Chapter 2 - Roles and Responsibilities
2.1 – INNOVATION, RESEARCH AND IMPLEMENTATION SECTION (IRIS)
Organizationally, IRIS is within the Office of Innovation, Partnerships and Energy (IPE), which is part of the Division of Transportation System Development. The role of the IRIS staff includes, but is not limited to:
- Developing, administering, implementing, and marketing the research program.
- Coordinating all research activities for ODOT, including research funded without SP&R funds. This also includes all of ODOT’s activities with the Transportation Research Board (TRB), the AASHTO Research Advisory Council (RAC), and the development of public and private research partnerships.
- Initiating requests for internal and external research proposals.
- Reviewing proposals, assisting in selection of researchers, issuing research contracts, and monitoring the general progress of projects through project management.
- Facilitating the exchange of research information within ODOT and with other agencies, researchers, State DOTs, and interested parties.
- Preparing periodic status reports on unusual or unique and high-impact projects in conjunction with the program offices, and monitoring national and international research for potential application.
- Formulating, and monitoring strategies for implementing innovative technologies and procedures.
- Coordinating evaluation procedures on all completed research projects.
- Maintaining project files for all research studies. Each project file contains the proposal, the contract, and other general correspondence relating to the project. These files are retained for approximately two years after the study is complete. Afterwards, the files are scanned and kept indefinitely.
In an effort to improve IRIS’s ability to effectively manage research projects, cultivate partnership opportunities, and leverage the expertise of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) (see Section 2.6), each project will be assigned an IRIS Project Manager (PM). The role of the IRIS PMs is to aid in the facilitation of research activities and to ensure that the projects are on task, on time, and on budget. While ownership and responsibility of the research product resides with the sponsoring program office/division/district, IRIS PMs will work in cooperation with SMEs to provide support for administrative functions of the research program. This will enable SMEs to focus more closely on the technical aspects of the research.
The role of IRIS PMs includes, but is not limited to:
- Ensuring that the basic functions of the development of a research project are being done as outlined within this manual.
- Serving as a liaison between the Subject Matter Experts and the Principal Investigator.
- Reviewing proposals and making recommendations for selection of research entities.
- Helping in the identification of field test locations or sections by coordinating with Districts and/or other offices or agencies as needed.
- Ensuring projects stay within scope and budget and addressing issues within a timely fashion.
- Reviewing invoices and quarterly reports for validity.
- Facilitating and participating in the consideration of requests to modify research contracts as it relates to project scope, deliverables, budget, and time.
- Reviewing and evaluating interim and draft reports to assure completion of project objectives and report requirements, and reviewing final reports to ensure compliance with comments.
- Evaluating completed projects.
- Assisting in the assessment of implementation activities, progress, and results.
- Attending State of Ohio Controlling Board (see Section 5.1.1) meetings as needed.