Department of Health and Human Services
Part 1. Overview Information

 

Participating Organization(s)

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

NOTE:  The policies, guidelines, terms, and conditions stated in this announcement may differ from those used by the NIH.  Where this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) provides specific written guidance that may differ from the general guidance provided in the grant application form, please follow the instructions given in this FOA. Also note that AHRQ may have different page limits than NIH for the application Research Strategy, which can be found within each individual FOA. AHRQ Grants Policy and Information to applicants regarding Funding Opportunity Announcement procedures can be found at http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/policies/foaguidance/index.html

Components of Participating Organizations

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

Funding Opportunity Title

Implementation and Evaluation of New Health Information Technology (IT) Strategies for Collecting and Using Patient-Reported Outcome (PRO) Measures (U18)

Activity Code

U18 Research Demonstration – Cooperative Agreements

Announcement Type

New

Related Notices
  • May 10, 2017 - New AHRQ "FORMS-E" Grant Application Forms and Instructions Coming for Due Dates On or After January 25, 2018. See NOT-HS-17-015.
Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

PA-17-247

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

 93.226 

Funding Opportunity Purpose

 This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites U18 cooperative agreement applications to stimulate innovative and collaborative research by utilizing new health information technology (IT) strategies for collecting and using patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures in primary care and other ambulatory care settings.

Key Dates

 

Posted Date

April 3, 2017

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

April 17, 2017

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not applicable.

Application Due Date(s)

September 25, 2017, September 25, 2018, and September 26, 2019), by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not applicable.

Scientific Merit Review

Generally, four months after receipt date.

Advisory Council Review

Not applicable.

Earliest Start Date

Generally, four months after peer review date.

Expiration Date

September 26, 2019

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV, and follow the AHRQ Grants Policy and Guidance found on the AHRQ website at http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/policies/foaguidance/index.html,When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.


There are several options available to submit your application through Grants.gov to NIH and Department of Health and Human Services partners. You must use one of these submission options to access the application forms for this opportunity.

  1. Use the NIH ASSIST system to prepare, submit and track your application online.
  2. Use an institutional system-to-system (S2S) solution to prepare and submit your application to Grants.gov and eRA Commons to track your application. Check with your institutional officials regarding availability.

  3. Go to Grants.gov to download an application package to complete the application forms offline or create a Workspace to complete the forms online; submit your application to Grants.gov; and track your application in eRA Commons.
Learn more about the various submission options.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information


Part 2. Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Purpose

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites U18 cooperative agreement applications to stimulate innovative and collaborative research by utilizing new health information technology (IT) strategies for collecting and using patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures in primary care and other ambulatory care settings. Under the U18 mechanism, AHRQ will have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role and will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities.

 
Background

The patient’s perspective is central to healthcare decisions affecting prevention, diagnosis, treatment and long-term care. Patient-reported outcomes (PROs) offer a complementary perspective to that of clinician assessments, and may provide greater insights into health status, function, symptom burden, adherence, health behaviors, and quality of life. PROs can inform the clinical management of individuals, shared decision-making, patient self-management support, care planning, goal setting, and goal attainment. Furthermore, PROs provide important data for research and quality improvement efforts. For the purposes of this FOA, PROs are data provided by patients regarding their health and functional status, including quality of life, symptoms, and activities of daily living.

Several validated PRO measures are publically available and used to gather PRO data. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded the development of the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System® (PROMIS) which contains instruments for many physical, mental, and social health domains. Electronic health record (EHR) systems in use today often do not collect PRO data in structured or standardized ways that can afford truly meaningful use for broad and comprehensive clinical or health outcomes measurement. While some EHR systems are currently able to capture some structured PRO data, including data from many of the NIH-funded PROMIS® instruments, such information is not commonly collected and integrated at the point of care. Thus, PRO data are not routinely available for clinical care, research, and quality improvement.

AHRQ is interested in studies that develop new health IT strategies for implementing existing PRO measures in ambulatory care environments, including studies that support the care of people with multiple chronic conditions (MCC). Although collection of PROs is advancing rapidly, and PROs have been widely used in research and select clinical settings, little is known about how to best use them in primary care and with the diverse populations served in ambulatory care settings, especially populations with MCC. Managing multiple chronic conditions can be very complicated partly because clinical care guidelines typically focus on single conditions without recognizing the potential contraindications or appropriate prioritization of treatments for multiple conditions. From the perspective of patients and their caregivers, the complexity and burden of recommended treatments may be so high that adherence is extremely challenging, even with robust cognitive and social resources. Implementing the use of PRO measures as part of standard care has the potential to improve MCC care by orienting clinicians and clinical teams to the outcomes that matter most to patients, thereby facilitating the prioritization and ultimate effectiveness of care.

