Research Ideas and Project Solicitation

Do you have a research idea?

Submit it to the Research Idea Box! Send us your ideas in the form to the right!

The Idea Box is meant to let DDOT staff tell the Research Program when a research idea or a research need crosses your mind. We will follow up with you to define what should be done, and how soon. This helps us create a pipeline of research needs, so we know who to talk to when looking for intern projects or before the annual project selection cycle begins. 
Research ideas are generally categorized into 4 stages of a research pipeline:
  1. Need: a statement of what is needed, but not clearly or narrowly enough defined to be a project
  2. Market Scan or Literature Review: a request for best practices from other jurisdictions or a scan of existing work on a topic; some ideas may eventually become a full project as well
  3. Project: a well-defined idea that is sufficiently narrow to be addressed by a research project
  4. Implementation: ideas for demonstrating or testing a known idea or technology; also known as technology transfer

Do you have a project proposal?

Submit a Research Problem Statement!

The first step in project selection is solicitation. In this step, the Research staff accepts problem statements for the selection process. Statements are accepted year round, however, selection activities begin in the 3rd quarter of ever fiscal year.

To submit an idea please download the research problem statement template and submit it to the Research Program at

Below are some helpful hints to prepare a research statement for the project solicitation. The Research Program staff is available to further assist in drafting problem statements. 

  • Assume the audience is unfamiliar with the topic.
  • The Issue section expresses the importance of the research and why it should be conducted, especially for DDOT.
  • The Background sets the context for the research. A full literature review is not necessary but it is useful to highlight past and current work around the topic area.  
  • It is not necessary to submit a very detailed Scope of Work during the solicitation, however, the Scope section clearly identifies the objective of the work and explains the proposed research. It also outlines the desired results.
  • The Potential Benefit and Implementation links the research results to the anticipated benefits for DDOT. This section also explains how the results could be implemented. If the proposed work relates to any agency goals, the connection can be made here.

TRB provides some addition tips in "How to Write an Effective Research Statement".