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Pages - RAC New Member Guide

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​​​​​​​​​RAC NEW MEMBER GUIDE​


Get a broad overview of the responsibilities and benefits of being a RAC member. Refer to Frequently ​Asked Questions page for specific questions.

Table of Contents​

First things first…
What is RAC and what do we do? 
History
How does ​RAC wo​rk? 
When does RAC meet?
How can RAC membership help me?
H​​ow to conduct a Peer Exchange.
Straining the alphabet soup – who are all these guys?
What are my responsibilities and opportunities as a RAC member?
Are you also the TRB State Representative?
I’ve got a lot more questions. 
In closing.​..​


​​First things first​…


Your agency’s CEO should inform AASHTO when you are newly appointed to RAC. ​That makes your membership “official" and will get you onto the RAC Roster, and the regional and national listservs. More...

What is RAC and what do we do? 

The Research Advisory Committee (RAC) to the AASHTO Standing Committee on Research (SCOR) ​supports the activities of SCOR and is committed to being a proactive committee promoting quality and excellence in research, and in the application of research findings to improve state transportation systems. Each AASHTO Member Department is represented on RAC. 

Aside from their activities on a national level, RAC members usually work closely with other members in the same AASHTO region on issues affecting them directly. See the RAC Roster for a list of current members from each region. Also, more information about the AASHTO regions is available on the Regional RAC page.

The business of RAC is guided by a set of operating guidelines​.

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History

The concept of RAC was developed during a meeting of the Task Force on AASHTO Organization which met during the summer of 1987. More... 
 


How does RAC work? 
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​RAC is governed by a leadership board comprised of the national and regional chairs and vice chairs, as well as ex officio members from TRB, AASHTO, FHWA and OST-R (formerly RITA). The RAC leadership board conducts the daily business of RAC.​

Much of the volunteer work of RAC takes place within its task forces. Visit the Task Forces page for more information. The activities and accomplishments of the task forces are reported regularly on the website. Each AASHTO region is represented on every task force.

When does RAC meet?

RAC meets twice a year as a full committee
  • Summer meeting - A multi-day (typically four days) meeting takes place in the summer, hosted by one of the four RAC regions in rotating order. 
  • Winter meeting - A three hour meeting during the TRB annual meeting in January provides an opportunity to report on activities and current issues.
  • RAC leadership, Regions and Task Forces hold regular conference calls throughout the year.  


How can RAC membership help me?​

RAC membership brings with it a wealth of res​ou​rces​ that can help you do your job as a research manager. The most valuable asset may be the contacts you make with other RAC members and transportation professionals. More...

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How to conduct a Peer Exchange.

​During the peer exchange, you and your staff will convene a meeting with peers to exchange ideas on topics selected by the host. A periodic peer exchange is required by federal legislation and provides a valuable tool for a state to evaluate improve the quality and effectiveness of its research management processes. ​



Straining the alphabet soup – who are all these guys?

If you are new to transportation research, you may well be getting overwhelmed by the number of acronyms and abbreviations you are faced with. Don’t worry – this will become second nature in no time. In the meantime, check out the list of acronyms on the site. Also, take a look at this Map of U.S. Highway Research Organization Relationships.  More​...

 


What are my responsibilities and opportunities as a RAC member?

You can contribute to the body of knowledge and help RAC achieve its mission and goals.

As RAC member, you are responsible for submitting information about your DOTs research work to the Research in Progress (RiP) and Transportation Research International Documentation (TRID) databases​.

RAC membership allows you to help steer the nation’s research agenda through participation in national research programs such as the NCHRP. You can submit problem statements, provide review comments and rankings on all problem statements submitted, and serve on project panels to help guide the work. 

If you receive a survey through the RAC listserv, please take the time to have it completed by the right people in your DOT. 

To really help with the day to day work of RAC, consider joining one of the task forces as a member or friend.


Are you also the TRB State Representative?​

More than 80% of RAC members are also their agency's official TRB State Representative. A set of guides and resources for TRB State Representatives​ is available on the TRB Website. 


I’ve got a lot more questions… 

The RAC R​oster is a great way to contact all RAC members. 

Many RAC members use the listserv frequently to surve​y the current state of practice in a given subject area. The results will be posted on the website for others to benefit.
 
Always feel free to contact another RAC member in a nearby state or across the country. You’ll find everyone is willing to help.


In closing…

We hope this brief introduction to RAC was helpful to you. Please feel free to contact the Webmaster​​ or the RAC Secretary if we can be of any further assistance to you. 




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