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A-1 Buy-in among key groups responsible for funding research is crucial for implementation of the Research Roadmap and adoption of the research problem statements. Following is a description of key potential funding sources and the processes and commu- nication opportunities through which health research needs might be shared and ultimately funded. A section at the end provides specific content that could be used in general announce- ments shared in newsletters or tailored to reach specific committees. TRB/AASHTO/NCHRP Research Funding Process and Opportunities Develop Research Needs Statements In general, the steps to move research ideas to funded projects within the NCHRP framework involve developing research needs statements (RNS) consistent with those in the Transporta- tion Research International Documentation (TRID) database. The research problem statements (RPS) developed as part of the Research Roadmap (see Chapter 5) can be used or expanded to develop these RNS, which are simply more formal versions of RPS that have been reviewed and approved by standing TRB committees. Other research needs identified in Chapters 2 through 4 could also be further developed. The RNS should be developed in coordination with AASHTO and TRB committees with interest in furthering health in transportation research. In pursuit of NCHRP project funding, the RPS in the Research Roadmap should be devel- oped according to general best practices. Firstly, the titles of the RNS should be clear, simple, and attractive in order to garner the attention of research committee leaders. NCHRP RNS must be applicable to multiple and varied states or national interests and not have limited application to specific regions of the United States. Secondly, NCHRP projects should be attractive to the interests of state DOTs. For instance, state DOTs may prefer RNS that focus on project prioritization or project development, as those are key functions that state DOTs perform routinely. Finally, successful RNS should have clear deliverables or products that have direct application to transportation research. General or basic research (i.e., not applied) or simple data collection programs may not be as successful as RNS with detailed research outcomes and methods that can be later incorporated into design guidance and manuals, such as the AASHTO âGreen Bookâ or the Highway Safety or Capacity Manuals. That said, NCHRP does have a synthesis research program that can often serve as a first step for understanding the state of practice or existing body of literature, and RNS geared toward synthesis projects can be more general and less directly applied. Every AASHTO panel has a slightly different process for making decisions about research to fund. Some committees have created materials to describe the process and encourage A P P E N D I X A Research Communications and Implementation Plan
A-2 A Research Roadmap for Transportation and Public Health individuals to submit research ideas. For example, the AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment created a handout to summarize opportunities for funding relevant research projects (AASHTO Center for Environmental Excellence, 2019). Figure A-1 summarizes a simi- lar process, starting by submitting research topics to committees, coordinating with committee research chairs to develop and select RNS, and either developing full research proposals for NCHRP funding or returning the research topics to the TRB database for future consideration. Coordination with Research Committees Research committee chairs or leaders for AASHTO and TRB committees are key contacts for evaluating RNS. These committees are instrumental in promoting the RNS for funding through NCHRP. If selected for funding, TRB will form a project panel to develop a formal scope, select a research team, and oversee the research project. RNS not selected for funding through NCHRP will remain in the TRID database. Champions for health in transportation research should make contact with organizations outside of TRB to consider alternative funding options. TRB committees with interests in integrating health into transportation activities should appoint specific members to serve as champions for advancing the Research Roadmap. These champions could work with other TRB and AASHTO committees with interest in health considerations. Champions should make regular contact with related committees to discuss opportunities to advance the RNS identified in the Research Roadmap. Specifically, Roadmap champions should promote the RNS to TRB and AASHTO committees as they solicit and prioritize research projects for funding each year or review cycle. Members of TRB committees may represent a wide variety of disciplines and sectors, while members of the AASHTO committees represent state DOTs. Therefore, Research Roadmap Figure A-1. General process for submitting research needs statements (RNS) for federal funding.
