Research Center


Frequently Asked Questions

What types of projects are managed by the Research Center?

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

Who is eligible to submit a research idea?

Anyone may suggest a topic for a research study by developing a research problem statement. The Research Center welcomes suggestions throughout the year.

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

Research projects begin with identification of a need, problem, or question related to ADOT’s processes or products. Stakeholders are encouraged to initiate the process by contacting a Research Center project manager, who can discuss potential ideas and help to identify an appropriate sponsor and a champion. Effective problem statements are developed in a cooperative effort that includes the project manager, the sponsor, and the champion.

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

The goal of every research project is to produce implementable results. Every project must have both an active sponsor and a champion to ensure support for the project and its implementation. Research Center project managers can assist in the identification of a sponsor and a 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 supports the project’s objectives and enables the research activity through active participation in the project. The project champion is not required to be an employee of ADOT.

What is the difference between a problem statement and a proposal?

A problem statement suggests an idea for future research, and is presented to the ADOT Research Advisory Committee for prioritization and consideration of funding. It briefly describes the existing issues that would be addressed and the objectives that would be met by the suggested research. It typically does not prescribe a methodology 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 proposal is submitted by a potential contractor in response to a task assignment or request for proposals for a specific research project. The contractor proposes a work plan that includes budget and schedule.

What is the role of Research Advisory Committee?

The ADOT Research Advisory Committee (RAC) is comprised of management personnel from various ADOT Divisions and the Federal Highway Administration. The RAC is chaired by ADOT’s Research Director. The committee works cooperatively with Research Center staff to identify and prioritize the department’s research needs. Working in an advisory capacity, RAC members review problem statements for new research, and provide overall guidance to the research program.

What is the role of Technical Advisory Committee?

A technical advisory committee (TAC) is formed for each individual research project. TAC members volunteer their time to provide technical guidance on the research through attending meetings and reviewing draft research deliverables throughout the project life. TAC members are subject matter experts providing support and enabling the implementation of research results.