Chapter 3 - Program Development: National
3.3 – NATIONAL COOPERATIVE HIGHWAY RESEARCH PROGRAM PROJECTS
The National Cooperative Highway Research Program is administered by TRB and sponsored by the member departments (i.e., individual State DOTs) of AASHTO. NCHRP was created in 1962 to conduct research in acute problem areas that affect highway planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance nationwide. Funding for NCHRP projects is provided by State DOTs on an annual basis. As a member, ODOT responds to NCHRP solicitations by submitting research problem statements, prioritizing problem statements, and providing staff to serve on project panels.
NCHRP typically solicits problem statements in July, which are due in September, for projects expected to begin two years later. The problem statements are evaluated by NCHRP and FHWA staff in November and a ballot is distributed to SCOR and RAC in December. Ballots are due in February. SCOR selects and prioritizes projects in March, then sends the program to the states for endorsement in May. The program must be endorsed by at least two thirds of the states before projects can be initiated.
As a supporter of NCHRP, ODOT can submit problem statements for consideration. IRIS will circulate NCHRP’s solicitation for problem statements and coordinate ODOT’s response to NCHRP. The problem statement of an ODOT initiated submission is developed by the appropriate Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) with the approval of their Office Administrator and Deputy Director. SME’s send their completed NCHRP problem statements to IRIS for formal submission to NCHRP. The standard format of an NCHRP problem statement is available in Figure 1. Deviations from this format will be noted during the NCHRP solicitation.
AASHTO committees can also submit problem statements to NCHRP. All ODOT employees who may be involved in submitting a problem statement on behalf of one of these committees should also copy IRIS on the submission. This will enable IRIS to track all problem statements that have ODOT sponsors and help ensure that ODOT priorities are well-supported.