Research Communications and Implementation Plan A-3 champions will need to use different strategies to promote implementation of the Roadmap. For instance, Roadmap champions may need to attend conferences and present at meetings of interest to state DOTs, such as AASHTO regional meetings. Additionally, Roadmap champions should monitor and try to inform strategic plans for AASHTO to ensure that research topics are aligned with the Roadmap. Within AASHTO, there are several committees and subcommittees that may have a stake in funding research relevant to health issues. These include the following: â¢ Committee on Environment and Sustainability â¢ Active Transportation Council â¢ Committee on Planning â¢ Public Transportation Council â¢ Safety Committee â¢ Technical Committee on Roadside Design â¢ Joint Technical Committee on Non-Motorized Transportation â¢ Committee on Performance Management â¢ Committee on Design â¢ Technical Committee on Geometric Design (falls under the Committee on Design) â¢ CAV Committee â¢ Traffic Engineering Committee Separate from these but related is also the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) (2019), an independent volunteer organization that is sponsored by AASHTO and other organizations. While TRB committees do not have quite the role in advancing research needs that AASHTO committees do, they can endorse a research need and engage the AASHTO committees or liaisons at any time and show wider support for a research idea. Key TRB committees that might champion research needs identified in this Research Roadmap include the following: â¢ Health and Transportation Subcommittee (ADD50-01) â¢ Standing Committee on Environmental Justice in Transportation (ADD50) â¢ Standing Committee on Transportation and Sustainability (ADD40) â¢ Standing Committee on Traveler Behavior and Values (ADB10) â¢ Standing Committee on Urban Transportation Data and Information Systems (ABJ30) â¢ Standing Committee on National Transportation Data Requirements and Programs (ABJ10) â¢ Standing Committee on Safety Data, Analysis and Evaluation (ANB20) â¢ Standing Committee on Pedestrians (ANF10) â¢ Standing Committee on Bicycle Transportation (ANF20) Methods and key opportunities for communication include the following: â¢ Posting in TR News about the project â¢ Posting in AASHTOâs Daily Transportation Update â¢ Sharing on the TRB Health Subcommittee listserv â¢ Direct communications with key individuals in chair or other leadership positions in TRB and AASHTO committees â¢ Participation in AASHTO mid-year meetings (when research needs are discussed and advanced) â¢ Participation in the TRB Annual Meeting to engage with committees and research sub- committees to coordinate research If RNS are not successful or are not a good-fit for NCHRP funding, then Roadmap champions should pursue non-traditional or alternative funding sources. The following sections describe several alternatives to funding research needs identified in A Research Roadmap. Figure A-2
A-4 A Research Roadmap for Transportation and Public Health is a summary of optional funding organizations, including a list of example research sectors or types that may be of interest to the organizations, a relative estimate for funding levels available per RNS, and steps that Roadmap champions may take to advance implementation. Federal/State/Local Agencies Federal, state, and local agencies have various processes for funding research that they feel aligns with their agency mission. Broad Agency Agreements, IDIQs (indefinite delivery/indefinite quality contracts), and pooled funding programs are funding mechanisms often used. Focus Sectors (Examples) AASHTO/NCHRP Research Programs National Interest Data Planning Coordinate through TRB committee research leads Contact state DOT research unit Coordinate with state health departments and CDC- approved workplans Coordinate with local plans and regional models Apply for grant funding or capacity building Consider USDOT programs supporting technical assistance Contact UTC Apply for grant funding or technical assistance State DOT Research Programs State-Level Interest Project Development Operations State Health Department and CDC-Funded Programs Policy Process MPOs/Local Governments Data Performance Measures Planning Equity Private Organizations and Foundations (i.e., AARP, BCBS, RWJF, AAA) Policy Special Topics Equity Technical Assistance (i.e., USDOT projects) Training Collaboration Process Member Organizations (i.e., APA Plan4Health) Training Collaboration Process University Transportation Centers Data Safety Special Topics Implementation Steps Figure A-2. Summary of funding options for RNS in the Research Roadmap.
Research Communications and Implementation Plan A-5 FHWA operates a pooled fund program (Transportation Pooled Fund Program, 2019) specific to pedestrians and bicyclists, which may provide an opportunity for advancing active travel-related research needs identified in A Research Roadmap. The lead agency contact infor- mation is listed on the website for inquiries about the program status. The CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity works with state and local health departments to study the impacts of policy and practices on public health. Transporta- tion and public health officials and researchers should discuss opportunities to fund or support applied research through CDC funding to the states. Opportunities to support integration of health in transportation activities should align with CDC objectives, including (but not limited to) the following: â¢ National leadership â¢ Program evaluation, development, and technical assistance â¢ Evidence-based practice â¢ Training â¢ Partnership development â¢ Policy analysis State DOTs manage fundsâas a portion of their federal transportation allocationâthat may be used for local research and planning studies. States often use a committee or application review process to determine which research projects should be funded each year. While the types of research sponsored by state DOTs may be similar to that led by NCHRP, the topics will be of specific interest to the state and can often be completed in less time than a national study. Research conducted by a specific state may be transferrable to other states or to national practice. To learn more about how a state DOT selects and manages research projects, contact the staff who manage the research program. Each MPO receives a direct allocation of federal planning funds that can be used for applied research, such as data collection and analysis. MPOs may choose to study or evaluate the effectiveness of collecting or integrating new data into regional travel models, corridor studies, or project prioritization. For example, MPOs are increasingly supporting data collection programs that include bicycle and pedestrian travel counts. MPOs develop annual workplans for studies, data collection, and analysis; interested parties should contact MPO staff to learn more about how to submit ideas for future studies or programs to include health considerations. Findings from MPO-led data collection or studies are often transferrable to other urbanized regions in the U.S. Some states and regions host research and innovation conferences and topic-specific events such as pedestrian and bicycle summits, which might provide good venues for discussion of health research needs. Leadership within the TRB Health and Transportation Subcommittee may seek to participate in such events and share materials from this project in these settings. Methods and key opportunities for communication include the following: â¢ Working through FHWA staff to share information via its state coordinator listservs (Pedes- trian & Bicycle Information Center, 2019), division offices, and headquarters communications channels such as the following 2019 Federal Highway Administration websites: â Fostering Multimodal Connectivity Newsletter; â Human Environment Digest; â The Office of Planning, Environment, and Realty (HEP) Research Newsletter; â Fostering Livable Communities Newsletter; and â The Office of Safetyâs Pedestrian Forum Newsletter. â¢ Identifying state-specific conferences and events.
