Special Emphasis Notice: AHRQ Announces Interest in Health Services Research to Improve Care Delivery, Access, Quality, Equity, and Health Outcomes for Older Adults
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

May 13, 2024

Related Announcements

  • May 3, 2023 - Services Research Dissertation Program (R36). See NOFO  PA-23-196.
  • September 22, 2022 - AHRQ Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award (K01). See NOFO PA-22-255. 
  • August 8, 2022 - AHRQ Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08). See NOFO  PA-22-232.
  • December 8, 2021- AHRQ Mentored Career Enhancement Awards for Established Investigators in Patient-Centered Outcome Research (K18). See NOFO PA-22-051. 
  • December 8, 2021- AHRQ Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Mentored Clinical Scientist Career Development Award (K08). See NOFO PA-22-050
  • December 8, 2021- AHRQ Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award (K01). See NOFO PA-22-049
  • February 6, 2024 - AHRQ Health Services Research Demonstration and Dissemination Grants (R18). See NOFO PA-24-156.
  • February 6, 2024 - AHRQ Small Health Services Research Grant Program (R03). See NOFO PA-24-155
  • February 6, 2024- AHRQ Health Services Research Projects (R01). See NOFO PA-24-154

Issued by



The purpose of this Special Emphasis Notice (SEN) is to inform the research community of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) strong and continued interest in receiving health services research grant applications that advance the Nation’s goal of improving care delivery, access, quality, equity, and health outcomes for older adults.

The older adult population in the U.S., age 65 and older increased by 38.6% from 40.3 million to 55.8 million between 2010 and 2020 (U.S. Census Bureau data) and is expected to reach 94.7 million by 2060) (US. Census Burea data). The health system is ill-prepared to meet the need of older adults, the majority of whom have multiple chronic conditions and frequently receive fragmented and sub-optimal care. This leads to poor outcomes, including avoidable adverse events, hospitalizations, and institutionalization, and increased costs. Furthermore, most people aged 65 and older are women, who compared to men, disproportionately experience illness, multiple chronic conditions, disability, poverty, and barriers in access to care as do low-income older adults and those from certain racial and ethnic minority groups. The sustainability of Medicare and Medicaid programs is dependent on improving quality and outcomes of care for older adults.

Re-engineering healthcare delivery systems to deliver person-centered integrated care so that care transformation optimizes physical and mental health outcomes, functional status, and well-being, is paramount. Specifically, such changes can reduce much of the morbidity and premature mortality associated with aging, and chronic conditions can be effectively managed, allowing people to live independently and contribute to their communities longer.

This SEN conveys AHRQ’s interest in supporting health services research to conduct research that will address questions related to the development, implementation, evaluation, and scale of person-centered models of care to optimize physical and mental health, functional status, and the well-being among older adults. This SEN builds on AHRQ’s prior work, including the Optimizing Health and Function as We Age Roundtable Report , Research Agenda for Transforming Care for People with  Multiple Chronic Conditions,  and the Multiple Chronic Conditions e-careplan. It also supports AHRQ’s ongoing commitment to the inclusion of priority populations in health services research (About Priority Populations | Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (ahrq.gov).

AHRQ encourages applications that focus on:

  • Coordination of care for older adults and patients with multiple chronic conditions across providers and settings of care, with attention to inequities in health and healthcare.
  • Person-centered, whole-person healthcare delivery that address the needs, health goals, and priorities of older adults, including those with multiple chronic conditions and those from socially disadvantaged communities and populations.
  • Developing, evaluating, and implementing models of primary care to optimize health, functional status, and well-being among older adults and to better integrate and coordinate care which may include the effectiveness of payment models to achieve these aims.
  • Interventions that address the needs of older women to improve access, quality, safety, and health outcomes, and address inequities in health and healthcare among diverse groups of older women.
  • Design of effective models of care that foster well-being and reduce burden on clinicians and interdisciplinary teams, including health care staff, patients, and caregivers. in the co-design of interventions and generation of evidence of what works in different contexts.
  • Design of effective models of care that integrate the voices of older adults, caregivers, and communities, including them in the co-design of interventions and the generation of evidence of what works in different contexts.
  • Innovations in healthcare delivery to address behavioral health needs of older adults and their caregivers, including integration of behavioral health into primary care.
  • Addressing health-related social needs, including collaboration and integration between health care, social and community services, and public health
  • Interventions that address caregiver’s needs and reduce burden on patients and their caregivers
  • Developing effective and efficient ways to collect and use person-centered data, increase electronic information exchange with providers across settings of care, and social and community service organizations and identify meaningful measures that address what is most important to older adults.

The Agency encourages research teams to submit applications in response to this SEN using AHRQ’s current research grant announcements – See https://www.ahrq.gov/funding/fund-opps/index.html.

Specifically, the Agency encourages research teams to submit applications in response to this emphasis using AHRQ’s standing R18, R03, and R01 funding mechanisms (PA-24-156PA-24-155PA-24-154) or any reissue of these NOFOs through expiration date of this SEN. AHRQ is also interested in receiving career development awards using AHRQ’s K01, K08, K18 funding mechanisms (PA-22-255PA-22-232PA-22-051PA-22-050 and PA-22-049) that propose developing generalizable health service research skills through projects related to research aging. Additionally, AHRQ is interested in receiving dissertation grant proposals addressing health services aging research using AHRQ’s R36 funding mechanism (PA-23-196). 

Applicants should clearly state in their grant application’s project summary/abstract that their application is responsive to this SEN by including the title and number of this SEN NOT-HS-24-013. Applicants should also enter the number of this SEN in box 4b (Agency Routing Identifier) of the SF 424 (R&R) Form.

Applications responding to this SEN should be submitted following regular application receipt dates identified in the respective NOFO and will be reviewed by AHRQ standing study sections.

Applicants should consider this SEN active until May 15, 2027.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Email: Grant_Queries@ahrq.hhs.gov