The transportation research community consists of numerous partnerships to aid in the conduct of research and the implementation of technologies and innovations. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) are among these partners, who work closely in many facets of the national research program.
Established in 1920, the Transportation Research Board (TRB) is one of seven program units of the NASEM; it provides independent and objective analysis and advice to the Nation while conducting other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The TRB’s mission is to promote innovation and progress in transportation by stimulating and conducting research, facilitating the dissemination of information, and encouraging the implementation of research results.
The national program integrates research conducted under several separate programs, such as the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), the State Planning and Research Program (SP&R), FHWA administrative contracts, and FHWA staff research. These programs receive funding from several sources and are administered on many levels by several organizations. The successful management of the complex highway research and technology (R&T) program also requires coordination and integration with public and private organizations outside the program with increased emphasis on international research partnerships. This type of management capability requires an organization with a highly qualified and broad technical staff and committee structure, and which maintains close contact with private, public, and university research programs and can quickly mobilize resources to coordinate, communicate, and satisfy the changing transportation priorities at the international, national, regional, and local levels.
TRB fulfills this mission through: the work of its standing technical committees and task forces addressing all modes and aspects of transportation; publication and dissemination of reports and peer‑reviewed technical papers on research findings; administration of contract research programs; conduct of special studies on transportation policy issues; maintenance of Transport Research International Documentation (TRID); and hosting an annual meeting that attracts approximately 11,900 transportation professionals from throughout the United States and abroad.
TRB is supported by State DOTs, the various administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation and other Federal agencies, industry associations, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation.
For more information, please refer to TRB’s website.