A-6 A Research Roadmap for Transportation and Public Health â¢ Participating in national conferences that are regularly held: â AASHTO Annual Meeting: https://meetings.transportation.org/overview/ â Active Living Research Conference: https://www.activelivingresearch.org â Walk/Bike/Places Conference: https://www.walkbikeplaces.org/ â New Partners for Smart Growth Conference: https://www.newpartners.org/ â Events held by other professional associations such as the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), American Planning Association (APA), Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE), Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO), American Public Health Association (APHA), and American Public Transporta- tion Association (APTA) University Transportation Centers Federal transportation legislation first established the USDOTâs University Transportation Centers (UTCs) program in 1987, with the creation of ten regional centers. Today, there are more than 30 UTCs with funding provided under the FAST Act. These centers collectively receive nearly $75 million each year in funding in order to advance research, technology transfer or professional development, and education of future practitioners. They represent key oppor- tunities for advancing the research needs identified in the Research Roadmap. In particular, there are three national level centers that have funded prior research identified in this study as relevant to health and transportation: â¢ National Center for Sustainable Transportation (focuses on environmental preservation) â¢ National Institute for Transportation and Communities (focuses on mobility, including active travel) â¢ Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (focuses on safety and systems approaches to health) Two others also fund research around safety, mobility, and emerging technology: â¢ National University Transportation Center for Improving Mobility (focuses on mobility, including issues related to automated vehicles) â¢ Safety Through Disruption (Safe-D) National UTC (focuses on safety, including issues related to automated vehicles and emerging technology) In addition, there are many regional and Tier 1 centers that expressly fund research related to health. For example, CARTEEH is a Tier 1 center devoted to air quality/environment issues and recently produced a literature database on health and air quality impacts. Each UTC has a specific mission and set of transportation research goals and performance measures, as well as an established peer-review process to fund research. Some UTCs produce outward facing calls for research proposals and others operate more internally. They may have specific requirements for who can lead or initiate research (e.g., UTC consortium members) as well as goals for community-engaged research or other key stakeholder involvement. Methods and key opportunities for communication include the following: â¢ Direct outreach to UTC leadership â¢ Participating in conferences hosted by the UTCs â¢ Communication through the Council of UTCs organization, CUTC Private Foundations There are many private foundations that are key supporters in funding health-related research. Examples include The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The Kresge Foundation,
Research Communications and Implementation Plan A-7 and the AARP Foundation, among others. Many private health foundations operate on a state or regional level and can be identified through grant tracking websites such as the Rural Health Information Hub. Most foundations have clear, established funding priorities, and it is essential to identify the goals and objectives of the grant programs before applying for funding. Methods and key opportunities for communication include the following: â¢ Direct outreach to foundation leadership â¢ Direct outreach to grant program administrator or key contacts â¢ Participating in conferences hosted or sponsored by the foundation Member Organizations Large professional member organizations sometimes fund initiatives that can involve research or development of other resources. They also may be key champions in supporting research on different topics. Some organizations are devoted entirely to health (such as NACCHO and APHA) while others see health as an integral part of a larger mission. APA, for example, has a Planning and Community Health Center while ITE supports a Health Task Force. These types of organizations often have leadership that engages with AASHTO, TRB, and other research funders and may be supportive of disseminating research needs through conferences that they organize. Methods and key opportunities for communication include the following: â¢ Engaging communications staff to identify opportunities to share news about the project via organization channels such as websites, newsletters, webinars, etc. â¢ Engaging leadership groups or committees, at conferences or in other settings, on their role in disseminating the project findings and advancing the Research Roadmap. Sample Communications Content The following blurb could be used in emails, listservs, and newsletter announcements to share information about the project findings and deliverables. Subject: New roadmap describes strategic research opportunities for health + transportation integration Body: New opportunities are developing within transportation agencies to better inte- grate health considerations into transportation processes. With these opportunities come important needs for research, data, and decision-making tools that align transportation goals with improved health outcomes. The recently completed NCHRP 20-112 project highlights key research opportunities in a Research Roadmap and offers a contractorâs final report that documents existing research, practices, and challenges. The team produced a suite of RPS and a research communications/implementation plan that can provide navigational tools for interested champions to advance health-related research in collaboration with key transporta- tion funding sources. For more information, go to the TRB website (www.trb.org) and search for NCHRP 20-112. Updating the Roadmap As funder and stakeholder engagement opportunities described above are implemented, there will be many conversations and new ideas emerging about critical research needs related to transportation and health. New health-related data, research, technology, and challenges will
A-8 A Research Roadmap for Transportation and Public Health also continually emerge. Thus, it will be important to have a mechanism in place to regularly revisit and update the Research Roadmap. TRB committee(s) with a mission including focus on integrating health into transporta- tion activities should review the Research Roadmap every 3 to 5 years to track which topics or RNS have been considered or funded for research. During this periodic review, the committees should also identify new research topics to be considered as part of a comprehensive update to the Research Roadmap. These new research topics can be compiled into an annual Addendum to the Roadmap. Since topics or RNS identified in the Research Roadmap are not likely to be funded or completed for at least 5 years, the Roadmap can be fully updated on an interval of every 8 to 10 years.