Due to the expansion of consumer-oriented electronic platforms and technologies, the opportunity exists to develop new, patient-centered health IT strategies for effective PRO implementations. In general, there is a need to facilitate the collection and use of PROs in primary care and other ambulatory care contexts in a manner that is efficient, actionable, supports patients' engagement with their health and care, and improves clinical processes and outcomes. Ultimately, these advances should improve patient-provider communication and decision-making in healthcare delivery as well as contribute to the increased availability of PRO data for quality improvement and research efforts.

Objectives and Scope

This FOA aims to support applications for innovative collaborative investigations to understand how new health IT strategies can increase the utilization of PROs in ambulatory care settings and contribute to improved patient-centered health outcomes and quality of care. There is a need to implement and evaluate new approaches to health IT-enabled collection and use of PRO measures in ambulatory practice. Since health IT is a demonstrated enabler of the use of PROs in certain care settings with certain populations and disease types, AHRQ is interested in implementing and evaluating new health IT strategies for incorporating and using PRO measures, including measures relevant to people with MCC, in primary care and other ambulatory care settings.

While applications must be submitted by single, eligible organizations, AHRQ recognizes that the scope and breadth of this project may best be carried out through partnerships of multiple entities and, thus, strongly encourages applications that bring together the skills, experiences, and resources necessary to meet the research objectives.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to identify and recruit team members representing key stakeholders (e.g., clinical providers, staff, patients, and health It vendors as appropriate).

An AHRQ-led learning collaborative will focus on improving understanding of best practices for developing and implementing new health IT strategies to collect, integrate, and use PRO data. Grantees awarded through this FOA will be required to participate in the learning collaborative. The learning collaborative will meet on a regular basis by teleconferences as well as meeting in-person annually in the Washington, DC area. Each PD/PI and any key personnel for implementation and evaluation are required to participate in the learning collaborative conference calls and in-person meetings. The applicant needs to budget funds for one in-person meeting annually, identifying which personnel will attend. The PD(s)/PI(s) will actively participate in the plans to promote collaboration among learning collaborative members. The PD(s)/PI(s) and their team will be responsible for collaborating on/co-producing learning collaborative products over the course of the project. These may include (but are not limited to) common frameworks, toolkits, case studies for dissemination.

Regardless of the approach taken to address this FOA, the proposed project must incorporate the use of existing PRO measures. The development of new PRO measures is beyond the scope of this effort. The proposed project should describe the innovative component of the health IT strategy. For the purpose of this FOA, implementing a new EHR system is not considered a new health IT strategy.

Examples of relevant research directions include but are not limited to:

  • Develop and evaluate the usability of an innovative interface design to collect PRO measures in ambulatory care settings.
  • Implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a health IT strategy for integrating PRO measures into clinical workflow and using them to improve quality of care.
  • Develop and implement a health IT strategy to display user-friendly PRO data to clinical providers, patients, and practice staff for patient engagement and shared decision-making.
  • Employ health IT strategies to test different modalities in PRO data collection and integration.
  • Implement and evaluate a health IT strategy that allows a patient or providers to share the PRO data to foster shared care and care coordination aligned with patients’ goals and preferences.

All projects must:

  • Include a detailed implementation and evaluation plan for the health IT strategy to allow for replication by other stakeholders in primary care settings. 
  • Address why the project team chose to evaluate particular patient health outcomes and indicators of quality.
  • Provide rationale for the PROs selected and how they can lead to desired outcomes.
  • Evaluate how the health IT-enabled PRO implementation affects patient health outcomes and the quality of care. Measures of quality of care may include patient experience of care (e.g., communication with provider, shared decision-making, and patient goal setting), improvement in health and functional status, clinical metrics, quality indicators, or other relevant measures.
  • In the evaluation plan, address how the project team will identify implementation facilitators and barriers as well as noting strategies that will be used to overcome any encountered barriers.

See Section VIII. Other Information for award authorities and regulations.

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, AHRQ scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities. See Section VI.2 for additional information about the substantial involvement for this FOA.

Application Types Allowed

New
Resubmission
The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The number of awards is contingent upon AHRQ appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

Award Budget

 The total costs (direct and indirect) for a project awarded under this FOA will not exceed $400,000 in any given year or $1.2 million for the entire project period. 

