Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center

 
 
 
 

Research Paper Competition

The Excellence in Highway Safety Data Award Encourages Undergraduate and Graduate Students to Use Roadway Data to Research a Safety Topic and Prepare for a Career in Highway Safety

Award details

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is pleased to announce the Excellence in Highway Safety Data Award, part of the Highway Data Analysis Excellence Awards Program, which is designed to encourage university students to use HSIS data to investigate a topic that advances highway safety and to develop a paper (2,500-5,000 words) to document the original research.

The Awards’s goal is to encourage university students to use HSIS data with the intent of introducing potential future highway safety professionals to good quality safety data, the application of appropriate research methods to derive recommendations, and the practice of using data to make decisions.

Papers due: April 1, 2017

Note: The turnaround time for requested HSIS data, www.hsisinfo.org/datarequest.cfm, is normally less than two weeks; however, time needed to conduct analysis of this data varies per project. Please be sure to plan accordingly and in advance of the paper submission deadline.

Download Award flier (PDF)

Eligibility and guidelines

The Excellence in Highway Safety Data Award research paper competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students in degree- granting programs that support highway safety, including, but not limited to, engineering, planning, statistics, psychology, and economics.

Participants who have graduated from a program within the six months prior to the submission date are also eligible, if the paper is based on work conducted as part of the program. Students are encouraged to develop papers for the contest based on their use of HSIS data for class projects or for graduate thesis and dissertation projects.

The following eligibility requirements must be met by all applicants on a submission for the 2017 Award:

  • Applicant(s) must be enrolled as a graduate or undergraduate student in the 2016-2017 academic year or graduated from a university located in the U.S. during the 2016-2017 academic year. (See note below regarding faculty participation.)
  • Analysis must be conducted on data requested and acquired from the Highway Safety Information System (http://www.hsisinfo.org/datarequest.cfm). Data from other states or localities may be used in support of the primary analysis using HSIS data.
  • Email submission instructions will be available on the website, www.hsisinfo.org/contest, in February 2017.

Submissions by individual students or groups of students will be considered. Teams, however, must define one lead student and contributing students for the project. (Prizes reflect this requirement.) Faculty can participate in an advisory role but cannot be coauthors on the paper.

Award prizes

 

  1st Place 2nd Place 3rd Place Honorable
Mentions
Recognition at the ITE 2017 Annual Meeting and Exhibit (July 30 - August 2, 2017, Toronto, Ontario, Canada) All authors will be acknowledged and receive a plaque. (FHWA is unable to pay for the recipient's travel to Canada due to US Federal restrictions regarding funding of international travel.) X X X X
Registration for EITHER the 2018 TRB Annual Meeting (January 2018) OR the 2018 ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibit (August 2018) will be provided to the lead author only. X X X  
Lodging (2 nights) will be provided for the lead author to attend EITHER the 2018 TRB Annual Meeting (January 2018) OR the 2018 ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibit (August 2018). X X    
Roundtrip, domestic airfare will be provided for the lead author only to attend EITHER the 2018 TRB Annual Meeting (January 2018) OR the 2018 ITE Annual Meeting and Exhibit
(August 2018).
X      
Paper will be published in the ITE Journal and/or on the HSIS website. X      

 

All prizes – including travel reimbursements – are subject to FHWA rules, regulations and approval at time of award.

Past winners

2016: Mahdi Pour-Rouholamin, Ph.D

Auburn University Ph.D. Student Wins First Highway Safety Data Research Paper Competition

(August 15, 2016) ANAHEIM, Calif. ─ Mahdi Pour-Rouholamin, Ph.D., is the first place winner of the inaugural Highway Safety Information System (HSIS) Research Paper Competition for his paper “Analyzing the Severity of Motorcycle Crashes in North Carolina using HSIS Data.” He accepted his award today at the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) 2016 Annual Meeting and Exhibit in Anaheim, Calif.

The HSIS Research Paper Competition encourages university students to use HSIS data with the intent of introducing potential future highway safety professionals to quality safety data, the application of appropriate research methods to derive recommendations and the practice of using data to make decisions. The competition is jointly administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and ITE.

“Congratulations to Dr. Pour-Rouholamin for an excellent research paper about motorcycle safety,” said Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “It is imperative for FHWA to support the next generation of America’s highway safety professionals and to encourage using safety data – and HSIS data specifically – in scholarly research.”

View complete 2016 announcement (PDF)

About HSIS

HSIS is a safety database that contains crash, roadway inventory, and traffic volume data for a select group of States and cities. The participating agencies were selected based on the quality and quantity of data available, and their ability to merge data from various files. FHWA uses the HSIS to support the FHWA safety research program and provides input for program policy decisions.

The FHWA has used HSIS data to analyze a large number of safety problems. These safety problems can range from the more basic "problem identification" issues to identifying the size and extent of a safety problem to modeling efforts that attempt to predict future crashes from roadway characteristics and traffic factors.

The FHWA also provides  HSIS  data to professionals conducting research under the National Cooperative Highway Research Program, universities, and others studying highway safety. Results from many of the studies have been used to develop new safety policies and establish improved safety practices.

The HSIS Research Paper Competition is jointly administered by FHWA and the Institute of Transportation Engineers.