Virginia and West Virginia’s Transportation Research Co–Peer Exchange (June 22-26, 2014)

Report No: 15-R14

Published in 2015

About the report:

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. Specifically, the federal regulation regarding this requirement is 23 CFR 420, Subpart B.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) interpreted the regulation as requiring an exchange of information regarding the various practices a state uses to manage its RD&T2 program. 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 the FHWA and be listed by the 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 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 June 22 through 26, 2014, the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research (VCTIR) hosted Virginia and West Virginia’s Transportation Research Co–Peer Exchange (hereinafter co–peer exchange) with state department of transportation (DOT) research managers/directors from Georgia, Louisiana, Virginia, and West Virginia and representatives of the Virginia and West Virginia divisions of the FHWA. The Research and Special Studies Section of the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s (WVDOT) Division of Highways is in the planning stages of developing an innovation center and wished to learn from these states. VCTIR was interested in implementation successes and lessons learned.

Disclaimer Statement: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.


  • Donald L. Williams, P.E., David M. Jared, P.E., William King, Jr., P.E.

Last updated: November 12, 2023

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