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Division of Planning
Statewide Planning & Research
Request for Proposals

ODOT Partnered Research Exploration Program (OPREP)

OPREP 2016 Call for White Papers 

Research is now accepting white papers for OPREP projects expected to begin during fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016). White papers must be formatted in accordance to the posted guidelines (please see requirements below for more information).
All white papers should be submitted to Research@dot.state.oh.us. In order to be considered for funding, your submission must be received by Research by 3:00 PM (ET) on October 3, 2014. Absolutely no extensions will be granted to this deadline. All items received after 3:00 PM (ET) on October 3, 2014 will not be considered. Research will send an email confirmation, to the submitting email address, that the submission has been received. It is the submitters’ responsibility to ensure that their submission has been received by Research by the stated deadline. The confirmation email from Research is the only acceptable proof that a submission has been made. In the event a submitter wants to challenge whether or not their submission was received by the deadline, the confirmation email from Research will be the only evidence accepted. Failure on the submitter’s part to provide a copy of the Research confirmation email will result in a submission being considered late and therefore ineligible for consideration.
All questions regarding OPREP should be directed to Research at research@dot.state.oh.us or 614-644-8135. Responses to questions will be posted to this site as they are received, so please refer back for clarifications throughout the solicitation period.

What is OPREP?

While the majority of the research program is focused towards investigating issues identified internally by departmental staff, ODOT recognizes that tremendous benefits can be realized from considering innovative ideas developed by the research community that are in alignment with ODOT’s strategic focus areas. In order to capitalize on these opportunities and allow researchers an avenue to propose unique, unsolicited projects, the ODOT Partnered Research Exploration Program (OPREP) was created. The goals of OPREP are to:
  • Consider relevant research needs that may not have been identified by ODOT and are not included in the strategic research plan.
  • Encourage genuine partnerships among academic disciplines, universities, private entities and other government agencies.
  • Provide an opportunity to demonstrate the viability of innovative concepts and their potential to address long-range transportation needs in the State of Ohio.
  • Leverage research funds and resources.

OPREP Requirements:

To qualify as an OPREP project the following criteria must be met:
Partnership Requirement: Projects receiving OPREP funding must be conducted by collaborative teams of experts that span the boundaries of academic disciplines, agencies, and/or the public and private sectors. All OPREP submissions must include at least one partner that does not directly work for the same department as the proposing Principal Investigator. Partnerships between unaffiliated organizations (e.g.: multiple universities, universities and private industry, multiple private companies, etc.) are highly encouraged. There is no limitation on the number of partners. Projects with multiple partners will be awarded additional points during the evaluation period.
Matching Funds Requirement: A minimum of 30% of the total project cost must be provided by the proposing agency and/or its partner(s). Matching funds may be realized in the form of cost-sharing, cash, in-kind contributions, and/or discounts on services and supplies. Costs incurred prior to the OPREP submission by either the proposing agency or any partner(s) will not be considered as matching funds. Projects that are providing more than 30% of the total project cost will be awarded additional points during the evaluation period.
Duration Limitation: The duration consists of the time period needed to conduct the scope of work plus 4 months for the review and publication of the final report.
Contracting: The OPREP program is not a grant. OPREP is a contracted research program with cost-reimbursement for services rendered in accordance with the executed contract. OPREP projects are managed in the same manner as standard research projects and utilize the same standard contracts. To review ODOT’s standard research contract, please click here and view Appendix B. If your organization is unable to accept the terms of this contract, do not submit a white paper for consideration. Submission of a white paper is considered an acceptance of the standard research contract. All OPREP projects are subject to the policies and procedures outlined in the RD&T2 Manual of Procedures. To review the manual, please click here.
White Paper Guidelines: To view the white paper guidelines, please click here. All OPREP white papers must be formatted in accordance with the posted guidelines.
Project Focus: Proposed projects must be responsive to the focus areas identified in the ODOT's Strategic Research Plan. To review the Strategic Research Plan, please click here.  
Noncompliance with these requirements will invalidate the submission.

OPREP Selection Process:

To review the evaluation criteria for OPREP white papers, please refer to ODOT Research Proposal Evaluation Criteria

ODOT may choose to fully fund or partially fund the amount of an OPREP submission. Submitters of white papers that are selected for funding will be required to develop a proposal for their project. Upon notification of selection, it is the responsibility of the submitter to demonstrate that all OPREP requirements are met and adequate funding to conduct the study is secured. Failure to do so will result in the rejection of the project. All projects are subject to the availability of funding.
ODOT reserves the right to reject any or all submittals. The OPREP program is open to the entire transportation research community, including public and private universities and consultants. ODOT does not prequalify researchers and accepts submissions from out-of-state organizations. ODOT is an equal opportunity employer.
Announcement of projects selected for 2016 OPREP funding will be posted on the Research website by January 10, 2015.