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 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) provides specific written guidance that may differ from the general guidance provided in the grant application form, please follow the instructions given in this NOFO. Also note that AHRQ has different page limits than NIH for the application Research Strategy, which can be found within each individual NOFO.

Components of Participating Organizations

Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations (OEREP)

Notice of Funding Opportunity Title

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-sponsored National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual  Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32)

Activity Code

F32 Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service Award

Announcement Type

Reissue of PA-17-481

Related Notices

NOT-OD-22-018- Reminder: FORMS-G Grant Application Forms & Instructions Must be Used for Due Dates On or After January 25, 2022 - New Grant Application Instructions Now Available

NOT-HS-22-012 Salary Limitation on AHRQ FY2022 Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts

NOT-OD-21-109 - Expanding Requirement for eRA Commons IDs to All Senior/Key Personnel

NOT-OD-21-073  Upcoming Changes to the Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page for Due Dates on or after May 25, 2021

 

NOT-HS-21-016  Notice of Updated AHRQ Policy for Late Application Submission for Active Peer Review or National Advisory Council Service 

 

NOT-HS-21-015 - AHRQ Policy on the Inclusion of Priority Populations in Research

NOT-HS-21-014 - Special Emphasis Notice (SEN): AHRQ Announces Interest in Health Services Research to Advance Health Equity

NOT-HS-21-002 - AHRQ Guide Notice on Exception to the Use of the Single IRB Review Requirements During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency

NOT-OD-21-095 - Extending the Special Exception to the NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH Post-Submission Material Policy During the COVID-19 Pandemic: January 2022 Council

NOT-HS-20-011 - The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Data Management Plan Policy

 

NOT-HS-20-005 - AHRQ Guide Notice on Implementation of the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Cooperative Research at 45 CFR 46.114 (b)

NOT-HS-19-007 - AHRQ Announces Change in Grant Recipient Purchasing of Identifiable CMS Data, effective FY2019

NOT-HS-16-018 - AHRQ Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy

NOT-OD-17-094 - Clarification and Update: Salary Supplementation and Compensation on Research Career Development ("K") Awards

NOT-OD-22-190 - Adjustments to NIH and AHRQ Grant Application Due Dates Between September 22 and September 30, 2022

OE

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Number

PA-22-251

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Assistance Listing Number(s)

  93.225

Funding Opportunity Purpose

 The purpose of this individual postdoctoral research training fellowship is to enhance the research training of promising postdoctoral candidates who have the potential to become productive, independent investigators in health services research, with a research interest in areas and priorities relevant to the mission of AHRQ.   

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) does not allow applicants to propose to lead an independent clinical trial but does allow applicants to propose research experience in a clinical trial led by a sponsor or co-sponsor.

Key Dates
Posted Date

September 12, 2022

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

September 14, 2022

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Application Due Date(s)

Standard dates apply

AHRQ F32: April 8, August 8, and December 8, annually.

All applications are due, 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

Peer Review Date

Generally, four months after the receipt date

Advisory Council Review

Not Applicable for Fellowships

Earliest Start Date

Generally, up to five months (for December and April submission dates) and up to eight months (for August submission date) after the peer review date.

Expiration Date

August 9, 2025

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the Individual Fellowship SF424 (R&R) Application Guide except where instructed to do otherwise (in this NOFO or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the NOFO) 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/NOFOguidance/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.


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. Use Grants.gov Workspace to prepare and submit your application and eRA Commons to track your application.


  4. 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

    The overall goal of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-sponsored Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation's health services research and behavioral research needs. More information about NRSA programs may be found at the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) website.

    The purpose of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-sponsored Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship is to support promising applicants during their mentored postdoctoral training under the guidance of outstanding faculty sponsors. The integrated program of research and training should enhance the individual's potential to develop into a productive, independent researcher. The training plan should document the need for, and the anticipated value of, the proposed mentored training in relationship to the individual's research career goals. The training plan should also facilitate the fellow's transition to the next stage of their career.

    Applications for research fellowship grants must be responsive to AHRQ's mission, which is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable and affordable, and to work within HHS and with other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used.

    AHRQ welcomes fellowship training applications in any area of health services research relevant to AHRQ's priority areas. AHRQ research priority areas are described at

    http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/policies/NOFOguidance/index.html.

    Applicants are strongly encouraged to focus on topical areas unique to AHRQ, demonstrating how expected results can be used or made available for use to improve healthcare outcomes and quality. Results should be directly relevant to customers, such as providers and practitioners, administrators, payers, consumers, policymakers, and insurers.

    Fellows must focus their research development and projects on health care delivery in the United States.

    It is expected that the mentored training experience will provide:

    • A strong foundation in research design, methods, and analytic techniques appropriate to the proposed research;
    • Enhanced ability to conceptualize and think through research problems with increasing independence;
    • Experience conducting research using appropriate, state-of-the-art methods, as well as presenting and publishing the research findings as first author;
    • The opportunity to interact with members of the scientific community at appropriate scientific meetings and workshops;
    • Skills needed to transition to the next stage of the applicant's research career; and
    • The opportunity to enhance the applicant's understanding of the health-related sciences and the relationship of their research to health and health care delivery.

    Promoting equity is an important societal goal. AHRQ intends that research funded by the agency contribute to this goal by addressing equity. Fellowship applicants are encouraged to include a focus on the reduction of disparities in healthcare outcomes and quality underserved populations in their research training.

    Applicants with a health professional doctoral degree may use the proposed postdoctoral training to satisfy a portion of the degree requirements for a master's degree, a research doctoral degree or any other advanced research degree program. 

    The NRSA F32 award may provide up to three years of support for postdoctoral research training. The AHRQ encourages applications from individuals sufficiently early in their postdoctoral training period that they can benefit from the mentored research and training opportunities of an individual fellowship award.

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

    Section II. Award Information
    Funding Instrument

    Grant: A support mechanism providing money, property, or both to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity.

    Application Types Allowed

    New
    Resubmission

    The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types. Only those application types listed here are allowed for this NOFO.

    Clinical Trial?

    Not Allowed: Only accepting applications that do not propose independent clinical trials.

    Note: Applicants may propose to gain experience in a clinical trial led by a sponsor/co-sponsor as part of their research training.

     

    Need help determining whether you are doing a clinical trial?

    Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

    Funding for this program is provided by the National Research Service Award (NRSA) program. 

    The number of awards is contingent upon availability of NRSA funds, and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

    Award Budget

    Award budgets are composed of stipends, tuition and fees, and institutional allowance, as described below.

    Award Project Period

    Individuals may receive up to 3 years of aggregate NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional training grants (e.g., T32) and an individual fellowship award.

    Other Award Budget Information
    Stipends

    NRSA awards provide stipends as a subsistence allowance to help defray living expenses during the research and clinical training experiences. See https://researchtraining.nih.gov/resources/policy-notices

    Tuition and Fees

    For postdoctoral fellows, costs associated with tuition and fees are allowable only if they are required for specific courses in support of the research training, or a formal degree-granting program. AHRQ will contribute to the combined cost of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of award. See https://researchtraining.nih.gov/resources/policy-notices.

    Institutional Allowance

    The application should request the appropriate NRSA institutional allowance to help defray the cost of fellowship expenses such as health insurance, research supplies, equipment, books, and travel to scientific meetings. See https://researchtraining.nih.gov/resources/policy-notices.

    Indirect Costs

    Indirect costs are not allowed on individual fellowship awards.

    Stipend levels, as well as funding amounts for tuition and fees and the institutional allowance are announced annually in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, and are also posted on the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) webpage.

    These projects are being funded pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 299a(b)(1), which provides that AHRQ may provide training grants in the field of health services research.

    All applications submitted and AHRQ grants made in response to this NOFO 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:

    • Hispanic-serving Institutions
    • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
    • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
    • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
    • 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)

    AHRQ's authorizing legislation does not allow for-profit organizations to be eligible to lead applications under this research mechanism. For-profit organizations may participate in projects as members of consortia or as subcontractors only. Applications submitted by for-profit organizations or foreign institutions will not be reviewed. Organizations described in section 501(c) 4 of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying are not eligible.

    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 recipient 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.

    Before submitting a fellowship application, the applicant must identify a sponsoring institution. The sponsoring institution must have staff and facilities available on site to provide a suitable environment for performing high-quality research training. The training should occur in an environment that has appropriate human and technical resources and is demonstrably committed to training in the field(s) proposed by the applicant. The sponsoring institution may be private (nonprofit) or public. All eligible institutions with the appropriate resources and commitment are encouraged to apply.

    The NRSA F32 fellowship is designed to support research training experiences in new settings in order to maximize the acquisition of new skills and knowledge. In most cases, therefore, the sponsoring institution should be a site other than where the applicant trained as a graduate student. However, if the applicant is proposing postdoctoral training at their doctoral institution, the application must carefully document the opportunities for new research training experiences specifically designed to broaden their scientific background and to acquire new knowledge and/or technical skills that will enhance their potential to become a productive, independent investigator.

    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 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.

    • System for Award Management (SAM)– 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.
    • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM. 
    • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)- A UEI is issued as part of the SAM.gov registration process.  The same UEI must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
    • eRA Commons - Once the unique organization identifier is established, organizations can register with eRA Commons in tandem with completing their full SAM and Grants.gov registrations; all registrations must be in place by time of submission. 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 SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

    Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PI)

    All PD/PI must have an eRA Commons account. PD/PI 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.

    All PD/PI must be registered with ORCiD. The personal profile associated with the PD/PI eRA Commons account must be linked to a valid ORCID ID. For more information on linking an ORCID ID to an eRA Commons personal profile see the ORCID topic in our eRA Commons online help.

    Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

    Any applicant fellow with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) is invited to work with their sponsor and 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.

    Multiple PDs/PIs are not allowed.

    By the time of award, the individual must be a citizen or a non-citizen national of the United States or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Permanent Resident Card USCIS Form I-551, or other legal verification of such status).  

    The applicant must show evidence of high academic performance, and commitment to a research career.

    Before an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-sponsored Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) postdoctoral fellowship can be activated, the individual must have received a PhD, MD, DO, DC, DDS, DVM, OD, DPM, ScD, EngD, DrPH, DNSc, ND (Doctor of Naturopathy), PharmD, DSW, PsyD, or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. Certification by an authorized official of the degree-granting institution that all degree requirements have been met is also acceptable. An Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-sponsored Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) fellowship may not be used to support the clinical years of residency training. However, these awards are appropriate for the research fellowship years of a residency program. Research clinicians must devote full-time to their proposed research training and confine clinical duties to those activities that are part of the research training program.

    2. Cost Sharing

    This NOFO does not require cost sharing.

    While there is no cost sharing requirement included in this NOFO, 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 that plan to provide support 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 can be included at the end of the budget justification section of the application, but institutional support dollars are not to be 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 programmatically distinct.

    An individual may not have more than one competing NIH or AHRQ fellowship application pending review concurrently.

    Resubmission(s): Applicants may submit one resubmission application, but such application must include an Introduction addressing issues raised in the previous critique (Summary Statement).

    Renewals: Awards are not renewable and are not transferable from one PD/PI to another.

    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
    Duration of Support

    Individuals may not exceed the aggregate limit of NRSA support shown above in the Award Project Period (see Section II. Award Information). Candidates must consider any prior NRSA research training in determining the duration of support requested. Information regarding previous Kirschstein-NRSA support must be included in the application and will be considered at the time of award.

    Level of Effort

    At the time of award and for the duration of the award, individuals are required to pursue their research training on a full-time basis, normally defined as 40 hours per week or as specified by the sponsoring institution in accordance with its own consistently applied policies.

    Sponsor

    Before submitting the application, the applicant fellow must identify a sponsor(s) (also called mentor) who will supervise the proposed mentored training experience. The sponsor should be an active investigator in the area of the proposed research training and be committed both to the applicant's research training and to direct supervision of their research. The sponsor must document the availability of sufficient research funds and facilities for high-quality research training. The sponsor, or a member of the sponsor team, should have a successful track record of mentorship. Applicants are encouraged to identify more than one sponsor, i.e., a sponsor team, if this is deemed advantageous for providing expert advice in all aspects of the training program. When there is a sponsor team, one individual must be identified as the primary sponsor, and will be expected to coordinate the applicant's overall training. The applicant must work with the sponsor(s) in preparing the application.

    Section IV. Application and Submission Information
    1. Requesting an Application Package

    The application forms package specific to this opportunity must be accessed through ASSIST, Grants.gov Workspace or an institutional system-to-system solution. Links to apply using ASSIST or Grants.gov Workspace are available in Part 1 of this NOFO. 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 Fellowship (F) instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed in this Notice of Funding Opportunity 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.

    Page Limitations

    All page limitations described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed.

    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 NOFO.

    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.  

    Other Project Information

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

    SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile Expanded

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

    IMPORTANT REMINDER: The personal profile associated with the eRA Commons username entered in the Credential field for the PD/PI (fellowship applicant) must include an ORCID ID. For more information on linking an ORCID ID to an eRA Commons personal profile see the ORCID topic in our eRA Commons online help.

    PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form

    The PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form is comprised of the following sections:

    • Fellowship Applicant
    • Research Training Plan
    • Sponsor(s), Collaborator(s), and Consultant(s)
    • Institutional Environment & Commitment to Training
    • Other Research Training Plan Sections
    • Additional Information
    • Budget
    • Appendix

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

    Fellowship Applicant Section

    Applicant’s Background and Goals for Fellowship Training

    The candidate’s overall training plan, i.e., the activities planned under this award, should be individually tailored and well-integrated with their research project. Describe the skills and techniques that the candidate intends to learn as well as any planned, non-research activities (e.g., those relating to professional development and clinical activities) during the award period. The candidate should provide a timeline for the entire duration of the fellowship award.

    Identify the skills, theories, conceptual approaches, etc., to be learned or enhanced during the award, including, as applicable, expertise in rigorous research design, experimental methods, quantitative approaches, and data analysis and interpretation, as applicable.

    Research Training Plan Section

    All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, including the following instructions for the Research Strategy section:

    Research Strategy 

    • Explain the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress that the proposed project addresses.
    • Describe the strengths and weaknesses in the rigor of the prior research (both published and unpublished) that serves as the key support for the proposed project.
    • Explain how the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice in one or more broad fields.
    • Describe how the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved.
    • If the applicant is proposing to gain experience in a clinical trial as part of his or her research training, describe the relationship of the proposed research project to the clinical trial. 

    Sponsor(s), Collaborator(s), and Consultant(s) Section

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

    • If the applicant is proposing to gain experience in a clinical trial as part of his or her research training, the sponsor or co-sponsor must include a statement to document leadership of the clinical trial including source of funding, NCT# and appropriate expertise to guide the applicant in any proposed clinical trials research experience. The individual receiving support for the clinical trial (i.e., the sponsor/primary mentor or a co-sponsor) is the responsible individual of record for oversight of the trial though fellows can take part in all components of a clinical trial. Oversight includes (but is not limited to): interacting with relevant Institutional Review Board (IRB) staff; reviewing all informed consent documents; reporting potential serious adverse events; and maintaining responsibility for patient safety. However, the fellow can gain experience in all these components in conjunction with the mentor or individual leading the trial.

    The Sponsor should also describe the roles and responsibilities that both they and the fellow are undertaking, including contributions to the research plan, the portion of the research ideas and plan that originated with the candidate, and the relationship

    between the proposed research plan and funded or unfunded research projects previously devised by the sponsor.

    Appendix

    Limited items are allowed in the Appendix. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide; any instructions provided here are in addition to the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.  

    PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

    When involving human subjects research, clinical research, and/or AHRQ clinical trials (and when applicable, clinical trials research experience) follow all instructions for the PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, with the following additional instructions:

    If you answered “Yes” to the question “Are Human Subjects Involved?” on the R&R Other Project Information form, you must include at least one human subjects study record using the Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form or a Delayed Onset Study record.

    Study Record: PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information

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

    • Do not provide an NCT# in Section 1, item 1.5. See instruction for Sponsor(s), Collaborator(s), and Consultant(s) above.
    • Do not complete Section 4 – Protocol Synopsis information or Section 5 – Other Clinical Trial-related Attachments.

    Delayed Onset Study

    Note: Delayed onset does NOT apply to a study that can be described but will not start immediately (i.e., delayed start).

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

    PHS Assignment Request Form

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

    Reference Letters

    Applicants must carefully follow the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including the time period for when reference letters will be accepted. Applications lacking the appropriate required reference letters will not be reviewed. This is a separate process from submitting an application electronically. Reference letters are submitted directly through the eRA Commons Submit Reference Letter link and not through Grants.gov.

    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 and Grants.gov systems 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 https://www.ahrq.gov/funding/policies/hhspolicy/index.html. The National Research Service Award (NRSA) policies apply to this program. See also F32 webpage.  

    Pre-award costs are not allowable. 

    Concurrent Awards: A NRSA appointment may not be held concurrently with another federally sponsored fellowship, traineeship, or similar Federal award that provides stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.

    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 How to Apply – Application Guide. If you encounter a system issue beyond your control that threatens your ability to complete the submission process on-time, you must follow the Dealing with System Issues guidance. For assistance with application submission, contact the Application Submission Contacts in Section VII.

    Important reminders:
    All PD(s)/PI(s) and sponsor(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile form. 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.

    The applicant organization must ensure that the unique entity identifier provided on the application is the same identifier 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, and responsiveness by AHRQ. Applications that are incomplete, non-compliant and/or nonresponsive will not undergo peer review reviewed.     

    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.

    Priority Populations

     AHRQ is committed to the inclusion of priority populations in health services research. The overall portfolio of health services research that AHRQ conducts and supports shall include the populations specifically named in AHRQ’s authorizing legislation: inner city; rural; low income; minority; women; children; elderly; and those with special healthcare needs, including those who have disabilities, need chronic care, or need end-of-life healthcare. AHRQ also includes in its definition of priority populations those groups identified in Section 2(a) of Executive Order 13985 as members of underserved communities: Black, Latino, and Indigenous and Native American persons, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other persons of color; members of religious minorities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) persons; persons with disabilities; persons who live in rural areas; and persons otherwise adversely affected by persistent poverty or inequality.

    AHRQ will broadly implement this inclusion policy across the research that AHRQ supports and conducts so that the portfolio of research is inclusive of all populations. AHRQ intends that these populations be included in studies such that the research design explicitly allows conduct of valid analyses. The policy applies to all grant applications. Investigators should review the document entitled, “AHRQ Policy on the Inclusion of Priority Populations,” which is available at https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HS-21-015.html. Applicants under this NOFO must consider and discuss including priority populations in research design as specified in this Notice. Applicants must include a one-page proposed inclusion plan for priority populations in the "Other Attachments" section of the application.

    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.

    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 should 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.

    AHRQ Data Management Plan Policy 

    Investigators should review the document titled AHRQ Data Management Plan (DMP) Policy, which is available at (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HS-20-011.html). This policy requires applicants for AHRQ new/competing grants and research contracts to include a DMP for managing, storing, and disseminating the primary data, samples, physical collections and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of research funded by AHRQ, or state why data management is not possible, as a component of their grant application or research contract proposal.

    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 (see NOT-HS-18-012: Confidentiality in AHRQ-Supported Research). 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 recipients under this RFA will also be obtained and managed in accordance with the HIPAA Privacy Rule, 45 CFR Parts 160 and 164.

    The recipient 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 (see HIPAA website in prior paragraph) 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 recipients 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 healthcare 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 recipients to publish research results in peer-reviewed journals and to market grant-supported products. 

    AHRQ requests that recipients 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 recipients concerning intangible rights and copyright can be found at 45 CFR 75.322.

    Post Submission Materials

    Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-19-083 (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-19-083.html). Any instructions provided here are in addition to the instructions in the policy.

    Section V. Application Review Information
    1. Criteria

    The mission of AHRQ is to produce evidence to make healthcare 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 detailed here: https://www.ahrq.gov/funding/policies/nofoguidance/index.html

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

    Applications that are complete and responsive to the NOFO will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate objective 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 NOFO 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, National Institutes of Health, and for responsiveness by AHRQ.

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

    For this particular announcement, note the following:

    • A fellowship application has a research project that is integrated with the training plan. The review will emphasize the applicant fellow's potential for a productive career, the applicant fellow's need for the proposed training, and the degree to which the research project and training plan, the sponsor(s), and the environment will satisfy those needs.
    Overall Impact

    Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood that the fellowship will enhance the candidate’s potential for, and commitment to, a productive independent scientific research career in a health-related field, in consideration of the scored and additional review criteria.

    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.

     

    Fellowship Applicant

    • Are the candidate’s academic record and research experience of high quality?
    • Does the candidate have the potential to develop into an independent and productive health services researcher?
    • Does the candidate demonstrate commitment to a research career in the future?

    Sponsors, Collaborators, and Consultants

    • Are the sponsor(s’) research qualifications (including recent publications) and track record of mentoring individuals at a similar stage appropriate for the needs of the candidate?
    • Is there evidence of a match between the research and clinical interests (if applicable) of the candidate and the sponsor(s)? Do(es) the sponsor(s) demonstrate an understanding of the candidate’s training needs as well as the ability and commitment to assist in meeting these needs?
    • Is there evidence of adequate research funds to support the candidate’s proposed research project and training for the duration of the research component of the fellowship?
    • If a team of sponsors is proposed, is the team structure well justified for the mentored training plan, and are the roles of the individual members appropriate and clearly defined?
    • Are the qualifications of any collaborator(s) and/or consultant(s), including their complementary expertise and previous experience in fostering the training of fellows, appropriate for the proposed project?
    • Does the sponsor's research and training record, as well as mentoring statement, indicate that the candidate will receive high quality training in the proposed research area and have the opportunity to publish papers and present research data at national meetings as the project progresses?
    • If the applicant is proposing to gain experience in a clinical trial as part of his or her research training, is there evidence of the appropriate expertise, experience, resources, and ability on the part of the sponsor(s) to guide the applicant during the clinical trial research experience?

    Research Training Plan

    • Is the proposed research project of high scientific quality, and is it well integrated with the proposed research training plan?
    • Based on the sponsor’s description of their active research program, is the candidate’s proposed research project sufficiently distinct from the sponsor’s funded research for the candidate’s career stage?
    • Is the research project consistent with the candidate’s stage of research development?
    • Is the proposed time frame feasible to accomplish the proposed training?
    • Does the training plan provide adequate opportunities to present and publish research findings and meet with scientists in the community at national meetings as the work progresses?
    • Will the training plan provide the professional skills needed for the candidate to transition to the next stage of their research career?
    • If proposed, will the clinical trial experience contribute to the proposed project and/or the applicant’s research training?

    Training Potential

    • Are the proposed research project and training plan likely to provide the candidate with the requisite individualized and mentored experiences in order to obtain appropriate skills for a research career?
    • Does the training plan take advantage of the candidate’s strengths and address gaps in needed skills?  Does the training plan document a clear need for, and value of, the proposed training?
    • Does the proposed training have the potential to serve as a sound foundation that will clearly enhance the candidate’s ability to develop into a productive researcher?

    Institutional Environment & Commitment to Training

    • Are the research facilities, resources (e.g., equipment, laboratory space, computer time, subject populations), and training opportunities (e.g., seminars, workshops, professional development opportunities) adequate and appropriate?
    • Is the institutional environment for the candidate’s scientific development of high quality?
    • Is there appropriate institutional commitment to fostering the candidate’s mentored training.
    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.

     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.7 "Other Submission Requirements").

    Degree of Responsiveness 

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

    Protections for Human Subjects

    For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the 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 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 Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects see https://www.ahrq.gov/funding/policies/human-subjects/index.html.

    For details regarding IRB approval, 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).

    Applicant should also be aware of the AHRQ policy for use of single IRB for cooperative research, 45 CFR 46.114 (b)” https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HS-20-005.html.

     

    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.

    Renewals

    Not applicable.

     

    Revisions

    Not Allowed

    Additional Review Considerations

    As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.

    Data Management Plan

    The reviewers will comment on whether the Data Management Plan is reasonable.

    Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research

    All applications for support under this NOFO must include a plan to fulfill AHRQ requirements for Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR).  Taking into account the level of experience of the candidate, including any prior instruction or participation in RCR as appropriate for the candidate’s career stage, the reviewers will evaluate the adequacy of the proposed RCR training in relation to the following five required components: 1) Format - the required format of instruction, i.e., face-to-face lectures, coursework, and/or real-time discussion groups (a plan with only on-line instruction is not acceptable); 2) Subject Matter - the breadth of subject matter, e.g., conflict of interest, authorship, data management, human subjects and animal use, laboratory safety, research misconduct, research ethics; 3) Faculty Participation - the role of the sponsor(s) and other faculty involvement in the fellow’s instruction; 4) Duration of Instruction - the number of contact hours of instruction (at least eight contact hours are required); and 5) Frequency of Instruction – instruction must occur during each career stage and at least once every four years.  Plans and past record will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE, and the summary statement will provide the consensus of the review committee. See also: NOT-OD-10-019 and NOT-OD-21-152.

     

    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.

    2. Review and Selection Process

    Applications that are complete and responsive to the NOFO will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate Scientific 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 NOFO will not be reviewed.

    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 NOFO.

    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 NOFO.
    • 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

    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 Division of Grants Management staff 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 and budgetary issues, and certification of IRB approval of the project's proposed use of human subjects. 

    For details regarding IRB approval, 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) Applicant should also be aware of the AHRQ policy for use of single IRB for cooperative research, 45 CFR 46.114 (b)   https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HS-20-005.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 AHRQ 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 NOFO will be subject to the DUNS, SAM Registration, and Transparency Act requirements as noted on the AHRQ website at https://www.ahrq.gov/funding/grant-mgmt/index.html#terms. This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that may be highlighted on the website.

    Individual awards are based on the application submitted to, and as approved by, the AHRQ and are subject to the AHRQ-specific terms and conditions identified in the NoA. 

    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), and 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 in the Notice of Award (NOA) that states: “in any grant-related activity in which family, marital, or household considerations are, by statute or regulation, relevant for purposes of determining beneficiary eligibility or participation, recipients 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 recipients inform their employees in writing of employee whistleblower rights and protections under 41U.S.C. 4712 in the predominant native language of the workforce.

    Recipients of federal financial assistance (FFA) from HHS must administer their programs in compliance with federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and, in some circumstances, religion, conscience, and sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy). This includes ensuring programs are accessible to persons with limited English proficiency and persons with disabilities. The HHS Office for Civil Rights provides guidance on complying with civil rights laws enforced by HHS. See https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-providers/provider-obligations/index.html and https://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/nondiscrimination/index.html.

    Contact the HHS Office for Civil Rights for more information about obligations and prohibitions under federal civil rights laws at

    In accordance with the statutory provisions contained in Section 872 of the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417), AHRQ awards will be subject to the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) requirements.  FAPIIS requires Federal award making officials to review and consider information about an applicant in the designated integrity and performance system (currently FAPIIS) prior to making an award. An applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through FAPIIS and comment on any information about itself that a Federal agency previously entered and is currently in FAPIIS. The Federal awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to other information in FAPIIS, in making a judgement about the applicant’s integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in 45 CFR Part 75.205 and 2 CFR Part 200.206 “Federal awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.” This provision will apply to all AHRQ grants and cooperative agreements except fellowships.


    Pursuant to 2 CFR 200.216: there is a prohibition on certain telecommunications and video surveillance services or equipment that became effective on or after August 13, 2020.

    AHRQ regulatory procedures that pertain to suspension and termination are specified in 45 CFR Parts 75.371 through 75.375

    As specified in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, Kirschstein-NRSA recipients incur a service payback obligation for the first 12 months of postdoctoral support. Policies regarding the Kirschstein-NRSA payback obligation are explained in the NIH Grants Policy Statement; applicants may also wish to review Frequently Asked Questions for more details. The taxability of stipends is described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

    As necessary, additional Terms and Conditions will be incorporated into the notice of award.

    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.  

    For details regarding annual progress report submission, refer to https://www.ahrq.gov/funding/grant-mgmt/noncomp.html.  If instructions on the AHRQ website are different from the RPPR Instructions, follow the instructions on the AHRQ website. Annual progress reports are due three months before the start date of the next budget period of the award.

    In addition to the annual RPPR , recipients may be required to submit interim progress reports to AHRQ using the AHRQ Research Reporting System (ARRS).  If applicable, detailed instructions on interim reporting requirements will be provided with the grant award.

    Recipients are required to submit expenditure data on the Federal Financial Report (FFR; SF 425) annually.

    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 (https://www.ahrq.gov/funding/policies/hhspolicy/index.html). 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 4/30/2020, the annual FFR is due 9/30/2020 (90 days after the end of the calendar quarter of 6/30/2020).

    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 https://www.ahrq.gov/funding/grant-mgmt/closeout.html.

    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/funding/policies/hhspolicy/index.html) for additional information on this reporting requirement.

    In accordance with the regulatory requirements provided at 45 CFR 75.113 and 2 CFR Part 200.113 and Appendix XII to 45 CFR Part 75 and 2 CFR Part 200, 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. Proceeding's 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 and 2 CFR Part 200 – Award Term and Condition for Recipient Integrity and Performance Matters.

    Other Fellowship Reporting Requirements:
    • Individuals admitted to the United States as Permanent Residents must submit notarized evidence of legal admission prior to the award.
    • The fellowship award recipient has up to six months from the issue date on the Notice of Award to activate the award using the Kirschstein-NRSA Individual Fellowship Activation Notice (PHS 416-5). Under unusual circumstances, the activation period may be extended at the request of the fellow. Such a request must be countersigned by the sponsor and an authorized institutional official.
    • For the individual's initial 12 months of Kirschstein-NRSA postdoctoral support, a signed, original Payback Agreement Form (PHS 6031) must accompany the Activation Notice.
    • At the conclusion of a fellowship, the fellow must submit a Termination Notice (PHS 416-7) via xTrain to the AHRQ within 30 days of termination. Fellows with service payback requirements must notify the AHRQ of any change in address and submit Annual Payback Activities Certification Forms (PHS 6031-1) until the payback service obligation is satisfied.
    4. Evaluation

    In carrying out its stewardship of human resource-related programs, the AHRQ may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of this program from databases and from participants themselves. Participants may be contacted after the completion of this award for periodic updates on various aspects of their employment history, publications, support from research grants or contracts, honors and awards, professional activities, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of the program.

    Section VII. Agency Contacts

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

    Because of the differences between NIH and AHRQ program requirements for this NOFO, prior consultation with AHRQ staff is strongly encouraged.

    Application Submission Contacts

    eRA Service Desk (Questions regarding ASSIST, eRA Commons, application errors and warnings, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, and post-submission issues)

    Finding Help Online: https://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html(preferred method of contact)
    Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)

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

    Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and Workspace)
    Contact Center Telephone: 800-518-4726
    Email: support@grants.gov

    Scientific/Research Contact(s)

    Shelley Benjamin, M.S.W.
    Division of Research Education
    Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations
    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
    Telephone: 301-427-1528
    Email:Shelley.Benjamin@ahrq.hhs.gov

    Peer Review Contact(s)

    Nicholas Kenney, Ph.D.
    Division of Scientific Review
    Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations
    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
    Telephone: (301) 427-1869
    Email: Nicholas.Kenney@ahrq.hhs.gov

    Examine your eRA Commons account for review assignment and contact information (information appears two weeks after the submission due date).

    Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

    Galen Gregor
    Division of Grants Management
    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
    Telephone: 301-427-1457
    Email: Galen.Gregor@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 at https://www.ahrq.gov/funding/policies/polnotice/index.html.

    Authority and Regulations

    This program is described in the Assistance Listings (formerly called the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance) at https://beta.sam.gov/help/assistance-listing 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 USC 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.html.

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