Writing Your Proposal

NCHRP 20-7 research proposals are one to two pages long, and typically contain the following information:

  • Title
  • Background/needs statement (one to three paragraphs)
  • Statement of the project’s objective (one or two sentences)
  • List of anticipated work tasks
  • Statement of urgency, timeliness, and/or pay-off potential (why the research needs to be done now and/or how the research will benefit the DOTs)
  • Estimate of funds needed
  • Estimate of the time required to complete the research
  • Name and contact information of person submitting the research proposal

Additional information that is helpful to the review panel is a short review of similar research that has been conducted or underway, and how this project fits in with what has already been done. This literature review may be conducted by doing keyword searches on the Transportation Research Information Services database (http://ntlsearch.bts.gov/tris/) and the Research in Progress database (http://rip.trb.org/).

In addition, submissions should adhere to the following guidelines to ensure that they are not delayed from consideration:

  • Proposals must be submitted by a committee that reports to the Standing Committee on Highways (see attached Organizational Chart)
  • Proposals must be endorsed by the chair of the committee that submits it.
  • Proposals should follow the basic format outlined in the “NCHRP 20-7 Proposal Format” (20-7 Proposal Format)

To help get you started, click on the following link to see the several sample NCHRP 20-7 research proposals: Sample 20-7 Proposals

Have questions? Email network.manager@transportation.org with any comments or troubles you may have.

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