Writing Your Problem Statement

NCHRP Project 08-36 research problem statements should be no more than two pages long and should contain the following information in the order listed. Download template here.

  1. Title
    • should briefly and immediately convey what the research is about
  2. Background - in one to two paragraphs
    • briefly explain why this research is needed.
  3. Statement of Urgency - in one to two paragraphs
    • briefly explain why this research is needed now, who will use it, and how they will benefit from using it
  4. Project Objective - in a few sentences
    • concisely describe what the product of this research will be
  5. Relationship to Existing Body of Knowledge -  in one to two paragraphs
    • briefly explain how this project is different from, or related to, other research
    • explain whether it supplements, updates, replaces existing knowledge or if it will yield new benefits
    • identify any highly related research
  6. List of Anticipated Work Tasks
    • list the major activities and or interim deliverables that will be required
    • include only the necessary details on how the contractor might carry out the work
  7. Estimate of Funds Needed
    • should not exceed $100,000
  8. Estimate of Time Needed to Complete the Research
    • should not exceed one year
  9. Name and Contact Information of Submitter(s)
    • name
    • affiliation
    • email
    • phone

Advice on writing successful research problem statements can be found at http://www.trb.org/ResearchFunding/AppendixAWritingaResearchStatement.aspx.

Literature reviews may be conducted by performing key work searches on the Transportation Research Information Services database (TRIS) at http://tris.trb.org/  and the Research in Progress database http://rip.trb.org/

A complete list of active and completed NCHRP Project 08-36 projects is available on the TRB website at

For additional information, please contact:
Lori Sundstrom
NCHRP Staff Officer

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

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