ADOT Research Center
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are the research emphasis
A. Environment, Intelligent Transportation Systems, Maintenance,
Materials and Construction, Planning and Administration, Structures,
Traffic and Safety.
Q. What does "SPR" stand for (as in SPR-595)?
A. “SPR” stands for “State Planning and Research,” which is a Federal
Highway Administration (FHWA) funding program. The numbers
designate the research project number, assigned by the Research
Q. When does funding become available?
A. SPR research funding is approved annually by the Federal Highway
Administration, which operates on the federal fiscal year commencing
October 1. Typically, money is available after October 1 and newly
approved studies may begin after that time.
Q. Who is eligible to submit a research idea?
A. Any transportation stakeholder, including staff of the Arizona
Department of Transportation (ADOT), Metropolitan Planning
Organizations, Councils of Governments, cities, towns, tribes,
universities, and consulting firms, may suggest a topic for a research
study. Although a formal process for requesting ideas occurs each
fall, the Research Center welcomes ideas for research throughout the
Q. After I submit an idea, how does that idea get funded?
A. After the formal request process, proposed topics are evaluated by
Research Center project managers and their emphasis area stakeholders.
A limited number of ideas are forwarded to the ADOT Research Council
for final evaluation. Topics are evaluated on the basis of their
importance to the Arizona transportation system.
Q. Who is on the Research Council?
A. The Research Council is composed of staff from various ADOT
divisions and at least one person from the Federal Highway
Administration. Membership is voluntary and designed to represent a
wide variety of fields and interests.
Q. What is the role of the project sponsor and project champion?
A. The goal of every research project is to produce implementable
results. Every project must have both a dedicated sponsor and champion
to ensure support for the project and its implementation. Research
Center project managers can assist in the identification of a sponsor
and a champion for a research idea based on its subject matter and
A sponsor must be an ADOT employee with the authority to make a
decision on the project’s recommendations and the ability and
commitment to carry the implementation forward, where appropriate.
A champion supports the project’s objectives and enables the research
activity through active participation in the project. The project
champion is not required to be an employee of ADOT.
Q. What types of projects are managed by the Research Center?
A. A major project has a budget over $40,000. Ideas for major
projects are requested in the fall of each year. The evaluation of
submitted ideas and approval of funding occurs the following spring.
Approved projects may begin when funding becomes available at the
beginning of the next fiscal year (October).
A small budget project has a budget between $5,000 and $40,000.
Ideas for small budget projects are accepted and evaluated for funding
by the Research Council throughout the year. They are not subject to
the formal process by which major projects are selected for funding.
A transportation research quick study (TRQS) has a budget of
less than $5,000. TRQS projects are authorized at the discretion of
the research director. Ideas may be presented to the research director
for TRQS funding by anyone in ADOT throughout the year. The primary
criteria are that the topic have a research element and benefit ADOT.
ADOT Research Center
206 South 17th Avenue
Mail Drop 075R
Phoenix, AZ 85007