Moving Research Into Practice. Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for Capturing the Impacts and Value of NCHRP Research

Estimating the value of NCHRP research products is challenging. A research product can have multiple outcomes, which in turn can lead to multiple impacts. Significant time can pass between when the research product is developed, when it is put into practice, and when the impacts of that practice are realized; this affects the timing of any evaluation activities. The nature of research products is wide-ranging; some research products are geared towards improving existing practices, while others are useful for informing policy decisions. A variety of techniques may be used to measure the impacts themselves, influenced by what measures would be most useful, how easy performance data are to collect, monitor, and replicate. Finally, attributing impacts to a research product, when the research product is used as part of a portfolio of other research products, needs to be considered. Estimating the value of NCHRP research will likely require approaches that are sensitive to the context of the research and the perspective of the stakeholders trying to understand its benefits. The research team developed such a process for research impact assessment based on theory and practice in research evaluation from multiple disciplines. Research impact assessment is a complex and multidimensional process, particularly in the case of NCHRP, which is broad-based in term of topics covered and national implementation scope. While a narrowly quantitative, one-size fits-all approach to impact evaluation would be desirable, for NCHRP such an approach cannot recognize the nature of the research program and the broad set of values it is expected to produce. The final report of the project is available here. The report includes the following chapters: (1) Literature Review (2) Synthesis of Stakeholder Interviews (3) Research Impact Assessment Framework (4) Guidelines for Effective NCHRP Impacts Assessment (5) Methodological challenges in assessing the impacts of NCHRP Research (6) Changes to NCHRP Process to Facilitate RIA (7) Conclusions and Recommendations for Evaluating NCHRP Research.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $800000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 20-44(09)

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

    444 North Capitol Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Mohan, Sid

  • Performing Organizations:

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute, College Station

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Zmud, Johanna

  • Start Date: 20190501
  • Expected Completion Date: 20211231
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01683229
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 20-44(09)
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Oct 15 2018 7:52PM