November 17, 2022
PA-21-264 (Large Health Services Research Demonstration and Dissemination Projects for Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections (R18)
PA 21-265 (Large Research Projects for Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections (R01)
PA-22-047 (Large Research Projects for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB) (R01)
PA-22-048 (Large Health Services Research Demonstration and Dissemination Projects for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria (CARB)(R18)
AGENCY FOR HEALTHCARE RESEARCH AND QUALITY (AHRQ)
The purpose of this Special Emphasis Notice (SEN) is to inform the research community of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) continued interest in, and available funding for, supporting innovative research seeking to reduce the burden of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and to address the growing threat posed by antimicrobial resistant organisms. HAIs continue to cause significant patient harm and are also associated with considerable financial consequences for healthcare facilities and for patients. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has been associated with observed increases of several types of HAIs as well as increases in antimicrobial resistance, highlighting the importance of developing and studying resilient and adaptable countermeasures.
AHRQ will continue to support applications submitted in response to HAI Prevention (R01 and R18) and Combating Antimicrobial Resistant Bacteria (R01 and R18) Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs). Applications utilizing clinical trials, rigorously designed observational studies, or applied health services research are encouraged. AHRQ is particularly interested in addressing knowledge gaps regarding care and outcomes seen in diverse populations, especially AHRQ’s priority populations. AHRQ is committed to advancing health equity and intends that research funded by the agency contribute to the goal of improving health equity. AHRQ encourages applicants responding to these NOFOs to consider whether their proposed projects could include interventions or analyses to advance health equity and, where relevant, to address these issues in the proposed research plan. In addition, AHRQ is interested in research conducted in a variety of healthcare settings including acute care hospitals, long-term care, and ambulatory care settings, as well as transitions between care settings. As HAI prevention and combating antimicrobial resistance efforts are less well-developed in long-term care, ambulatory settings, and transitions between settings than in acute care, applications addressing these less developed settings are of particular interest. There are numerous opportunities for research across a broad range of topics.
Applications studying healthcare delivery that directly benefit patient outcomes, contribute to the understanding of HAIs, and improve healthcare delivery are most suitable for the listed NOFOs. Applications that investigate the appropriate integration of FDA-approved diagnostic or therapeutic modalities into clinical care are encouraged. However, applications that include the use of diagnostic tests or therapeutic agents that are not yet FDA-approved are generally not appropriate for AHRQ funding.
Applicants should review each NOFO carefully. The appropriateness of applying to the Large Research Project (R01) NOFO, or the Research Demonstration and Dissemination Grant (R18) announcements related to either HAI prevention or combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria (CARB) should be considered. Additionally, R03 (small grant program) funding opportunities are available through the general AHRQ Small Research Grant Program. These and other considerations can be discussed with AHRQ Program staff prior to application submission.
When applying, please be sure to include a data management plan, which is required for all applications. A data and safety monitoring plan and a single IRB plan may also be required, depending on the type of study proposed and institution(s) involved. Budget limits cited in AHRQ NOFO’s include both direct and indirect costs.
Leyi Lin, MD
Division of Healthcare Associated Infections
Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety