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Request for proposals (RFP) on the third topic from the inaugural Strategic Asphalt Research Symposium in 2017

Asphalt Institute Foundation (AIF) Research Initiative
Call for Proposals
September 8, 2020

The Asphalt Institute Foundation (AIF) is pleased to announce a request for proposals (RFP) on a third topic from the inaugural Strategic Asphalt Research Symposium in 2017 -- Roofing Asphalt Sustainability. Research into the sustainability of the bituminous (asphalt) roofing materials is intended to focus on the significant issues that ultimately will ensure a sustainable future of the asphalt roofing industry.

Understanding that strategic research can take many forms, and in the interest of cultivating innovation and creativity in the received proposals, the AIF has elected not to impose a pre-defined rigid framework around work plan, deliverables, funding, and timeline. However, the proposals are expected to adhere to the general guidelines described in this document.

Reference documents (listed below) that may be downloaded include the following:

  • AIF Research Initiative Proposal – Required Items
  • AIF Research Initiative Proposal – Liability Statement
  • AIF Research Initiative Proposal – Research Needs Statement

The proposal is expected to have a maximum limit of 10 pages, with the following items excluded from the page limit:

  • AIF Research Initiative Proposal Cover Sheet
  • AIF Research Initiative Proposal Statement of Purpose (1-page maximum)
  • AIF Research Initiative Proposal Budget Summary
  • AIF Research Initiative Proposal Liability Statement
  • Letters of Support or Endorsement from collaborating public agencies or private industry

All other items, including references and appendix, count towards the maximum 10-page limit.

The firm deadline for RFP submission is October 30, 2020. Proposals should be electronically submitted to rfp@asphaltfoundation.org as a single DOCX Word or PDF document no later than the deadline.

Proposals will be reviewed, and notification of outcome is expected 60-90 days from the proposal due date. During the proposal review period the AIF may request further information or a conference call with the proposer to review any questions.

AIF Research Proposal Guidelines
Proposers should select one of the following types of projects. Each type of project may be subject to different funding availability and time frames.

  1. Products and Applications (Type 1)
    • Deliverable is a novel technology, product, or specifications.
  2. Concept Exploration (Type 2)
    • Deliverable is a deep analysis, exploration, and/or modeling of a novel concept of strategic importance to the future of the industry.

Proposals are expected to consist of at least two phases. The first phase provides validation and proof of concept for the proposed topic of research and identification of key next steps to fully deliver on project objectives. The proposal should include a separate budget sheet using the form included in the attached cover sheet for each phase of the project.

Although the AIF Research Committee is not imposing strict limits on the requested funding level, it is anticipated that the granted funding for Phase 1 will be less than $100,000 and will be completed within a period of 12 months. At the end of the first phase the research team will need to provide a report, based on which the AIF project committee will decide on granting funding for further phases and finalize the scope. For large proposals of compelling value and interest the committee may attempt to secure additional funding from other external sources for future phases.

In addition to the Phase 1 report, the selected research team will also be required to provide brief semi-annual updates in the form of PowerPoint slides, as well as an update presentation to the next STAR symposium upon request from the AIF.

Proposal Format
The proposal shall consist of the following items and information:

  1. Completed Required Items
  2. Completed Liability Statement
    • Download AIF Liability Statement PDF
    • Please use the AIF Research Initiative Proposal Liability Statement, if possible. An alternative Liability Statement may be substituted if it has the same form/intent of the AIF Liability Statement
  3. Detailed Proposal Document
    • Download AIF Research Initiative Proposal RNS Asphalt Roofing Sustainability PDF
    • The proposal document shall be a maximum of 10 pages in length, including any references and appendix and excluding the items as noted above. The proposal does not need to follow a predefined format; however, it should provide a clear explanation of the following:
      1. Concept and Application: Define the problem the concept addresses and describe the approach to the problem. Clearly indicate the AIF problem statement document that is being addressed by the proposal.
      2. Potential Impact or Payoff for Future State of Practice: How does the proposed research address AIF problem statement?
      3. Investigative Approach: Describe the planned investigative approach and timeline for each phase. Provide a proposed work plan that describes the work required for each numbered task. Divide the plan into two or three stages and include a specific plan for evaluating research results at the completion of each stage. Include a summary of the results of a literature search to show that the concept is not similar to or duplicative of other investigations. Literature search/reviews or surveys should not be a task in the AIF research plan. The proposers should perform adequate literature review before writing their AIF proposals to ensure the proposal does not duplicate existing or in-progress research efforts, and to have a thorough understanding of their specific focus to address the problem.
      4. Expected Deliverables and Milestones: What will the project deliver? On what schedule?
      5. Key Personnel and Facilities: Identify the key investigators and include summary information on their background and technical expertise. Describe resources of the research facility that are available for performing the project. Indicate liaison or cooperative work arrangements, if any, with states, other research organizations, producers, or potential product users. It is highly encouraged that the proposed research team consist of diverse backgrounds, especially experts from outside of the asphalt industry.
      6. Other Related Proposals: Provide information on other proposals in the same or related technical areas that have been submitted by the investigator(s) to other agencies or programs, are planned to be submitted in the current year, or have been funded previously. Indicate “not applicable” if no such proposals have been submitted or awards received. Provide a brief synopsis of other ongoing or completed work related to the proposal.

Budget and Cost Sharing

  • At least half of the research must be performed directly by the proposing firm, individuals, or institution. In case of a joint proposal by two or more institutions, only one budget sheet needs to be provided, prepared by one of the partnering institutions (acting as the prime contractor) with the other partners shown as subcontractors.
  • Only critically needed hardware and equipment specifically required for the project will be considered for funding. Proposed purchase of such equipment with AIF funds is discouraged.
  • Any travel budget items must be directly related to the performance of the project work. Include potential travel for at least one project briefing to the AIF Research committee. The budget should reflect the proposer’s best terms from a cost and technical standpoint.
  • Cost sharing is encouraged for all proposals. Cost sharing includes direct cash contributions and/or indirect contributions and payment in kind. Cost sharing can come from the proposers, users, industry participants, state agencies, and other sources available to the proposers. Any cost sharing should be discussed in the proposal. Specific arrangements, if proposed, must be completed before an award is made.

Intellectual Property

  • All proposals and other documentation submitted in response to the Call for Proposals become the property of the Asphalt Institute Foundation and will not be returned. The Asphalt Institute Foundation strongly prefers that no confidential information be submitted in any proposal and will not consider any proposal to be confidential unless the proposer and the Asphalt Institute Foundation execute a confidentiality agreement in advance of the submission of the proposal.
  • Proposers whose proposals are accepted by the Asphalt Institute Foundation will be expected to sign the Asphalt Institute Foundation’s contract, which will typically provide that all copyrights and other intellectual property rights associated with the proposer’s work product will be owned by the proposer, subject to a non-exclusive perpetual license to the Asphalt Institute Foundation to use, publish, distribute, reproduce, prepare derivative works of and display the work product.

Disclosure Statement
The proposal must include a separate disclosure statement. Following guidelines from the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Program, an acceptable disclosure statement “…presents information relevant to possible sources of financial or organizational conflict of interest in conducting the research.” If the proposer judges that there are no possible sources of conflict of interest, then this should be stated.

All inquiries should be sent to: rfp@asphaltfoundation.org.

About the Asphalt Institute Foundation (AIF)
The Asphalt Institute Foundation (AIF) supports strategic research projects that are designed to advance and improve both the liquid asphalt industry and the welfare of the general public. Established in 2014, the Asphalt Institute Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.