Award Project Period

  The project period may not exceed 3 years 

These projects are authorized by 42 U.S.C. 299a, which provides that AHRQ shall conduct and support research, support demonstration projects, and disseminate information on health care and on systems for the delivery of such care, including activities with respect to the quality, effectiveness, efficiency, appropriateness, and value of health care services.

All applications submitted and AHRQ grants made in response to this FOA are subject to 45 CFR Part 75 (Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards; http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?node=pt45.1.75) , the HHS Grants Policy Statement (see http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/policies/hhspolicy/index.html), and the terms and conditions set forth in the Notice of Award.

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for AHRQ support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

o   Hispanic-serving Institutions

o   Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)

o   Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)

o   Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions

o   Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)

For-profit private institutions

Governments

  • State Governments
  • County Governments
  • City or Township Governments
  • Special District Governments
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Federally Recognized)
  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments (Other than Federally Recognized)
  • Eligible Agencies of the Federal Government
  • U.S. Territory or Possession

Other

  • Independent School Districts
  • Public Housing Authorities/Indian Housing Authorities
  • Native American Tribal Organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Faith-based or Community-based Organizations
  • Regional Organizations

HHS grants policy requires that the grant recipient perform a substantive role in the conduct of the planned project or program activity and not merely serve as a conduit of funds to another party or parties. If consortium/contractual activities represent a significant portion of the overall project, the applicant must justify why the applicant organization, rather than the party(s) performing this portion of the overall project, should be the grantee and what substantive role the applicant organization will play. Justification can be provided in the Specific Aims or Research Strategy section of the PHS398 Research Plan Component sections of the SF424 (R&R) application.  There is no budget allocation guideline for determining substantial involvement; determination of substantial involvement is based on a review of the primary project activities for which grant support is provided and the organization(s) that will be performing those activities.

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the HHS Grants Policy Statement (http://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/grants/grants/policies-regulations/hhsgps107.pdf) may participate in projects as member of consortia or as subcontractors only.  

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for AHRQ support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. The AHRQ multiple PDs/PIs policy can be found at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HS-16-018.html.

 Each PD/PI must devote a minimum of 20% annual full-time effort in each year of this project (i.e., at least 8 hours per week).  

2. Cost Sharing

This FOA does not require cost sharing.

While there is no cost sharing requirement included in this FOA, AHRQ welcomes applicant institutions, including any collaborating institutions, to devote resources to this effort.  An indication of institutional support from the applicant and its collaborators indicates a greater potential of success and sustainability of the project.  Examples of institutional support would include: donated equipment and space, institutional funded staff time and effort, or other resource investments.  Applicant institutions should indicate institutional support by outlining the specific contributions to the project and providing assurances that their organization and any collaborators are committed to providing these funds and resources to the project. This information can be included at the end of the budget justification section of the application, but institutional support dollars are not to be shown/included in the detailed budget request.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

Applicant organizations may submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

AHRQ will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the AHRQ will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

Buttons to access the online ASSIST system or to download application forms are available in Part 1 of this FOA. See your administrative office for instructions if you plan to use an institutional system-to-system solution.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the Research (R) Instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed

  • For this specific FOA, the Specific Aims section is limited to 1 page,
  • Research Strategy section is limited to 12 pages,
  • Implementation Plan section is limited to 2 pages, and
  • Evaluation Plan section is limited to 2 pages.
Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. 

R&R or Modular Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

Budget Component:  Special Instructions for AHRQ applications

AHRQ is not using the Modular Grant Application and Award Process.  Applicants for funding from AHRQ should ignore application instructions concerning the Modular Grant Application and Award Process, and prepare applications using instructions for the Research and Related Budget Components of the SF 424 (R&R).  Applications submitted in the Modular format will not be reviewed.

R&R Subaward Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

PHS 398 Research Plan

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions: 

Research Strategy:

Applicants should describe their approach to utilize new health IT strategies for collecting and using PRO data in primary care and other ambulatory care settings. Applicants are to describe their plan to implement the innovative effort in the Implementation Plan section.

