Pipeline Safety Research Competitive Academic Agreement Program (CAAP) - 2018

Funding Agency:
Department of Transportation

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), through the U.S. DOT, hereby requests applications from non-profit institutions of higher education to obtain funding to research innovative solutions to pipeline corrosion and other known pipeline integrity challenges. 

PHMSA’s Pipeline Safety Research and Development (R&D) Program is authorized by the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-355 (December 17, 2002). Further, the authority to enter into cooperative agreements under the CAAP initiative is codified at 49 U.S.C.§ 60117(k). 

The pipeline infrastructure in the U.S. is the primary means of transporting natural gas and the majority of hazardous liquids from production basins and ports to areas of consumption. The importance of energy pipelines to the U.S. economy, our standard of living, and potential for safety and environmental impacts requires that these assets be maintained safely and expanded appropriately to sustain demand.  

Research must play a larger role in finding the solutions to national, regional, and local pipeline operational safety and environmental challenges. Some of these challenges involve operators having the best technology to efficiently and effectively meet or exceed Federal and state regulatory requirements on the safety and integrity of pipelines. Other challenges include keeping critical industry consensus standards fresh with the latest knowledge so that people, property, and the environment are protected.  

The CAAP initiative is intended to spur innovation by enabling academic research focused on highrisk and high pay-off solutions for the many pipeline safety challenges. It will potentially deliver solutions that can be “handed-off” to PHMSA’s core research program for demonstration and deployment. The goal is to validate proof of concept of a thesis or theory all the way to commercial implementation into the market.  

The pipeline industry and Federal/state regulators are experiencing low numbers of applicants to entry level positions that are technically focused. Consequently, another goal of the CAAP initiative is to expose and engage graduate and PhD research students to participate in subject matter task(s) that are common to pipeline safety challenges and to illustrate how their engineering or technical disciplines are highly needed in the field. The ultimate benefit would be to cultivate new talent in all aspects of the pipeline industry, similar to how programs at other Federal Agencies and non-profit organizations have encouraged talent to consider a career in a certain field.  

Deadline: Apr. 20, 2018

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

PHMSA is soliciting proposals in three primary research and development focus areas based on technical gaps identified at PHMSA’s November 2016 Government and Industry Pipeline Research Forum (Research Forum). The Research Forum brought together approximately 230 representatives from Federal, State, and foreign government offices along with domestic and foreign natural gas and hazardous liquid pipeline operators. The Research Forum's goals included identifying key challenges facing industry and government, sharing information on current research efforts, and identifying research that can help to meet the challenges. 

  • Research Area #1: Detecting, Mitigating and/or Locating Internal Pipeline Corrosion
  • Research Area #2: Engineering Improvements to Pipeline Computational Models to Reduce Variance
  • Research Area #3: Develop Advanced Knowledge Base Models from Root Cause Failure Analysis of Past Pipeline Incidents

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be non-profit institutions of higher education located in the United States or a U.S. Territory or possession. PHMSA will consider an application from an eligible higher education institution that partners with other eligible recipients, pipeline industry, and/or with any private organization, as long as the cost for the proposed partnership does not exceed 20 percent of the proposed amount of Federal contribution to the project (which may be up to $300,000). In other words, a portion of the Federal funding provided under the resulting cooperative agreement (up to $60,000) may go to a sub-recipient of the non-profit institution of higher education that is the primary party to the agreement. 



Amount Description

PHMSA has up to $2.0 million available for awards. Federal funding will not exceed $300,000 per award. The research to be conducted under the agreements will seek a wide set of solutions for corrosion and other pipeline integrity challenges. PHMSA anticipates the period of performance of each award to be no less than 24 months, while not exceeding 36 months. 

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

April 20, 2018