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2019 Call for Research Ideas


The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) would like to invite researchers in Tennessee to request ideas for applied transportation research that may become part of 2019 TDOT Call for Research Proposals.

The ideas that are submitted will be evaluated and considered by TDOT subject matter experts (SME) and managers. The best ideas (innovative, creative, and technically strong) and those that are evaluated as TDOT priorities may be developed into research needs statements (RNS) by TDOT SME and subsequent 2019 TDOT Call for Research Proposals. With the ideas that we receive from TDOT staff and university partners, TDOT intends to develop a research agenda for next year. That agenda will consist of a broad range of RNSs that cover the many areas of TDOT programs and operations. Your insights will be very valuable as TDOT builds that 2019 research agenda.

To prepare for TDOT’s 2019 Call for Research Proposals, the Research Office has begun to gather research ideas/problems/needs statements that could provide significant benefits to TDOT. We are planning focus group meetings early next year with TDOT management to discuss these research subjects. As part of those meetings, we hope to share your research ideas with agency leaders.

If you have a research idea that you would like to submit, please complete the attached form and send it to All research ideas should be submitted no later than Friday, January 4, 2019.

TDOT encourages ideas from all parts of the transportation research community and Research Office staff members are available to discuss potential ideas and provide advice. If you have any questions on the process or would like advice on a potential idea, please contact us at If needed, we will put you in touch with a TDOT colleague who can help.

We look forward to seeing your ideas and learning how your proposed research may benefit TDOT and the state’s residents.

TDOT Research Idea Form

TDOT Research Idea Form Template

Research Topics

TDOT is interested in a very diverse collection of transportation research topics. The books, reports, and miscellaneous publications of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) cover nine general subject categories: planning, administration, and environment; design; materials, construction, and maintenance; operations and safety; aviation; public transit; rail; freight transportation (multimodal); and marine transportation. TDOT is, at a minimum, interested in each of these topics.


Once an idea is sent to TDOT, the writer relinquishes ownership of that idea and transfers it to TDOT. TDOT may choose to publish or share material received. In addition, the submission of a research idea does not guarantee that the researcher will be selected to complete the research. All proposals submitted in response to formal RNSs will be evaluated and scored in a competitive process. Based on the results of this process, the successful proposal will be selected.