Part I Overview Information


Department of Health and Human Services

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

Components of Participating Organizations
Office of Extramural Research, Education, and Priority Populations (OEREP), (http://www.ahrq.gov/about/organix.htm)

Title: AHRQ Grant Program for Large Conference Support (R13) and (U13)

Announcement Type
This is a re-issue of PA-03-117.

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

NOTICE: Applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Federal assistance must be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov) using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) forms and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

APPLICATIONS MAY NOT BE SUBMITTED IN PAPER FORMAT.

This FOA must be read in conjunction with the application guidelines included with this announcement in Grants.gov/Apply for Grants (hereafter called Grants.gov/Apply).

A registration process is necessary before submission and applicants are highly encouraged to start the process at least four weeks prior to the grant submission date. See Section IV.

Program Announcement (PA) Number: PA-06-378

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.226 (for all grants & cooperative agreements)

Key Dates
Release/Posted Date: April 28, 2006
Opening Date: April 28, 2006 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
NOTE: On time submission requires that applications be successfully submitted to Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of applicant institution/organization).
Application Submission/Receipt Date(s): February 1, June 1, October 1, annually until February 1, 2007, then Standard dates apply, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm
AIDS Application Receipt Date(s): Standard dates apply, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm
Peer Review Date(s): within 5 months of submission
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): within 8 months of submission
Date of Conference: within 12 months of start date of award
Expiration Date: Now Expired August 19, 2009 (per issuance of PAR-09-257) (Original Date: April 13, 2009) (New Date April 13, 2010 Per NOT-HS-09-006)

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announces its continued interest in supporting conferences through its Grant Program for Large Conference Support. AHRQ seeks to support conferences that help to further its mission to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The types of conferences eligible for support include: 1) Research development - conferences where issues or challenges in the delivery of health services are defined and a research agenda or strategy for studying them is developed; 2) Design and methodology - conferences where methodological and technical issues of major importance in the field of health services research are addressed or new designs and methodologies are developed; 3) Dissemination conferences - where research findings are summarized and communicated broadly to organizations and individuals that have the capability to use the information to improve the outcomes, quality, access to, and cost and utilization of health care services; and/or, 4) Research training, infrastructure and career development conferences where research faculty and students are brought together with users of research to develop, share and disseminate research products, experiences, curricula, syllabi, approaches or core competencies required to train individuals from multi- and interdisciplinary backgrounds or prepare developing or emerging research institutions to conduct and translate research related to fostering improvements in health care delivery in the U.S.

AHRQ is especially interested in supporting conferences that include plans and strategies for disseminating conference materials and products to other audiences, beyond the participants attending the event. Such strategies might include, but are not limited to, submitting articles for publication, posting information on a Web site, and seeking formal opportunities to disseminate the conference information through other venues.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will use the conference grant (R13) and conference cooperative agreement (U13) award mechanisms. AHRQ large conference grants are those with up to $100,000 per year in total costs with a total project period not to exceed 3 years. Applicants may request full or partial support for conferences. Requests for partial support are welcome and the peer reviewers will consider the overall structure and design of the proposed conference as well as the structure and design of any conference sub-component for which support is being requested. AHRQ encourages applicants to seek co-sponsorship of conferences.

Under the R13 mechanism, the applicant will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project. Under the U13 mechanism the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) retains the primary responsibility and dominant role for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project, with AHRQ staff being substantially involved and consulted by the PD/PI. Applications using the U13 mechanism are typically submitted after discussion with and concurrence regarding the use of this mechanism by AHRQ grants program staff. Applicants are encouraged to discuss submission of a U13 large conference grant application prior to application submission. Program staff contacts are listed in Section VII of this FOA.

R13 and U13 applications may be submitted by domestic (U.S.) public organizations, i.e., units of State and local governments or tribes, and private nonprofit organizations, including universities, clinics, foundations, and scientific or professional societies. In addition, for-profit organizations are eligible to submit U13 applications. In the case of an international conference, the U.S. representative organization of an established international scientific or professional society would be the eligible applicant. Grant funds may not be used to provide general support for international conferences held outside the United States or Canada. However, grant funds may be awarded to support specific aspects of an international conference held outside the United States or Canada. While grant awards are made to institutions rather than individuals, this FOA and its instructions are addressed to potentially interested individuals to inform them of this funding opportunity and facilitate the preparation of grant applications by the individuals who will actually assume the primary responsibility for the preparation of their organization’s application. Individuals will be referred to as conference conveners in this FOA.

AHRQ encourages applications from conference conveners who have not previously received AHRQ grant support, women, members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and persons with disabilities.

Applications must be prepared using the SF424 Research and Related (R&R) grant application instructions and forms. See Section IV.1 for application materials. The SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA is located at these Web sites:

Applicants are encouraged to return to these links for the most current version of the Application Guide.

For general information on SF424 (R&R) Application and Electronic Submission, see the following Web sites:

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired is available at: TTY 301-451-5936.