In describing this approach, applicants must address the following elements:

  • How the proposed design, methods, and analyses will adequately address the specific aim(s).
  • How the approach is innovative.
  • How the approach will be implemented.
  • How the project will be completed within the project period of 3 years, including development, testing, evaluation, and additional phases where necessary.
  • How the approach considers the following design factors: current information needs and related processes; user needs, goals, and motivations; the environments and context in which the health IT application or system will be used; the need for patient engagement; the need for training and testing; and impact on workflow and workload, efficiency, economic, and health or clinical outcomes.
  • How the PROs will be selected and how they can lead to desired outcomes.
  • How the approach is sustainable beyond the project period.
Evaluation:

Applicants are to describe their plan to evaluate the innovative effort in the Evaluation Plan section. In describing this plan, applicants must address the following elements:

  • How the health IT-enabled PRO implementation affects patient health outcomes and the quality of care. Measures of quality of care may include patient experience of care (e.g., communication with provider, shared decision-making, and patient goal setting), improvement in health and functional status, clinical metrics, quality indicators, or other relevant measures.
  • Why the project chose to evaluate particular patient health outcomes and indicators of quality.
  • How the applicants will identify implementation facilitators and barriers as well as noting strategies to overcome any encountered barriers.
Project Administration:
  • Grant applications must fully address the administration of the project. This is especially crucial for teams necessitating the coordination of multiple team members’ efforts across disciplines, institutions, and geographic regions. 
  • Grant applications must include a detailed project timeline that shows major milestones.

Appendix:

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. See NIH/NIOSH/AHRQ New Policy Appendix Guide located at NOT-OD-16-129 via https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-16-129.html  

Letters of Support:
  • Applicants must include letters of support from stakeholder organizations (e.g., professional medical societies, patient/family representative organizations, provider organizations) who have agreed to participate in and collaborate as part of the proposed project.
  • Letters of support, recommendation, or endorsement should NOT be included from any entity or individual who is not directly participating in the proposed project. These types of letters may impede the review and/or selection process.
PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

PHS Assignment Request Form

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. 

Foreign Institutions

Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the HHS Grants Policy Statement (http://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/grants/grants/policies-regulations/hhsgps107.pdf) may participate in projects as member of consortia or as subcontractors only.

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

See Part 1. Section III.1 for information regarding the requirement for obtaining a unique entity identifier and for completing and maintaining active registrations in System for Award Management (SAM), NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code (if applicable), eRA Commons, and Grants.gov

4. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates and times. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission. When a submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH , Grants.gov systems, and AHRQ for review check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date and time.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late. Applications that miss the due date and time are subjected to the NIH Policy on Late Application Submission.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

5. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

6. Funding Restrictions

For efficient grant administration, AHRQ grant administration procedures will be used and conducted in accordance with the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the HHS Grants Policy Statement. The Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/grants/policies/hhspolicy.html.

Preaward costs are not allowable without AHRQ prior approval.

7. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

Important reminders:

All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to AHRQ. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness and compliance with application instructions by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH and responsiveness by AHRQ. Applications that are incomplete or non-compliant will not be reviewed.

In order to expedite the review, applicants are requested to notify the AHRQ Referral Office by email Gerald.Calderone@ahrq.hhs.gov when the application has been submitted.  Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval of human subjects is not required prior to peer review of an application (see https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HS-00-003.html). However, initiation of IRB review, if necessary or applicable, is strongly encouraged to assure timely commencement of research.

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an application, applicants are generally notified of the review and funding assignment within eight (8) weeks.

Priority Populations

AHRQ supports research, evaluations, and demonstration projects concerning the delivery of health care in inner-city and rural areas (including frontier areas), and health care for priority populations.  Priority populations include low income groups; minority groups; women; children; the elderly; and individuals with special health care needs, including individuals with disabilities and individuals who need chronic care or end-of-life health care.  42 USC 299(c).  Women and members of minority groups are included in all AHRQ-supported research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is provided that inclusion is inappropriate, e.g. because of the lack of connection between the study and the health of women or particular minorities.  Investigators should review the document entitled, “AHRQ Policy on the Inclusion of Priority Populations,” which is available https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HS-03-010.html.  Applicants under this FOA should consider and discuss including priority populations in the research design as specified in this Notice.

Plan for Sharing Research Data

The precise content of the data-sharing plan will vary, depending on the data being collected and how the investigator is planning to share the data. Applicants who are planning to share data may wish to describe briefly the expected schedule for data sharing; the format of the final dataset; the documentation to be provided; whether or not any analytic tools also will be provided; whether or not a data-sharing agreement will be required and, if so, a brief description of such an agreement (including the criteria for deciding who can receive the data and whether or not any conditions will be placed on their use); and the mode of data sharing (e.g., under its own auspices by mailing a disk or posting data on its institutional or personal website or through a data archive or enclave). Investigators choosing to share under their own auspices may wish to enter into a data-sharing agreement. References to data sharing may also be appropriate in other sections of the application.

The reasonableness of the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data will be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific merit or the priority score.

Public Access to AHRQ-Funded Scientific Publications

Investigators should review the document titled ‘AHRQ Announces new Policy for Public Access to AHRQ-Funded Scientific Publications’ which is available at (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HS-16-008.html).  For all research arising from AHRQ support, this policy requires that AHRQ-funded authors submit an electronic version of the author’s final peer-reviewed accepted manuscript to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central (PMC) to be made publicly available within 12 months of the publisher’s date of publication.

Data Confidentiality

The AHRQ confidentiality statute, 42 USC 299c-3(c), requires that information that is obtained in the course of AHRQ supported activities and that identifies individuals or establishments be used only for the purpose for which it was supplied.  Information that is obtained in the course of AHRQ-supported activities and that identifies an individual may be published or released only with the consent of the individual who supplied the information or is described in it.  There are civil monetary penalties for violation of the confidentiality provision of the AHRQ statute. 42 USC 299c-3(d).  In the Human Subjects section of the application, applicants must describe procedures for ensuring the confidentiality of the identifying information to be collected.  The description of the procedures should include a discussion of who will be permitted access to this information, both raw data and machine readable files, and how personal identifiers and other identifying or identifiable data will be restricted and safeguarded.  Identifiable patient health information collected by grantees under this FOA will also be obtained and managed in accordance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, 45 CFR Parts 160 and 164. 

The grantee should ensure that computer systems containing confidential data have a level and scope of security that equals or exceeds that established by the HIPAA Security Rules, if applicable, and that established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in OMB Circular No. A-130, Appendix III - Security of Federal Automated Information Systems. The applicability and intended means of applying these confidentiality and security standards to subcontractors and vendors, if any, should be addressed in the application.

Sharing Research Resources:  Rights in Data

Unless otherwise provided in grant awards, AHRQ grantees may copyright, or seek patents for, as appropriate, final and interim products and materials developed in whole or in part with AHRQ support, including, but not limited to, methodological tools, measures, software with documentation, literature searches, and analyses.  Such copyrights and patents are subject to a royalty-free, non-exclusive, and irrevocable AHRQ license to reproduce, publish, use or disseminate for any purpose consistent with AHRQ’s statutory responsibilities and to authorize others to do so for any purpose consistent with AHRQ’s statutory responsibilities. In accordance with its legislative dissemination mandate, AHRQ purposes may include, subject to statutory confidentiality protections, making project materials, databases, results, and algorithms available for verification or replication by other researchers.  In addition, subject to AHRQ budget constraints, final products may be made available to the health care community and the public by AHRQ or its agents if such distribution would significantly increase access to a product and thereby produce substantial or valuable public health benefits.  Ordinarily, to accomplish distribution, AHRQ publicizes research findings but relies on grantees to publish research results in peer-reviewed journals and to market grant-supported products. 

AHRQ requests that grantees notify the Office of Communications (OC) when an AHRQ-funded research article has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. Researchers should submit manuscripts that have been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal to JournalPublishing@ahrq.hhs.gov at least four to six weeks in advance of the journal’s expected publication date. 

Regulations applicable to AHRQ grantees concerning intangible rights and copyright can be found at 45 CFR 75.322.

NOTE:  You may also include in this section any supplementary application instructions not stated elsewhere in the announcement. (e.g., Any special requirements, expertise, facilities, partnerships or coordination among investigators, performance requirements, attendance at meetings, that should be addressed in the application.) Applicants should include the cost for such items in the budget.

For cooperative agreements, include statement that grantees must agree to the "Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award" in Section VI.2.A "Award Administration Information".

  
Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in in NOT-OD-16-130.

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

The mission of AHRQ is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable, and affordable, and to work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used.  

AHRQ's priority areas of focus are:

  • Improve health care quality by accelerating implementation of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR).
  • Make health care safer.
  • Increase accessibility by evaluating coverage expansion.
  • Improve health care affordability, efficiency, and cost transparency.

As part of this mission, applications submitted to AHRQ to support health services research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the AHRQ peer review system. 

Applications that are complete and responsive to the FOA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened in accordance with standard AHRQ peer review procedures that are described in 42 CFR Part 67, Subpart A.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications or applications not following instructions given in this FOA will not be reviewed.  Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

Administrative Criteria:  Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH, and for responsiveness by AHRQ.

Merit Review Criteria:  Merit Review Criteria, as described below, will be considered in the review process.

 
Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in utilizing health IT strategies to collect and use PRO data? Is there a strong scientific premise for the project? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field? How will the project increase our knowledge regarding best practices for collecting and using PRO data in ambulatory care settings? Will the project produce useful information or products, both as part of the learning collaborative and individual partnerships, for others who seek to use PRO data in their routine care?

