AHRQ Policy Guidance Regarding Inflationary Increases (aka, cost-of-living adjustments, or COLAs) beginning in Fiscal Year 2017

Notice Number: NOT-HS-17-001

Key Dates
Release Date: October 5, 2016

Related Announcements

Issued by
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (http://www.ahrq.gov)


This Notice provides guidance about AHRQ's treatment of inflationary increases or "COLAs," as they are often referred to.

Historically, AHRQ has not automatically allowed inflationary increases/COLAs. Rather, during negotiation of competing grant awards, when the applicant institution could provide historical evidence of annual COLA rates that it had paid, using its own funds, for the past three consecutive years, AHRQ awarded a COLA not to exceed the average of the historical COLA rates. If an institution had not historically paid COLAs using its own funds, it would not receive COLAs in its AHRQ awards, regardless of whether it was the institution's internal policy to request COLAs from federal agencies. In addition, AHRQ does not allow escalations for anticipatory or contingent personnel costs such as merit increases, performance-based increases, promotions, etc.

Effective Oct 1, 2016, inflationary increases or COLAs for future year commitments will be discontinued for all competing research grant awards issued in FY 2017 and beyond. Any funds budgeted/requested for COLAs or for anticipatory or contingent personnel costs in future years will be removed from the budget and these funds may not be rebudgeted for other purposes.


Questions may be directed to the AHRQ Grants Management Inbox (AHRQ) GrantsManagementInbox@ahrq.hhs.gov.