2019
      • Progress report due: May 31, 2020
      • Draft Final Report due: Oct 31, 2020
      • Final report due: Nov 30, 2020


      • 1:1 match is required
      • Bi-annual progress reports that highlight the accomplishments and impact of the project
      • A deliverable, such as a final report or comparable product, that summarizes research findings
      • Submission of a data product that accompanies research findings
      • Other requirements as outlined in the PI Handbook and required by NITC's funder

      Items that will not be supported by this initiative:

      • Travel not essential to conducting research or performing project tasks
      • A student-led activity or research
      • Equipment over $5,000
      • Long-term personnel support


        Proposals will be peer reviewed and the peer review scores are used to rank proposals. The NITC Executive Committee selects the final slate of proposals via consensus. We recommend you discuss your project idea with the Executive Comnittee member of your NITC campus prior to submitting your funding request.

        • Examples of research we hope to support:
          • Demonstrate a proof of concept aimed at additional research
          • Activity aimed at assisting local agencies in implementing research results
          • Release time for a faculty member to work on research
          • Preliminary data collection to support research concept

        • Key factors:
          • Clarity and intellectual merit of research focus, project description, and timeline
          • Fit with NITC’s theme of Improving Mobility of People and Goods to Build Strong Communities
          • Probability of success
        • Priority (not exclusively) will be given to:
          • Faculty who have not received a NITC grant in the past
          • Untenured faculty, or 
          • Interdisciplinary projects


          Download the following documents from Application Forms:

          • Small Starts Propoal Form
          • Budget Form 
          • Data Management Guide & Template

            HOW TO APPLY

            Submit your completed proposal form, budget, and data management plan by logging into: Select “Small Starts 2019” grant cycle to submit your funding request.


            This NITC grant is part of the University Transportation Center program, funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and is a partnership between Portland State University (PSU), the Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech), University of Arizona (UA), University of Oregon (UO), University of Utah (UU), and University of Texas at Arlington (UTA).