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Division of Planning
Statewide Planning & Research
Request for Proposals

Student Study 2018 Call for White Papers

Research is now accepting white papers for Student Study projects expected to begin during fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018). 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.ohio.gov. In order to be considered for funding, your submission must be received by Research by 3:00 PM (ET) on October 13, 2016. Absolutely no extensions will be granted to this deadline. All items received after 3:00 PM (ET) on October 13, 2016 will not be considered. Research will send an email confirmation to the submitting email address, indicating receipt of the submission. 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 the Student Study program should be directed to Research at research@dot.ohio.gov 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 a Student Study?

Occasionally, ODOT has the need to conduct small research studies that provide quick solutions to immediate problems. The limited scope of these projects does not warrant the time and expense required for typical research projects. Likewise, these studies do not require an extensive team of experts to research the issue. Instead, these projects are adaptable to an academic investigation that can be conducted by a college student under the guidance of a professor in the form of a Student Study.

The Student Study program provides students with an opportunity for real-world application of the lessons being taught in the classroom. It also enables ODOT to invest in the development of Ohio’s future transportation professionals.

Student Study Requirements

To qualify as a Student Study project, the following criteria must be met:

Ohio Based Restriction: The Student Study solicitation is open to public and private universities and colleges that are based in Ohio only. Submissions from out-of-state institutions will be not considered. The submission of Student Study White Papers must be made by either the Research/Sponsored Programs Office of the institution or the proposing Academic Advisor/Principal Investigator, as allowable by their institution. Students cannot submit Student Study white papers directly to the Research Section.

Duration Limitation: The duration of Student Studies cannot exceed 16 months. This duration consists of 12 months to conduct the scope of work and 4 months for the review and publication of the final report.

Funding Limitation: The maximum amount of funding that can be awarded to a Student Study is $40,000. In some cases, this will not cover the full cost of the study; therefore, cost-sharing with the university/ college is expected. Tuition, academic fees, and salary for academic advisors servings as Principle Investigators are not eligible for reimbursement; however, these items may be noted as cost-sharing at the university/college’s discretion.

Student Eligibility Criteria: Students conducting these studies must be enrolled full-time and in good academic standing (GPA of 2.0 or higher) by the time the study begins. Evidence that this requirement has been met must be provided at the project start-up meeting. Acceptable proof includes, but is not limited to: a letter from the sponsoring college confirming the student’s status and copies of course schedules, grade reports, and “unofficial” transcripts made available to students through their online Registrar. Failure to provide this evidence may result in the cancellation of the study.

Research Team Roles and Responsibilities: The research team of a Student Study is comprised of two individuals: the student and his/her academic advisor. The academic advisor serves in the role of Principal Investigator and is ultimately responsible for the completion of the study. Since the Student Study program is designed to provide students with real-world application to transportation related issues, it is the student who is expected to perform the actual tasks of the study under the guidance of the Principal Investigator. In addition, students conducting Student Studies are required to: (1) attend the project start-up meeting, (2) prepare quarterly progress reports and the final report in cooperation with the Principal Investigator, and (3) prepare and present the presentations at the review session and research results presentation.

During the course of a Student Study, if the student originally assigned to conduct the study should transfer to another academic program or leave the college/university, the Principal Investigator is responsible for ensuring the work is concluded and all obligations to ODOT fulfilled. Principal Investigators are encouraged to contact the Research Section immediately should this situation arise to ensure the appropriate actions occur to maintain compliance with the executed contract.

White Paper Formatting Guidelines: To view the white paper formatting requirements, please click here. All Student Study white papers must be formatted in accordance with the posted guidelines.


Noncompliance with these requirements will invalidate the submission.

Student Study Selection Process

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

ODOT may choose to fully fund or partially fund the amount of a Student Study 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 Student Study 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 Student Study program is open to the entire Ohio transportation research community, including public and private universities. ODOT does not prequalify researchers and accepts submissions from out-of-state organizations. ODOT is an equal opportunity employer.

Announcement of projects selected for 2018 Student Study funding will be posted on the Research website by January 6, 2017.