Guidance for Surgeon Effort Level on AHRQ Individual Mentored K Awards
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Related Announcements

PA-22-255 - AHRQ Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award (K01)

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The purpose of this Notice is to announce a change in the minimum effort requirement for individual mentored K awards funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) for surgeons with active surgical duties.


The AHRQ is committed to the mentored career development of clinician scientists. Providing support and "protected time" to clinician-scientists at the early career stages for an intensive, mentored research and career development experience in health services research is one of AHRQ's key priorities in health services research training.

Surgeons require significant clinical activity to maintain their clinical competency skills and, in general, may be unable to devote the required minimum level of effort of at least 9 person months (75%) to research and career development activities on mentored career development awards.

AHRQ Guidance

AHRQ will now allow surgeons to devote less than nine person months of effort (i.e., 75% of full-time professional effort), but no less than six person months of effort (i.e., 50% of full-time professional effort), in all years of the award for the purpose of maintaining clinical competency. This effort requirement includes both research and career development activities. This policy applies to all AHRQ-supported individual mentored K mechanisms, including the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research individual mentored K mechanisms.

This policy is effective for K applications submitted to AHRQ for due dates on or after the June 12, 2022 and applies to surgeons who are submitting new or resubmission applications to AHRQ. For current AHRQ individual K awardees, it is AHRQ’s expectation that current surgeon K awardees will maintain a minimum 75% effort level and complete all AHRQ-approved research plan and career development plan activities.However, current surgeon K awardees may indicate a change in level of effort but must request prior approval to reduce their level of effort to no less than 50% during the course of their award. The prior approval request must include adequate justification. Note that a reduction in effort on the K08 will result in recalculation of salary provided by the K08 award.

New or resubmitting applicants proposing an effort level below nine person months, but no less than six person months must provide adequate justification in the budget justification section of the application and reference this Notice, NOT-HS-22-018. The Primary Mentor’s letter and Institutional Commitment letter both must mention concurrence with the applicant's justification statement.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Division of Research Education
Office of Extramural Research, Education, and Priority Populations
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)