FY 2023 Research Call for Proposals

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is pleased to announce the Fiscal Year 2023 Research Call for Proposals. Proposals are now being accepted for various research projects in Tennessee through the WebGrants application system.

Proposed Research Projects & Budget Amounts

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is looking to research various topics within transportation with budgets varying from $150,000 to $250,000. This year's research projects are again the product of collaboritve efforts from many areas of the state. We are proud to bring forward these 9 Research Requests for Proposals (RRFPs) for consideration for funding. Please find a full list of projects in the .pdf file below. The projects can also be found listed on the Webgrants page.

Link to Download PDF file. (RRFPs)

Link to Login for Webgrants Webpage.

Link to Download Webgrants Proposal Submission Instructions.

The RRFP Format

This year's requests for proposals follow the same format as the FY 2022 Call for Propsals. As a reminder, they have a bit more information about what the DOT is expecting at minimum from projects. Researchers/Applicants can set themselves apart by providing expanded problem statements, substantive literature reviews, specifcity in the scope of work, thorough methodological logic, and any further improvements on deliverables, benefits, or implementable items. Qualifications of researchers are also more stringent and brief explanations of experience are expected.

Submission Materials

All submissions must be completed through the WebGrants system. Sign in or sign-up here. If you are registering for the first time, the Research Office has provided instructions if needed. Please ensure that you read the directions within  the application carefully. A video tutorial on how to submit your materials is provided at the bottom of this announcement for guidance. The following information is required to complete the entire submission:

  • Application title, organization, and collaborators (please name all PIs).
  • Research Proposal Section, use the approved template (link here), including: Problem Statement, Literature Review,           Objectives, Scope of Work, Methodology, Expected Benefits and Implementation, and a brief explanation of the                 Research Team's Expertise and Facility's Accommodations  | There is a 7-page limit on the proposal template               submission.
  • Deliverables and Milestones Section: List minimum Deliverables from the RRFP (more are welcome), and provide an         approximated Project Schedule.
  • Attach CVs/Resumes for Principal Investigator(s) and lead project staff – 2 pages maximum per CV.
  • Detailed, itemized budget – Use the table provided. Note: Graduate Tuition should be listed under Professional Fees.

                -    Budget justification - Add a one-to-two-page budget justification.

Evaluation Process

To help you as you write your proposal, you can reference the TDOT CFP Evaluation Scoring Sheet linked below. During the selection process, we will utilize this scoring sheet as we consider and rate each research proposal submitted. Please use this scoring sheet as a guideline when writing your proposal to ensure that you meet the criteria we measure highest.

o   TDOT CFP Evaluation Scoring Sheet (link to file)

Once we receive all research proposals, subject matter experts will review proposals for each research need and then select the research university that will conduct the research. We anticipate that this process will take 5-7 weeks.

Proposal Deadline: January 20th, 5:00pm CST


Please make note of these items:

(1)    We will NOT accept proposals through email or hard copy.

(2)    Only researchers at a Tennessee state-certified University are allowed to be the primary submitters of                         proposals though they are allowed to collaborate with other out-of-state universities, private and public entities, etc.,             through subcontracting.

(3)    Applicants may only submit 4 proposals as the lead Principal Investigator, so please review the RRFPs carefully             to ensure you respond to those you are best suited for.

(4)    All information within an RRFP should be considered for the bare minimum to fill out an application. Adding upon any           objectives or deliverables listed is welcome.

(5)    On this webpage above and in the attachments section of the funding opportunity, you will find the proposal                           template you are required to use and submit via the WebGrants system.  There is a 7-page limit.

(6)    Do not reach out to TDOT staff. This is a competitive process, and you may be disqualified for directing questions            directly to staff. Use the question function within Webgrants, and the Research Office will make sure to direct                        questions to the appropriate staff.

(7)    The deadline for submission of all research proposals is January 20th, 2023, 5PM CST.

(8)     If you have issues with accessing Webgrants, only then please email us at TDOT.Research@tn.gov.

Expected Timeline

Call for Research Proposals Opens DATE
Proposals Due January 20, 2023, 5PM CST
Announce Selected Research Proposals Anticipated March 2023
Research Projects Commence Anticipated August 2023

Video Tutorial

FAQ  & Presentation Slides

The Research Office has developed a document of FAQs developed from Q & A sessions about the Call for Proposals. These sessions also included a PowerPoint presentation. Follow the link buttons below to downlaod the FAQ PDF or the PowerPoint slides below.

We have also provided a link to the documentation about public university F&A costs, negotiated by the Tennessee Board of Regents. The Research Office abides by these pre-negotiated terms for indirect costs with public universities.