This chapter contains the details on transportation research programs. Keep in mind only those programs that accept research statements and/or proposals from the transportation community are included in this listing. A summary of key information on each Transportation Research Board program can be found on the Transportation Research Board Programs page. Learn more about databases and websites that offer information about proposed, ongoing, and completed research in Chapter 4. More information is available in the Events section under “Funding Program Deadlines” in the dropdown menu.

Most research program descriptions in this chapter contain the following information:

  • General description,
  • Type of research funded,
  • Funding levels and project time frame,
  • Schedule,
  • Project solicitation and submission,
  • Selection process, and
  • Project selection criteria and tips for writing winning research statements.


Further Information

Additional information is always available from research program staff. They can offer guidance to improve an initial submittal, or provide advice for future funding requests if a submittal is not successful.

Did we miss a research program that should be included? Appendix B contains a form to submit information on additional programs. Alternatively, you can contact Sue Sillick with corrections, suggestions, questions, or additional information.

The table below contains general information about the research programs appearing in this guide. Click on the program title for complete information. 

Federal Research Programs

Agency

Program Name

Mode or Topic

Annual Funding

Project Type

Federal Aviation Administration

Aviation Research Grants Program

Aviation

~ $32 million for FY17 through FY21

Standard

FAA Centers of Excellence

Aviation

Not available

Collaborative research

Federal Highway Administration

Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Deployment

Highway

$60 million annually through FY20

Standard

Exploratory Advanced Research Program

Highway

Varies

Standard

Highway Research and Development

Highway

$125 million annually through FY20

Standard

Intelligent Transportation Systems Program

Highway

$100 million annually through FY20

Standard

Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives

Highway

$20 million annually through FY20

Standard

Technology and Innovation Deployment Program

Highway

$67.5 million annually through FY20

Standard

Training and Education

Highway

$24 million annually through FY20

Training and education

Federal Transit Administration

Public Transportation Innovation (Section 5312)

Transit

$100 million for FY16 through FY20

Standard

Safety Research and Demonstration Program

Safety, Transit

$7 million

Standard

National Science Foundation

Civil Infrastructure Systems

General

Not available

Standard

Energy for Sustainability

Engineering

Not available

Standard

Energy, Power, Control, and Networks

Cyber-Physical Systems

Not available

Standard

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology

University Transportation Centers

General

$300 million for FY16 through FY20

Standard

Small Business Administration

Small Business Innovation Research

General

~ $10 million

Standard

U.S. Department of Energy

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Energy

$636 million

Standard

Innovative Development in Energy-Related Applied Science (IDEAS)

Energy

Not available

Early-stage applied research

Open Funding Opportunity Announcements (ARPA-E)

Energy

$100 million for FY18

Standard

Other ARPA-E Transportation-Related Programs

Energy

$1.85 billion for FY17 through FY20

Standard

State Department of Transportation Programs

Program Name

Mode or Topic

Annual Funding

Project Type

State Planning and Research

General

~ $204.2 million in 2018

Typically applied research

Transportation Pooled Fund Program

General

Not available

Standard

Transportation Research Board Programs

Program Name

Mode or Topic

Annual Funding

Project Type

NCHRP Regular Projects

Highway, General

$40 million

Standard

Domestic Scans (NCHRP 20-68A)

General

$500,000

Scan

NCHRP 20-24: Research on Administration of Highway and Transportation Agencies

Administration

$1 million

Quick response (task order projects)

Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA)

Highway, Safety, Transit

Not available

Standard

ACRP Regular Projects

Aviation

$15 million

Standard

ACRP Graduate Research Award Program

Aviation

$100,000

Student research

Airport Cooperative Research Program University Design Competition for Addressing Airport Needs

Aviation

Not available

Student research

TCRP Regular Projects

Transit

$3 million

Standard

TCRP Synthesis Study Programs

Transit

Not available

Synthesis report

NCHRP Synthesis Study Programs

Highway

Not available

Synthesis report

ACRP Synthesis Study Programs

Aviation

Not available

Synthesis report

TCRP J-05: Legal Aspects of Transit and Intermodal Transportation

Transit

$250,000

Brief of legal issues

ACRP 11-01: Legal Aspects of Airport Projects

Aviation

Not available

Brief of legal issues

NCHRP 20-06: Legal Problems Arising out of Highway Programs

Highway

$100,000

Brief of legal issues

International Research Programs

Program Name

Mode or Topic

Annual Funding

Project Type

Horizon 2020

General

€80 billion for FY14 through FY20

Standard