U.S. Department of Transportation
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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations
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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-10-048
Date: June 2010
State Planning and Research Guide For Peer Exchanges
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4. Guidance and Resources on Conducting Peer Exchanges
It is the State's responsibility to initiate its peer exchange. The peer exchange activity, composition of the peer exchange team, the breadth of the issues covered, the duration of the peer exchange, and other issues are at the State's discretion. That notwithstanding, the State's selection should be done in consultation with its FHWA division office to ensure there is agreement on what will best fulfill the SP&R regulatory requirements for periodic peer exchanges.
What is the core guidance?
What is the recommended peer exchange cycle for a State DOT director of research?
Determination of which peer exchange cycle is engaged should be at the discretion of the State DOT director of research, in consultation with the FHWA division office, based on the principle and philosophy of the peer exchange and the use of peer exchanges to strategically improve research programs. A longer period might warrant a full evaluation of the management plan to ensure it still provides the appropriate framework for the State's research program. Alternatively, if a State is confident in its management plan or if it is on a shorter cycle, it may choose to conduct a peer exchange that has a specific focus on topics in the management plan or overall research program. Future peer exchanges might also undergo a similar evaluation of the best focus and format to ensure the exchange will result in the most advantageous benefits to the research program.
What options are available for peer exchange activities?
FHWA division SP&R coordinators should be available to partner with and support the State DOT in determining the peer exchange activities and agenda. Peer exchange activities should fill at least a 2- to 3-day agenda within a 5-year span. The number of peer exchanges held should be at the discretion of the State and based on the value added of holding a peer exchange to benefit the State DOT RD&T program.
To ensure that a peer exchange may be fully productive, there may not be more than three host States in a multistate peer exchange. For a peer exchange that includes multiple States, four to five people from outside the host States should be included on the panel.
What resources for planning and peer exchange logistic support are available?
What other peer exchange resources are available?
Research Advisory Committee (RAC) Web site5
(Peer exchange reports)
Summary: Collection of peer exchange reports by States
Documenting Peer Exchange Administrative Experiences6
(National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP), Project No. 20-38A)
Summary: Examines the progress of the completed exchanges.
Peer Exchange: A Value-Added Program Management Tool7
(NCHRP Project 20-7, Task 125)
Summary: This document summarized the States' experiences with peer exchanges and how they benefited from the program. The overall conclusion is that a peer exchange can be a valuable management tool.
"Peer Exchange Produces Results"
Summary: The article touts the success and value of the peer exchange program.
Topics: research, state planning and research, peer review
Keywords: research, State Planning and Research, SP&R, research peer reviews, peer exchanges
TRT Terms: research, highway, persons and personal characteristics, personnel, groups, peer groups