Investigator(s)

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project? Does the team have specific expertise and track record in health IT strategy development, testing, implementation, data collection, and evaluation? Is each PD/PI devoting a minimum of 20% annual full-time effort in each year of this project (i.e., at least 8 hours per week)? Are the proposed levels of effort for all key personnel appropriate for carrying out the project successfully? Are letters of support included for collaborating stakeholder organizations?   

Innovation

Is the health IT strategy original and innovative? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches or methodologies, tools, or technologies to drive the field of collecting and using PRO data? Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms with regards to incorporating and using PRO data in routine care?     

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are the plans to develop and implement the health IT strategy likely to be successful? Are they realistic? Can they be completed within the proposed timeframe? Is a project timeline included that shows the major milestones for all aspects of work? Is a section entitled “Implementation Plan” included in the grant application? Has the applicant adequately described the implementation plan for the proposed study? Are the plans for data collection/analysis, system refinement, testing, and evaluation scientifically sound? Does the approach adequately discuss sustainability beyond the proposed timeline? Is the project management plan adequately developed? Are potential problems and alternative strategies presented? Is a section entitled “Evaluation Plan” included in the grant application? Has the applicant adequately described the evaluation plan for the proposed study? Does the applicant sufficiently specify how the team will collect and analyze measures of the actual impact of this effort on patient health outcomes and quality of care? Does the applicant address how the team will identify implementation facilitators and barriers as well as noting strategies to overcome any encountered barriers? Is there a description of particularly risky aspects of the work and how these will be managed? 

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?  Are there existing relationships among partners/stakeholder groups that can be leveraged? 

Additional Review Criteria

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion Guidelines.

Degree of Responsiveness 

Reviewers will assess how well the application addresses the purpose and objectives of this FOA.  How responsive is the application to the special eligibility criteria, including the project requirements, noted in the FOA?

Inclusion of Priority Populations

Reviewers will assess the adequacy of plans to address the needs of both genders, racial and ethnic minorities (and subgroups).  Reviewers will assess the adequacy of attention to AHRQ priority populations (see above discussion on Priority Populations in section IV.6 “Other Submission Requirements”).

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable in relation to the proposed research.

Resubmissions

For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.

Additional Review Considerations

Not applicable.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by AHRQ, in accordance with AHRQ Review Policy, using the stated Review Criteria Section V. Application Review Information.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  • Will receive a written critique.

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established AHRQ referral guidelines to the appropriate AHRQ Office or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA.  The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Responsiveness to goals and objectives of the FOA.
  • Relevance and fit within AHRQ research priorities, as well as overall programmatic and geographic balance of the proposed project to program priorities.
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons. Refer to Part 1 for dates for peer review, advisory council review, and earliest start date.

Generally, applicants should anticipate eight months between the application submission date and the earliest possible start date.

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, AHRQ will request "Just-In-Time" information from the applicant.  Just-In-Time information generally consists of information on other support, any additional information necessary to address administrative issues, and certification of IRB approval of the project's proposed use of human subjects.  For details regarding IRB approval of human subjects protocols, applicants may refer to the "AHRQ Revised Policy for Institutional Review Board (IRB) Review of Human Subjects Protocols in Grant Applications" (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not-hs-00-003.html). 

If all administrative and programmatic issues are resolved, a formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the e-mail address designated by the recipient organization during the eRA Commons registration process.

Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.6. Funding Restrictions.

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to the DUNS, SAM Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the AHRQ web site at http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/postawrd.htm#terms. This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All AHRQ grant and cooperative agreement awards are subject to OMB's Uniform Grant Guidance, HHS’s “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards,” (http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?node=pt45.1.75), the HHS Grants Policy Statement (see http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/policies/hhspolicy/index.html), and the terms and conditions set forth in the Notice of  Award.

A standard term and condition of award will be included/referenced in the Notice of Award (NOA) that states:  “in any grant-related activity in which family, marital, or household consideration are, by statute or regulation, relevant for purposes of determining beneficiary eligibility or participation, grantees must treat same-sex spouses, marriages, and households on the same terms as opposite-sex spouses, marriages, and households, respectively. By “same-sex spouses,” HHS means individuals of the same sex who have entered into marriages that are valid in the jurisdiction where performed, including any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory or in a foreign country, regardless of whether or not the couple resides in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage.  By “same-sex marriages,” HHS means marriages between two individuals validly entered into in the jurisdiction where performed, including any of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory or in a foreign country, regardless of whether or not the couple resides in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage.  By “marriage,” HHS does not mean registered domestic partnerships, civil unions or similar formal relationships recognized under the law of the jurisdiction of celebration as something other than a marriage.”

