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The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.

Title:

Virginia's Transportation Research Peer Exchange
Authors:
Lum, Wesley.
Casanova, Lorenzo J.
Huft, David L.
Long, Richard C.
Paul, Harold.
Year: 2004
VTRC No.: 05-R19
Abstract: To be eligible for managing State Planning and Research (SP & R) funds, a state must agree to a peer review of its management process with regard to Research, Development, and Technology Transfer (RD & T2) efforts. The Federal Highway Administation (FHWA) interpreted the required peer reviews to be an exchange of information regarding the various practices a state uses to manage its RD & T2 programs. The intent of the regulation was to strengthen weak programs and enhance strong programs with a sharing of ideas. The peer exchange panels are typically composed of state research managers and FHWA, university, or industry personnel, at least two of whom must have received training on peer exchange procedures and guidelines provided by FHWA and be listed by FHWA as a qualified peer exchange team member. Peer exchanges are generally conducted in an informal atmosphere and last from two to four days. Techniques used to gather the information needed by the peer exchange panel include discussion of individual state practices, informal interviews of users of the RD & T2 products, and brainstorming sessions on the focus areas of interest to the host state. Open-ended questions are used during the interview sessions to solicit the strengths and weaknesses of the program from the user's perspective. From August 29 through September 1, 2004, the Virginia Transportation Research Council (VTRC) hosted a peer review of its research program. This document is the report of that effort.