The Research Office is in the Long Range Planning Division of the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT). The Office is responsible for managing TDOT’s Research Program and other transportation research initiatives. The mission of the Research Office is to enhance Tennessee’s transportation system through high-quality research that leads to the
adoption of efficient technologies, innovation, and best practices.
The Research Office plans, conducts, monitors, reviews, and coordinates the selection and completion of transportation research projects supported by TDOT. The Research Office ensures that program monitoring and reporting is completed as defined in 23 CFR 420.
TDOT contracts with state colleges, universities, and other research organizations to produce research that supports the goals and objectives of TDOT. The primary funding source for TDOT research is the federal State Planning and Research (SPR) program. For more information regarding the Research Office’s plans and future efforts, see the Research Strategic Plan link under Related Links above.
The three main tasks of the Research Office are to:
- Monitor and manage TDOT’s Research Program and all projects funded through SPR Part B funding. Learn more under the State Research Process and Submission section.
- Implement research findings and insights and incorporate into TDOT policy and practice.
- Coordinate research-related activities with FHWA, NCHRP, TRB, AASHTO, ATRI and other transportation organizations. See the Research Programs section to learn more.
These tasks are accomplished through:
- Identifying transportation research needs for the Department.
- Soliciting, evaluating, and recommending research projects for funding.
- Working with TDOT Lead Staff and researchers to monitor progress and the fulfillment of project scopes.
- Ensuring all TDOT sponsored research is compliant with federal regulation, including working with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), to receive approval for research activities included in the State Planning and Research (SPR) Work Program.
- Assisting and documenting implementation efforts of research findings when appropriate.
- Disseminating research findings and reports to the appropriate units, including posting TDOT’s research final reports on FHWA’s Transportation Research Information System (TRIS) website and sending reports to library collections as required by FHWA.
- Participating in and sponsor Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF) studies with other DOTs on research projects with widespread applicability. See the Programs page to learn more.
- Coordinating research-related activities with national programs, such as the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP).
- Encouraging participation in national research efforts and contribute to the national conversation.
- Act as the TDOT liaison to national transportation associations such as the Transportation Research Board (TRB), and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) Research Advisory Committee (RAC).