Research Projects - What is the Process?
Are you a:
A) Project Sponsor – person or organization who has an interest in the outcome of the idea and is willing to lead the initiative; you may have technical experts who can provide support as needed; your manager team clearly supports it and will provide funding for the idea;
B) Project Performer – person or organization who can perform the actual work and accomplish the tasks to complete the project; you may already have a working proposal and you need the financial and support resources to go along;
C) Project Vendor - person or organization who can provide an innovative product or service that will be of value to the department and the end users in general; your product or service may or may not have been tested elsewhere; while the department can offer highway facilities for testing and some monitoring and reporting resources, you are expected to provide the product and any installation at your cost;
D) A combination of any the above.
Now that you know your roles based on who you are in this process, you will need to prepare a Project Proposal document. This is usually prepared by the Performer, but sometimes you may not know who will do the actual research yet; in that case, the Sponsor or the Vendor (who may have initiated and forwarded the idea) should draft up the Proposal.
This Proposal will be forwarded to the department's Applied Research Advisory Committee (ARAC) for their review. All proposals will be judged based on the criteria as listed in the Evaluation Form. The Committee may endorse the project, reject it and provide reasons or suggest changes for re-submission. These recommendations are then forwarded to the executives for their approval for project implementation.
Our role in Geotechnical and Material Services is to assist you in writing the Proposal, help prepare a submission to ARAC; where appropriate, help with drafting terms of reference for the Performer, assist in procuring, and in the monitoring and evaluation. Documentation of the results to the department’s standards will be ensured and dissemination of the reports will be performed by the staff in Technology Development. Funding of projects is generally the responsibility of the Sponsor, although we can assist with finding internal or external partners for contributions.
Who is ARAC?
ARAC is a group of seven employees from the department who have been selected to represent their divisional interests with the mandate to bring an unified department voice on research and related matters. The committee’s current members are:
Roger Skirrow (Chair), Director, Geotechnical and Material Services, Transportation & Civil Engineering
Jeanette Espie, Director, Driver Services, Transportation Safety Services
Jim Harvey, Director, Tender Administration, Corporate Services
Vincent Wu, Senior Policy Advisor, Road Policy and Planning, Infrastructure Policy & Planning
Peter Ing, Technology Development Engineer, Geotechnical and Material Services, Transportation & Civil Engineering
Tas Kolias, Construction Manager, Southern Region, Transportation & Civil Engineering
Terry Becker, Operations Manager, Southern Region, Transportation & Civil Engineering
ARAC’s Goals are:
Goal #1 - To review proposed research and technology transfer projects for the entire department and recommend a priority to management
Goal #2 - To liaise and communicate with internal staff and external partners
Goal #3 - To encourage and support ideas, innovative and critical thinking for research and technology transfer initiatives