IDOT-ICT Executive Committee
The IDOT-ICT Executive Committee determines which proposed research ideas are funded. The executive committee includes upper-level Illinois Department of Transportation management, Illinois Center for Transportation’s director, Technical Advisory Group chairs and Federal Highway Administration representatives.
TAGs ensure Illinois Department of Transportation’s federally funded research best serves the needs of the department. IDOT’s eight TAGs focus on various areas of the department and include transportation experts who are responsible for identifying research needs and developing, reviewing and overseeing research projects.
ICT-IDOT Research Process
Call for IDOT research ideas
Technical Advisory Groups identify specific transportation research needs as IDOT priorities. ICT invites interested parties to submit their research ideas annually during the call for research ideas. Submitters should use the Proposed Research Idea Statement to submit their idea(s).
Evaluation of submitted research ideas
TAGs review and discuss the proposed research idea statements in their focus areas. They prioritize statements with implementable outputs and recommend top statements to the IDOT-ICT executive committee for funding consideration.
Research project selection
The executive committee selects proposed research ideas for funding, and ICT administers the approved research.
Technical Review Panel selection
A Technical Review Panel oversees and guides the research project. TRPs are chaired by an IDOT staff member and include a diverse group of subject-matter experts. Each TRP is responsible for oversight of the research, providing regular feedback to researchers and ensuring implementable outputs from the project.
Research team selection
The Principal Investigator can be a researcher from any university or government agency or a consultant. While some projects are directly assigned to University of Illinois researchers, other PIs are selected through ICT’s request for proposals process.
RFPs are widely advertised and are open to any researcher. Each project’s TRP reviews all proposals received and recommends a proposal for development of a contract. In cases of equivalent proposals, preference will be given to in-state educational institutions.
Work plan preparation
Once a PI is selected for a research project, they work with the TRP to develop a detailed work plan, which includes a budget, deliverables and implementation strategy.
The PI and TRP meet at least every three to six months to discuss the project’s progress. PIs must keep accurate records of data analysis and work performed as well as submit quarterly reports on their research progress. Each project’s status and most recent quarterly report is available from IDOT upon request.
After the PI completes their project and is ready to disseminate the findings and conclusions, they work with the TRP and ICT Project Management team to publish the project’s report. The report is published to ICT’s website and submitted to the Transportation Research International Database.
Throughout the project, IDOT and the PI work to identify implementable deliverables and expected benefits. The PI assists in providing deliverable outputs that can be incorporated into IDOT’s policies and procedures. IDOT’s staff spearheads the research implementation.