All applicants will be subject to a term and condition that applies the terms of 48 CFR section 3.908 to the award, and requires that grantees inform their employees in writing of employee whistleblower rights and protections under 41U.S.C. 4712 in the predominant native language of the workforce.

As necessary, additional Terms and Conditions will be incorporated into the NoA.

Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights law. This means that recipients of HHS funds must ensure equal access to their programs without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, sex and religion. This includes ensuring your programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency.  HHS recognizes that research projects are often limited in scope for many reasons that are nondiscriminatory, such as the principal investigator’s scientific interest, funding limitations, recruitment requirements, and other considerations. Thus, criteria in research protocols that target or exclude certain populations are warranted where nondiscriminatory justifications establish that such criteria are appropriate with respect to the health or safety of the subjects, the scientific study design, or the purpose of the research.

For additional guidance regarding how the provisions apply to AHRQ grant programs, please contact the Scientific/Research Contact that is identified in Section VII under Agency Contacts of this FOA. HHS provides general guidance to recipients of FFA on meeting their legal obligation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to their programs by persons with limited English proficiency. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/resources/laws/revisedlep.html. The HHS Office for Civil Rights also provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/section1557/index.html; and http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/index.html. Recipients of FFA also have specific legal obligations for serving qualified individuals with disabilities. Please see http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/civilrights/understanding/disability/index.html. Please contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/office/about/rgn-hqaddresses.html or call 1-800-368-1019 or TDD 1-800-537-7697. Also note it is an HHS Departmental goal to ensure access to quality, culturally competent care, including long-term services and supports, for vulnerable populations. For further guidance on providing culturally and linguistically appropriate services, recipients should review the National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health and Health Care at http://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=2&lvlid=53.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following Terms and Conditions will be incorporated into the award statement and will be provided to the grant recipient at the time of award.

Terms and Conditions of Cooperative Agreement Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to otherwise applicable OMB administrative guidelines:  DHHS grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Parts 75, and other DHHS, PHS, and AHRQ grant administration policy statements.  AHRQ will use these procedures in evaluating and administering this cooperative agreement.

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program is the cooperative agreement. A cooperative agreement is an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition” mechanism), in which substantial AHRQ programmatic involvement with the grantee is anticipated during the performance of the activities.  Under a cooperative agreement, the AHRQ purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipient in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities.  Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the grant recipient and the PD/PI for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared between the grantee and AHRQ as described in the FOA. Cooperative activities are intended to strengthen the individual grantee activities through the facilitation of data sharing, data access and communications.

All cooperative activities that include significant government involvement will require prior approval by AHRQ.

Activities conducted under this award that involve the collection of information e.g. conducting surveys or requesting responses to uniform questions from nine or more persons, establishments or other entities, with certain exceptions,  are currently required   to be cleared by OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).  (44 USC 3501-3521).  PRA review and approval is required in cooperative agreements if AHRQ has significant input or control over the data collection activity. Submissions for clearance under the PRA are through AHRQ and HHS. Therefore, impacted awardees should include the time in their proposed timelines to develop materials and receive necessary clearances.  It typically takes at least 6 months from date of initial submission to AHRQ and sometimes much longer if submissions are incomplete or the justification for the proposed data collection plans are questioned during the clearance process. Information collection that requires PRA clearance may not begin until awardees receive written notification via e-mail from AHRQ that clearance has been obtained.  Detailed information on the PRA can be found here http://www.hhs.gov/ocio/infocollect/

Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Rights and Responsibilities

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for conducting research in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Notice of Award, and cooperating with other key parties, including the AHRQ Program Official and other awardees.

Each PD/PI and any key personnel for implementation and evaluation are required to participate in the learning collaborative conference calls and in-person meetings. The PD(s)/PI(s) will actively participate in the plans to promote collaboration among learning collaborative members. The PD(s)/PI(s) and their team will be responsible for collaborating on/co-producing learning collaborative products over the course of the project. These may include (but are not limited to) common frameworks, toolkits, case studies for dissemination.

The learning collaborative will meet in-person annually in the Washington, D.C. area, in addition to telephone conferences and electronic exchanges. The PD(s)/PI(s) and any key personnel for implementation and evaluation must participate in the conference calls and in-person meetings.  

In addition to the annual progress report, the grantee is required to submit quarterly progress reports to AHRQ. Instructions on reporting requirements will be provided with the grant award.

AHRQ Responsibilities

AHRQ program staff will have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below.

AHRQ staff will provide advice and support to the awardee, and will assist in the cooperative work of the project beyond the usual program stewardship for grants.

The Program Official will maintain contact with the PD/PI in between learning collaborative meetings to consult on key project decisions, help to trouble-shoot implementation barriers/challenges, and confirm that projects are proceeding according to project timelines and plans. The Program Official, in coordination with the grantee, will also disseminate project findings to research and policy audiences. The progress of work by each awardee will be reviewed quarterly. 

AHRQ will:

  • Review the development of project timelines and project plans.   
  • Establish and lead the learning collaborative to support and oversee work within and between grantees.
  • Facilitate the development of common frameworks, tool kits, and other products for implementation and evaluation activities.
  • Facilitate conference calls with grantees and annual in-person meetings. 
  • Work closely with grantees and other federal partners (e.g., ONC) to ensure dissemination of products. 

Additionally, AHRQ program staff will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice.

Collaborative Responsibilities

Awardees will be required to work collaboratively with each other and with AHRQ to share information and develop common resources as noted above. Awardees and AHRQ will also participate in periodic meetings including monthly teleconferences and annual in-person meetings. 

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) annually unless specified otherwise in the terms of the award.   Grantees are required to submit expenditure data on the Federal Financial Report (FFR; SF 425) annually.

For details regarding progress report submission, refer to http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/noncomp.htm.  If instructions on the AHRQ website are different from the RPPR Instructions, follow the instructions on the AHRQ website. Progress reports are due 3 months before the anniversary of the award.

In addition to the annual progress report, recipients will be required to submit quarterly progress reports to AHRQ. If applicable, detailed instructions on additional reporting requirements will be provided with the grant award.

Expenditure data is to be reported on the Federal Financial Report (FFR; SF 425). AHRQ requires annual financial expenditure reports for ALL grant programs as described in the HHS Grants Policy Statement (http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/hhspolicy.htm).  AHRQ implementation of the FFR retains a financial reporting period that coincides with the budget period of a particular project.  However, the due date for annual FFRs is 90 days after the end of the calendar quarter in which the budget period ends.  For example, if the budget period ends 4/30/2018, the annual FFR is due 9/30/2018 (90 days after the end of the calendar quarter of 6/30/2018).

A final Progress Report, final Federal Financial Report, and Final Invention Statement are required when an award ends.  All final reports are due within 90 days of the project period end date.  For further details regarding grant closeout requirements, refer to http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/closeout.htm.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable AHRQ grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the HHS Grants Policy Statement (http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/hhspolicy.htm) for additional information on this reporting requirement.

In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75, recipients that have currently active Federal grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all Federal awarding agencies with a cumulative total value greater than $10,000,000 for any period of time during the period of performance of a Federal award, must report and maintain the currency of information reported in the System for Award Management (SAM) about civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings in connection with the award or performance of a Federal award that reached final disposition within the most recent five-year period.  The recipient must also make semiannual disclosures regarding such proceedings. Proceedings information will be made publicly available in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS).  This is a statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as amended (41 U.S.C. 2313).  As required by section 3010 of Public Law 111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly available.  Full reporting requirements and procedures are found in Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 – Award Term and Conditions for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/ (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov (preferred method of contact)
Telephone: 301-945-7573

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Chun-Ju (Janey) Hsiao, Ph.D.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement (CEPI)
Division of Health Information Technology
Telephone: 301-427-1505
Email: PROsHealthIT@ahrq.hhs.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Direct your questions about peer review issues of grant application made in response to this FOA to:

Boris Aponte, MPH, Ph.D.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations
Division of Scientific Review
Telephone: 301-427-1396
Email: boris.aponte@ahrq.hhs.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Anna Caponiti
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Division of Grants Management)
Telephone: 301-427-1402
Email: nna.caponiti@ahrq.hhs.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued AHRQ policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by AHRQ is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. Notices can also be found at AHRQ Grants Policy Notices

AHRQ Grants Policy and guidance to applicants regarding Funding Opportunity Announcement procedures can be found at Funding Opportunity Announcement Guidance.

Authority and Regulations

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. Awards are made under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 299 et seq. and in accordance with 45 CFR Part 75 and  other referenced applicable statutes and regulations.  All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the HHS Grants Policy Statement. The HHS Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/hhspolicy.htm.

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