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TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH BOARD
RESEARCH NEEDS STATEMENTS DATABASE

(Instructions to Authorized Editors for Adding/Modifying/Archiving/Deleting Statements)

Only individuals authorized by a TRB standing committee, task force, and subcommittee can add or edit records in this database. Authorized editors (limited to two people per committee, subcommittee, or task force) must have a user name and password provided by TRB. If you are an authorized editor and do not have a TRB-issued user name and password, please contact James Bryant (see below).

Enter only research needs statements (RNS) that have been reviewed and approved by the sponsoring committee or task force, or have been generated and recorded as a product of a TRB-sponsored or –cosponsored conference or workshop. RNS developed by individual members should not be entered without a peer review and approval by the standing committee or task force. Subcommittee RNS may be entered if they have been approved by the parent standing committee. The RNS must not include specific recommendations as to what agency or organization should conduct the research.

Existing statements should be reconfirmed at least once every three years. Be sure to check the "Date Modified" box when updating RNS.

Authorized editors should navigate to https://rns.trb.org/ and log in with user name and password to add, modify, archive, or delete their committees’ research needs statements. To add a RNS, click Add in the left-hand column. To modify, archive, or delete a RNS, click Modify/Archive in the left-hand column. When archiving RNS, please indicate a reason for archival. It is preferred that RNS be archived rather than deleted.

Remember, entering RNS into the RNS database does not submit your RNS to any funding programs. This is a separate process. However, it is helpful to identify potential funding sources before developing your RNS in order to ensure each RNS contains the information that will be required by that funding program. Funding programs can be identified in Funding Sources for Transportation Research: Competitive Programs. View For more information on How to Write an Effective Research Statement.

Required fields are Title, Background/Description, Sponsoring Committee (including task force and subcommittee), and Subject Categories.

Title (required): Enter title of research needs statement – be specific and concise. The title should immediately convey to the reader what the proposed study is about. It should attract attention, quickly convey the subject, and make others want to read the rest of the RNS.

Background / Description (required): This background statement is an opportunity to convince the reviewer that the research statement addresses a serious issue and merits funding. It should set the context and relate the particular issue to larger national or regional goals and objectives.

Objective (required): Describe in very brief terms what the expected product of this research will be. The objective should be short, concise, and accurate.

Potential Benefits: This is where you need to justify the funding of your research statement Be specific and provide as much detail as you can on the potential benefits of your project. Identify the consequences of not doing this work.

Related Research: You need to explain how your research relates to other ongoing and completed research - how it builds on the existing body of research, how your proposed study takes a different approach, how it uses new methodologies, or how it pulls together all the existing work into an implementable product. Describe any shortcomings or deficiencies in the current body of research and show how your project will address them.

It is critical that you search TRID for ongoing and completed research. View additional literature search guidance. It’s also important to know if other committees or other entities have the same or a similar need. Search the RNS database to identify other TRB committees with a similar need. Search the Transportation Research Needs Meta Search to identify others with a similar research need. If you find others are interested in your topic, reach out to determine if the RNS can be combined into one. This increases the support for that one combined RNS.

Please note: You can set up RSS feeds in the TRID and RNS databases to be notified, depending on how you set up the feed, when new information matching your expressed interest is added to either database. Simply conduct a search and set up the RSS feed from the search results page.

Tasks: Focus your attention on providing a full and accurate description of the final product. Include any products that will facilitate implementation, as appropriate. If you have identified specific tasks that absolutely must be a part of the project work plan, include them in the RNS. The goal is to not be too proscriptive and to allow proposers to suggest methods.

Implementation: Address follow-on research as well as implementation in your research statement to demonstrate that you are aware of the scale and scope of the research, the potential barriers and impediments to implementation, and the activities and champions needed to support the end work.

Please note: Project NCHRP 20-44 was set up to facilitate implementation, such as validating research products, using innovative dissemination media to supplement or even replace the written report, working with AASHTO committees and other entities to facilitate adoption of NCHRP recommendations, providing financial support for NCHRP researchers or other champions to assist potential users of NCHRP products, tracking and documenting applications of NCHRP, and taking advantage of unanticipated opportunities to further the delivery of research results and products. Each year $2 M is set aside for this subprogram of NCHRP, with a maximum $150,000 per project. For more information, see the TRB NCHRP 20-44 links under the last heading, “Monitoring Research, Sharing Results, Implementation, and Value of Research”, on http://www.trb.org/abouttrb/crcresources.aspx. Access the research needs statement form.

Funding: Select a funding level. Be aware that you may be required to identify a specific funding level. If so, be as accurate as possible (see the link below for more information), rather than too high or too low. View information on estimating project cost. View information on funding programs.

Research Period: Select a research period.

Research Priority: Select a research priority.

Relevance: In this section, you can add notes in terms of which funding programs are relevant to the research and if the research is appropriate for student MS or Ph.D. research. This helps others to find your RNS. For example, a professor searching for a student project would be interested in those appropriate for an MS or Ph.D. project.

Source Information: This field is for committee member names, workshops, conferences, etc.

RNS Developer: Enter the name of the RNS developer.

Sponsoring Committee (required): Select only the committee for which you have authorization from the list provided. Contact James Bryant (see below) if your committee is not listed.

Subject Categories (required): Select between one and five from the list of topics provided.

All statements entered into the TRB research needs statement database are reviewed by the TRB Staff Representative responsible for the primary sponsoring committee, and by TRB indexing staff, who add indexing terms from the Transportation Research Thesaurus. RNS will not be viewable by others until the TRB staff representative approves each RNS.

View more information on writing an effective research statement.

For questions or comments, contact:
James Bryant, Senior Program Officer, Technical Activities Division, Transportation Research Board
Phone: (202) 334-2087; E-Mail: jbryant@nas.edu