Research Center

Research

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of projects are managed by the Research Center?

Projects focus on research that can be applied directly to improve ADOT processes and products. Research projects address the full range of topics of interest to the department. 

What is the best way to suggest an idea for a research project?

The process begins with the clear identification of a need, problem, or question related to ADOT’s processes or products. Any transportation stakeholder may suggest an idea for a research study at any time by contacting Research Center manager Dianne Kresich at dkresich@azdot.gov or 602.712.3134. The manager will assign a project manager to work with stakeholders, develop a research problem statement, and help to identify an appropriate sponsor and champion.

What is the role of the project sponsor and the project champion?

The goal of every research project is to produce implementable results for ADOT’s use. Every project must have both a sponsor and a champion to ensure support for the project and its eventual implementation. Research Center project managers can assist in the identification of a sponsor and champion for a research idea based on its subject matter and objectives.

A sponsor must be an ADOT employee with the authority to make decisions on a project’s recommendations, and the ability and commitment to implement them.

A champion must be a public sector employee who supports the project’s objectives and enables the research activity by actively participating in the project. While the project champion is typically an ADOT employee, it is not a requirement.

What is the role of the ADOT project manager?

The ADOT project manager (PM) is responsible for guiding the project from conception through completion. The PM manages the consultant and the review of deliverables by the technical advisory committee. Deliverables are considered complete only after the approval of the ADOT project manager.

What is a technical advisory committee (TAC) and why is it important?

The TAC comprises ADOT subject matter experts, including the sponsor and champion, who critically review the technical content of research deliverables. Active participation by TAC members helps to ensure that a research study fulfills its objectives.

How is a problem statement different from a scope of work and a proposal?

A problem statement suggests an idea for future research, and is presented to the ADOT Research Advisory Committee for consideration of funding. It briefly describes the existing problems to be addressed and the objectives that would be met by the suggested research. It does not prescribe a methodology, include a scope of work, or call for the use of specific products or providers. In general, a problem statement raises questions that would be answered by the suggested research, but does not presume to know the answers.

A scope of work is a set of objectives-based tasks included in the solicitation for consultants to conduct a research project. Scopes for work, in most cases, do not prescribe a specific methodology. Prospective consultants are asked to develop a methodology to meet the objectives stated in the scope of work.

A proposal is submitted by a potential consultant in response to a solicitation for a specific research project. The contractor proposes a work plan, budget, and schedule with the intent of meeting the stated scope of work.

What is the role of Research Advisory Committee (RAC)?

The RAC comprises staff from the Research Center, various ADOT Divisions, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Working in an advisory capacity, members review problem statements for new research and provide input. Membership is intended to represent a wide variety of fields and interests within the department. 

What happens after the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) approves a problem statement for a new research study?

The ADOT project manager, in cooperation with the sponsor and champion, leads the process of identifying TAC members, developing a scope of work, releasing a solicitation, and selecting a consultant to conduct the study. 

How is research funded at ADOT?

The FHWA State Planning and Research (SPR) program funds most research projects following the requirements of Federal Code Title 23 (23 CFR 420). Those projects are designated as “SPR” plus a project number assigned by the Research Center, e.g, SPR-595.
Civil RightsTitle VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at civilrightsoffice@azdot.gov. Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964 y la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés), el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT por sus siglas en inglés) no discrimina por raza, color, nacionalidad, edad, género o discapacidad.  Personas que requieren asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o por discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles en civilrightsoffice@azdot.gov. Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más pronto posible para asegurar que el equipo encargado del proyecto tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.