General Terminology

Appropriation number (APPR) - Indicates the authorization act that authorized the funds and the category of funds within the act.

Archived - The database record for a solicitation is archived when the study status is changed to solicitation withdrawn. When a solicitation is archived (withdrawn), all commitments to the study are released.

Commitment - Acknowledgment by a study partner that it will formally obligate funding to the pooled fund study or provide funding in the form of a check or provide in-kind support. Study partners indicate their funding commitments for the life of the study; many times, this consists of contributions for each year of the study.

Commitments Required - Total dollar amount needed to complete the study.

Deliverables - Products of the study, such as reports, models, recommendations, software, or new/improved designs, to be delivered by the contractor. Deliverables are specified in the work statement.

FMIS - Fiscal Management Information System of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Obligation - The process of 1) formally assigning eligible federal funds to a study or 2) providing funds via check to FHWA or to the sponsoring agency after the TPF number is assigned. Study partners that are federal, state, regional, or local agencies complete obligation forms (Federal-Aid Project Agreement, PR-2) to assign the federal funds.

100 percent SP&R funds - The normal match for SP&R funds is 80 percent federal and 20 percent non-federal funding, but the FHWA has the authority to approve the use of 100 percent federal SP&R funding for pooled-fund studies if it is in the interest of the federal-aid highway program. A sponsoring organization that is a state transportation agency submits its request for approval of 100 percent SP&R funds through its affiliated FHWA division office. FHWA grants approval at the time it assigns the study number, which may occur before or after the solicitation process.

Problem statement - The document that the sponsoring agency completes to post a solicitation on the pooled-fund web site. The problem statement includes the study title, funds (commitments) required, background, study objectives, scope of work, estimated study duration, and contact information for the sponsoring agency funding contact. It also specifies the lead agency. If the FHWA has approved the use of 100 percent SP&R funding, that information is included as well.

Request for proposals - A document issued by the lead agency inviting proposals to conduct the work described in the work statement. The contracting laws and regulations of the lead agency will govern the process for selecting a contractor. Not all studies will involve a request for proposals.

Solicitation - The process whereby a sponsoring agency proposes a study through the pooled-fund web site to find study partners that will contribute funding.

Study - An activity, program or project that is funded through the Transportation Pooled Fund Program. The duration of a study may be fixed or indefinite.

Study number - The number assigned to the study by FHWA by which the study is referenced in FMIS.

Work statement - Developed under the direction of the technical advisory committee, the work statement serves as the basis for the agreement with the contractor and includes the following: statement of problem, description of work to be accomplished, researcher requirements, study performance timeline, estimated budget, study communications requirements, deliverables required, and implementation plan.

Organization Roles

Contractor - The organization that conducts the study in accordance with the statement of work and as contractually directed by the lead agency.

FHWA Division Office - The organization that approves expenditure of federal funds by the affiliated state transportation agency and approves the Federal Aid Project Agreement (PR-2) to obligate federal funds on the agency’s behalf.

FHWA Research, Development and Technology, Office of Program Development and Evaluation - The organization within FHWA that serves as program administrator and as the central administrator for financial management of the transportation pooled fund program.

Lead agency - The organization that contracts for the research and administers the study (convenes the technical advisory committee, coordinates study administrative activities, publishes and distributes study reports, etc.). The Transportation Research Board (TRB,) FHWA, or a state transportation agency may fill this role. The lead agency is named in the solicitation.

Sponsoring agency - The organization (state transportation agency or FHWA) that formally proposes the study and solicits for participation and funding contributions from study partners.

Study partner - An organization that contributes funds or in-kind resources to participate in the study. Study partners may include state transportation agencies, FHWA, other federal agencies, regional and local transportation agencies, academic institutions, associations, foundations, private firms, and others.

Technical advisory committee - The group that guides the study from the statement of work through the time the research products are implemented. Members may include representatives from each of the study partners or may include only part of that group with other experts.

Person Roles

FHWA Director for Research, Development, and Technology - The person with the authority to approve a transportation pooled-fund (TPF) research study and authorize expenditure of 100 percent SP&R funds.

FHWA Division Administrator - The person at each FHWA division office who receives correspondence concerning transportation pooled-fund studies.

Investigator - The contractor’s employee who is primarily responsible for conducting the study.

Program Manager for Planning and Environment - The person with the authority to approve 100 percent SP&R funding for planning pooled-fund studies.

Subscriber - A person who subscribes to be notified of new solicitations.

Technical contact - The person in a study partner organization with interest/expertise in the subject matter of the study who is available for consultation during the period of solicitation.

Visitor - The person who visits the public area of the TPF web site.

Person Roles - Users who are authorized to use password protected areas of the web site.

FHWA facilitator - The employee of FHWA with administrative responsibility for the Transportation Pooled-Fund Program who tracks and assigns study numbers.

FHWA technical liaison - An employee of FHWA who participates in the activities of the technical advisory committee and contributes knowledge of the national research and technology program.

Funding contact - The person in a sponsoring agency or partner organization who is authorized to solicit or commit funds. Typically the funding contact for a state transportation agency is a member of the AASHTO Research Advisory Committee (RAC).

Lead agency contact - The lead agency employee who is primarily responsible for administering the study.

Member, technical advisory committee - A member of the group described above.

Webmaster - An employee of the organization that is hosting the TPF web site who receives e-mail sent to the web site.

Statuses of Studies

Solicitation posted - The sponsoring organization has completed the problem statement, posting the solicitation on the web site.

    • Three-month extension of expiration date by system quarterly scheduler (system sends message to funding contact for sponsoring agency)
    • Funding target has been met or exceeded (system sends message to funding contact in sponsoring agency and to FHWA facilitator)

Solicitation withdrawn - The sponsoring organization has withdrawn the solicitation because the funding target has not been met or will not be met within the maximum one-year posting period.

Cleared by FHWA - The funding target has been met. The FHWA facilitator has assigned a study number and cleared the study to proceed.

RFP posted - The lead agency has issued and posted the request for proposals developed by the technical advisory committee.

Contract signed - The contractor has signed the contract to perform the study.

Study cancelled - The lead agency has cancelled the study.

Objectives fulfilled - The contractor has fulfilled the terms of the contract, and the lead agency has submitted the final bill to FHWA.

Closed - FHWA has reimbursed the lead agency for all expenses associated with the study.

General Codes

Document types:

  • Work Plan
  • Request for Proposals
  • Quarterly Progress Report
  • Annual Report
  • Memorandum
  • Report
  • Final Report
  • Study Summary
  • Follow-up Questionnaire
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