Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Examining the Impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Healthcare Safety (R18)
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:
May 9, 2024
Estimated Publication Date of Notice of Funding Opportunity :

Late Spring/Early Summer

First Estimated Application Due Date:

Fall 2024

Earliest Estimated Award Date:

Summer 2025

Earliest Estimated Start Date:

Summer 2025

Related Announcements


Issued by



The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's (AHRQ) mission is to produce evidence to make healthcare safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and to work within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and with other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used.

AHRQ intends to publish a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to invite grant applications that support healthcare safety by determining (1) whether and how certain breakthrough uses of Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems can affect patient safety; and (2) how AI systems can be safely implemented and used. AI has the potential to improve the safety, effectiveness, efficiency, accessibility, and affordability of healthcare. However, as with most technologies, this potential must be balanced by identifying and mitigating possible risks for patient harm and user burden.

For the purposes of the NOFO, AI is defined as the capacity of a software application to perform operations and tasks analogous to learning and decision making in humans, including the capability to abstract perceptions of real and virtual environments into models through automated analysis, use model inference to formulate options for information or action, and generate new content in response to a prompt. The NOFO will focus on assessing the impact, both positive and negative, of actual AI deployments in healthcare delivery systems and how that impact can be affected by implementation and use strategies. The NOFO will not support the development of new AI systems.

One focus of the NOFO will be to understand whether and how newer or what might be considered “breakthrough” uses of AI can affect patient safety. An AI breakthrough is a significant advance, development, or achievement that removes a hazard or a barrier to progress in healthcare processes; it may also enable new healthcare processes. This includes leading edge, innovative or novel AI approaches which have not yet been rigorously evaluated. AI systems which present potential breakthrough solutions for alleviating clinician burden and burnout and allowing clinicians more time to deliver patient care may also represent a breakthrough for patient safety and will be included within the scope of the NOFO.

The second focus of the NOFO is to examine the safe implementation and use of AI systems, where “AI systems” means software applications that operate in whole or in part using AI. Areas to examine may include but not be limited to workflow integration, usability, human-computer teaming, and governance for monitoring safe use of AI systems post implementation. For the purposes of the NOFO and this focus area, AHRQ is only interested in AI systems that have previously been shown to be efficacious in healthcare settings.

This Notice encourages investigators with appropriate expertise and capabilities to begin to consider applying for the upcoming NOFO. AHRQ intends to publish the NOFO in Spring 2024.   

Funding Information

Estimated Total Funding


Expected Number of Awards
Estimated Award Ceiling


Primary Assistance Listing Number(s)


Anticipated Eligible Organizations
Public/State Controlled Institution of Higher Education
Private Institution of Higher Education
Nonprofit with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institution of Higher Education)
State Government
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Federally Recognized)
County governments
Independent school districts
Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities
Indian/Native American Tribally Designated Organization (Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
U.S. Territory or Possession
Indian/Native American Tribal Government (Other than Federally Recognized)
Regional Organization

Applications are not being solicited at this time. 


Please direct all inquiries to:

Stephanie R. Pitts, Ph.D.
Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Hamid Jalal, MD, MHSA
Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality