NIH GUIDE, Volume 23, Number 22, June 10, 1994

PA NUMBER:  PAR-94-072

P.T. 34


  Health Services Delivery 

Agency for Health Care Policy and Research


The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) announces an

update of its small grant program, whereby applications may be

reviewed and considered for funding under an accelerated time frame.

AHCPR conducts and supports research that will enhance the quality,

appropriateness, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of health care

services and access to such services.  Support for small research

grants is part of AHCPR's effort to build research capacity and

stimulate the development of innovative and timely research on issues

related to the delivery of health care services.  Small grant

applications are those with total direct costs of $50,000 or less

over the project period.

AHCPR's small grant program support is designed to:  (1) aid the

career development of new health services researchers, (2) encourage

individuals from a variety of academic and professional disciplines

and programs to study complex issues with respect to health care

services, (3) encourage the conduct of clinical practice-oriented

research, and (4) support preliminary studies when such are required

before more definitive inquiry can proceed.

Applicants who propose research that addresses priority areas that

are highlighted in AHCPR program announcements will be notified of

funding decisions approximately six months after receipt of


This announcement supersedes "Health Services Research Priority Areas

for Accelerated Small Grant Application Review" PA-91-92, which was

published in the NIH Guide in May 1991 and the Federal Register on

July 15, 1991.  AHCPR's program for accelerated review of small

conference grant applications, as announced in "Health Services

Research Conference Grants" (PA-91-61) in the NIH Guide for Grants

and Contracts on May 31, 1991 and the Federal Register on July 15,

1991, remains unchanged at this time.


The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health

promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000,"

a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  The AHCPR

urges applicants to submit grant applications relevant to the

specific health services research objectives of this initiative.

Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full

Report:  Stock No. 017-001-00474-0 or Summary Report:  Stock No.

017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of Documents, Government

Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202-783-3238).


Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign, non-profit

organizations, public and private, including universities, clinics,

units of State and local governments, and foundations.  Applications

from minority and women investigators are encouraged.

The aims of the proposed project must be distinctly different from

those of any pending grant application or funded research project

submitted by the principal investigator.  The request may not be used

to supplement currently supported projects, provide interim support

for projects under review by the PHS, or obtain funding as a

competing continuation of a small grant.


This Program Announcement (PA) will use the small research grant

(R03) mechanism.  Responsibility for the planning, direction, and

execution of the proposed project will be solely that of the proposed

principal investigator.  The total direct costs must not exceed

$50,000 for the entire project period.  Projects should be

accomplished in one to two years.



AHCPR's authorizing legislation provides for the use of the small

grant mechanism, and permits adjustments in the procedures otherwise

established for the conduct of peer review, for the purpose of

encouraging the entry of individuals into the field of research, for

the purpose of encouraging clinical practice-oriented research, and

for such other purposes as the Administrator may determine to be


AHCPR's use of accelerated procedures for consideration of small

research grants is a response to the expressed interest of the

research community in maintaining mechanisms that provide a

transition: (1) to independent investigation by new researchers; or

(2) for researchers accomplished in other fields who are moving into

health services and health policy research.  It is also intended to

provide the potential for support of preliminary studies in areas for

which the availability of other options is limited.

This is not the only mechanism used by AHCPR to encourage entry of

investigators into health services research.  Applicants should

inquire about other AHCPR programs for which they may be eligible,

such as National Research Service Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship

Awards and Dissertation Research Grants.

Research Issues

Applicants are encouraged to investigate priority issues that have

been publicized in various program announcements of AHCPR.  The

following announcements, which were published in the NIH Guide for

Grants and Contracts, provide information on selected areas of


o  "Primary Care and Health Care Reform" (PA-93-063), Vol. 22, No.

10, March 12, 1993;

o  "Cost and Financing Issues in Health Care Reform" (PA-93-45), Vol.

22, No. 4, January 29, 1993;

o  "Health Care Quality Improvement and Quality Assurance Research"

(PA-93-084), Vol. 22, No. 19, May 21, 1993;

o  "Health Services for Persons with HIV Infection" (PA-93-110), Vol.

22, No. 33, September 17, 1993;

o  "Medical Malpractice and Liability Research" (PA-94-016), Vol. 22,

No. 44, December 10, 1993;

o  "Health Services Research on Rural Health" (PA-92-71), Vol. 21,

No. 16, May 1, 1992;

o  "Effective Dissemination of Health and Clinical Information and

Research Findings" (PA-92-51), Vol 21, No. 10, March 13, 1992; and

o  "Medical Treatment Effectiveness Research -- Summary" (PA-94-074),

Vol. 23, No. 22, June 10, 1994.

Applications addressing areas of interest to AHCPR covered by program

announcements released subsequent to this small grant announcement

also will be eligible for consideration for funding under an

accelerated timeframe.

Applicants may direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to

appropriate staff.  Specific individuals for each area are:

Primary care and health care reform:

Center for General Health Services Extramural Research

Carolyn Clancy, M.D.

Telephone:  (301) 594-1357, ext. 133

Cost and financing issues in health care reform:

Center for General Health Services Extramural Research

Michael Hagan

Telephone:  (301) 594-1354, ext. 120

Health care quality improvement and quality assurance:

Center for General Health Services Extramural Research

Bertha D. Atelsek

Telephone:  (301) 594-1352, ext. 111

Health care services for persons with HIV infection:

Center for General Health Services Extramural Research

Melford J. Henderson, M.P.H, M.A.

Telephone:  (301) 594-1354, extension 122

Medical malpractice and liability research:

Center for General Health Services Extramural Research

David C. Hsia, J.D., M.D., M.P.H.

Telephone:  (301) 594-1354, ext. 118

Health services research on rural health:

Center for General Health Services Extramural Research

Jean G. Carmody, M.S.W.

Telephone:  (301) 594-1357, ext. 130

Dissemination of health and clinical information and research


Center for Research Dissemination and Liaison

Jane E. Linkletter

Telephone:  (301) 594-1362

Medical effectiveness and outcomes research:

Center for General Health Services Extramural Research

James Cooper, M.D.

Telephone:  (301) 594-1357, ext. 141




It is the policy of AHCPR that women and members of minority groups

and their subpopulations must be included in all AHCPR-supported

health services research projects involving human subjects, unless

clear and compelling rationale and justification are provided that

inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects

or the purpose of the research.

A new NIH policy resulting from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993

(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43) supersedes and strengthens NIH's

previous policies (Concerning the Inclusion of Women in Study

Populations, and Concerning the Inclusion of Minorities in Study

Populations), which were in effect since 1990 and which AHCPR had

adopted.  The new NIH policy contains some provisions that are

substantially different from the 1990 policies.  AHCPR plans to

publish guidelines specific to AHCPR.  In the interim, AHCPR will

follow the NIH guidelines, as applicable.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should

read the "NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as

Subjects in Clinical Research," which have been published in the

Federal Register of March 9, 1994 (FR 59 11146-11151) and reprinted

in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23, Number 11,

March 18, 1994.

Investigators also may obtain copies of the NIH policy from the

program staff listed under INQUIRIES.  AHCPR program staff may also

provide additional relevant information concerning this policy.


Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS

398 (rev. 09/91) and will be accepted on or before the application

receipt dates as indicated in the application kit.  (State and local

governments may use form PHS 5161 and follow those requirements for

copy submission.) Application kits are available at most

institutional offices of sponsored research; from the Office of

Grants Information, Division of Research Grants, National Institutes

of Health, Westwood Building, Room 449, Bethesda, MD 20892, telephone

(301) 710-0267; and from Global Exchange Inc., 7910 Woodmont Avenue,

Suite 400, Bethesda, MD 20814-3015, telephone (301) 656-3100, (FAX

(301) 652-5264).

To be eligible for expedited processing and funding consideration,

item 2a of page 1 of the application must be checked "YES;" and the

PA number and the title "AHCPR Small Grants Program" must be entered.

The completed original application and five legible copies must be

sent or delivered to:

Division of Research Grants

National Institutes of Health

Westwood Building, Room 240

Bethesda, MD  20892**

The Division of Research Grants (DRG) will not accept any application

in response to this announcement that is essentially the same as a

component of one pending initial review, unless the applicant

withdraws the pending application.  The DRG will not accept any

application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.

This does not preclude the submission of substantial revisions of

applications already reviewed, but such applications must include an

introduction addressing the previous critique.


Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the

referral office, DRG.  Incomplete applications will be returned to

the applicant without further consideration.  Review criteria for

AHCPR grant applications are:  significance and originality from a

scientific and technical viewpoint; adequacy of the method to carry

out the project; availability of data or the proposed plan to collect

data required for the project; qualifications and experience of the

principal investigator and proposed staff; adequacy of the plan for

organizing and carrying out the project; reasonableness of the

proposed budget; and adequacy of the facilities and resources

available to the applicant.

AHCPR is particularly interested in supporting new investigators and

will give special consideration to proposed principal investigators

(PI) who have not been designated previously as PI on any

PHS-supported research project (including both R01 and R03), other

than an Academic Research Enhancement Award (R15) or certain career

development awards (K series) directed principally to physicians,

dentists, or other clinicians with limited research experience.

The size and scope of proposed projects should be appropriate to the

capabilities of the researcher and the area addressed.  Applications

that propose a budget that is grossly inadequate to accomplish the

aims of the project will not receive favorable consideration.

Applications usually will be reviewed for scientific and technical

merit by an AHCPR initial review group (IRG) composed primarily of

non-Federal scientific experts.  Summaries of IRG recommendations

will be sent to applicants as soon as possible following IRG review.

Sec. 922 (d)(2) of the Public Health Service Act allows the

Administrator to make appropriate adjustment in AHCPR's usual peer

review procedures for applications whose direct costs do not exceed

$50,000.  Although it is anticipated that most such applications will

be reviewed by AHCPR-chartered review groups, AHCPR reserves the

right to modify procedures used by these groups or to make the

determination that an application warrants immediate review by

Federal or non-Federal experts serving as field readers.  The final

determination of the method of review is made by AHCPR, and will be

based upon program relevance, time constraints, uniqueness, or

special opportunity associated with the application.


Applications will compete for available funds with all other

applications.  The following will be considered in making funding

decisions:  quality of the proposed project as determined by peer

review, availability of funds, and program balance.  The earliest

possible dates of award for applications are seven months from the

application receipt date.  In most cases, funding decisions will be

made within six months of the application receipt date.


Copies of the program announcements referenced in the Research

Objectives section above, as well as others released subsequent to

this announcement, are available from Global Exchange Inc., 7910

Woodmont Avenue, Suite 400, Bethesda, MD 20814-3015, telephone (301)

656-3100, (FAX (301) 652-5264).

Those considering applying in response to this PA are strongly

encouraged to discuss their project with AHCPR program administrators

before formal submission.  AHCPR welcomes the opportunity to clarify

any issues or questions from potential applicants.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues, including information

on the policy of inclusion of women and minorities in study

populations, to:

Norman W. Weissman, Ph.D.

Center for General Health Services Extramural Research

Agency for Health Care Policy and Research

2101 E. Jefferson Street, Suite 502

Rockville, MD  20852

Telephone:  (301) 594-1349, ext. 106

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal/administrative matters to:

Ralph Sloat

Agency for Health Care Policy and Research

2101 E. Jefferson Street, Suite 601

Rockville, MD  20852

Telephone:  (301) 594-1447


This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic

Assistance No. 93.180 and 93.226.  Awards are authorized under the

Public Health Service Act, Title IX, as amended, (42 U.S.C.

299-299c-6), and Section 1142 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C.

1320b-12).  Awards are administered under the PHS Grants Policy

Statement and Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 67, Subpart A and 45

CFR Part 74 (Part 92 for State and local governments).  This program

is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of

Executive Order 12372.


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