RFP: IDEA Program Announcement 2015: Funding Proposals Now Being Accepted

TRB’s Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) annual program announcement solicits funding proposals for the upcoming review cycles.  The announcement explains the IDEA programs, describes the types of eligible projects and their funding structures, suggests general areas for which IDEA proposals can be submitted, and provides guidelines and forms for submitting proposals.

  • The Transit IDEA program has only one review cycle per year; Transit IDEA proposals are due May 1, 2015. (Depending on funding, there may be a second cycle for Transit IDEA in 2015. Check the IDEA website for current information.)
  • NCHRP IDEA proposals are due March 1st and September 1st, depending on which of the two funding cycles is targeted.
  • The Rail Safety IDEA program has only one review cycle per year; Rail Safety IDEA proposals are due September 15, 2015.

If the proposal submission due date for any IDEA program falls over a weekend or on a federal holiday, the due date automatically moves to the next business day.

The IDEA programs provide start-up funding for promising, but unproven, innovations in surface transportation systems. The programs’ goals are to seek out and support new transportation solutions that are unlikely to be funded through traditional sources.

Top 3 Criteria by Which Selection Committees Evaluate IDEA Proposals:
1. Innovation -- Emphasize the innovation. Say it first, say it fast, and make it clear. What problem does your project address? How is your solution better than current practice?
2. Benefits -- Describe the expected benefits. Why is this project worth investing in?
3. Science -- Stick to the science. Be sure the research approach is sound and sensible.