Table of Contents


Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Objectives

Section II. Award Information
1. Mechanism of Support
2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
A. Eligible Institutions
B. Eligible Individuals
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Request Application Information
2. Content and Form of Application Submission
3. Submission Dates and Times
A. Submission, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
1. Letter of Intent
B. Sending an Application to AHRQ
C. Application Processing
4. Intergovernmental Review
5. Funding Restrictions
6. Other Submission Requirements

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria
2. Review and Selection Process
A. Additional Review Criteria
B. Additional Review Considerations
C. Sharing Research Data
D. Sharing Research Resources
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
A. Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award
3. Reporting

Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)
2. Peer Review Contact(s)
3. Financial/ Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


1. Research Objectives

Purpose

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announces its continued interest in supporting conferences through its Grant Program for Large Conference Support. AHRQ large conference grants are those with up to $100,000 per year in total costs and a total project period not to exceed 3 years. This Program is intended to complement and promote AHRQ's core research by providing a mechanism for Agency stakeholders and others to (1) develop health services research agendas and identify strategies and mechanisms for studying them; (2) discuss and develop consensus around health services research methodological and technical issues; (3) disseminate health services research information and facilitate adoption of research findings from AHRQ-sponsored research and research training grants in the formulation or evaluation of health policy, management of health care programs, and use or purchase of health services; and (4) develop partnerships and build capacity to participate in research activities and use the results of health services research.

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) describes the procedures and criteria for the Program. It updates and supersedes the “AHRQ Grant Program for Large Conference Support,” PA 03-117, published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on May 8, 2003.

See Section VIII. Other Information – Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Conference Objectives

AHRQ seeks to support conferences that help to further its mission to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. AHRQ achieves its mission through the support of health services research designed to (1) improve clinical practice, (2) improve the health care system's ability to provide access to and deliver high quality, high-value health care, and (3) provide policymakers with the ability to assess the impact of system changes on outcomes, quality, access to, cost, and use of health care services. Listed below are Agency priority areas of interest for large conference grant applications:

1) Translating Research into Practice and Policy

AHRQ's mission includes a significant commitment to translating research into practice and policy (TRIPP). Within this area, investigators conduct research and evaluation projects related to the translation of research findings into measurable improvements in quality, patient safety, healthcare outcomes and cost, use, and access. For example, AHRQ TRIPP-related research projects 1) test strategies for adoption, implementation, and routinization of evidence-based clinical and organizational interventions; 2) assess the degree to which interventions that have been proven successful in just a few health care settings or outside of health care are appropriate to other health care settings and the degree to which practices that worked well with one population fit other types of populations - especially racial and ethnic minorities, children, elderly, rural populations, and other priority populations; and, 3) identify successful past efforts to adopt, implement, and routinize evidence-based clinical and organizational interventions, and then take these "to scale" by replicating them across an expanding number of organizations.

2) Patient Safety and Quality

Important elements in the AHRQ mission are to support the development of multi-disciplinary research teams in building the knowledge base on the scope and impact of medical errors, particularly for diverse care settings and populations, identify the root causes of threats to patient safety and effective system approaches to prevent the occurrence of errors, study the effectiveness of various interventions to capture information on medical errors, evaluate the implementation of information technology to reduce errors and increase efficiency, and disseminate and evaluate the outcomes of promising interventions in a variety of health care settings and across a variety of health care professions.

3) Patient-Centered Care

One critical set of issues facing public and private policymakers concerns the challenge of designing patient-centered processes to improve the quality and safety of care delivery. Patient-centered care is defined as health care that establishes a partnership among practitioners, patients and their families (when appropriate) to ensure that decisions respond to and respect patients' wants, needs and preferences and solicit patients' input on the education and support they need to make decisions and participate in their own care.

Essential dimensions of patient-centered care include but are not limited to: 1) accessible and customized information, communication, and education; 2) continuous collaboration, coordination and integration of care among providers, across conditions and settings; 3) shared decision-making of clinicians with patients and their families; 4) self-efficacy and self-management skills for patients; 5) patients' experience of care; 6) provider-patient partnership; and, 7) enhanced cultural competence of health care providers. AHRQ supports patient-centered care research focusing on the redesign and evaluation of new care processes that lead to greater patient empowerment, improved patient-provider interaction, easier navigation through healthcare systems, and improved access, quality, and outcomes. Specific strategies could include, but are not limited to, electronic clinical communication, self-management programs, web-based applications for patients and/or health care providers, and shared decision-making programs.

4) Payment and Organization

One dilemma currently facing America is how to improve health care quality and access while costs continue to soar. There is now a recognition that a first fundamental step in dealing with this dilemma is through innovations in organization and payment structures. To understand the impact of changes in organizational structure and processes, new technologies, and management innovations, and to discover ways to create a less wasteful and higher-quality health system, AHRQ encourages research on system design and change as well as processes resulting in planned and unplanned change. Evaluation of innovations led by public and private sector leaders are of particular interest. For example, evaluation of innovations in prescription drug payments and cost-sharing, value-based purchasing, improving care processes within a health care organization, pay-for-performance incentives, state malpractice reforms, and response to Health Savings Accounts or consumer directed health options, are of interest.

The types of conferences eligible for support include:

1) Research development - conferences where issues or problems in the delivery of health services are defined and a research agenda or strategy for studying them is developed;

2) Design and methodology - conferences where methodological and technical issues of major importance in the field of health services research are addressed or new designs and methodologies are developed;

3) Dissemination – conferences where research findings are summarized and communicated broadly to organizations and individuals that have the capability to use the information to improve the outcomes, quality, access to, and cost and utilization of health care services; and,

4) Research training, infrastructure and career development - conferences where research faculty and students are brought together with users of research to develop, share and disseminate research products, experiences, curricula, syllabi, approaches or core competencies required to train individuals from multi- and interdisciplinary backgrounds or prepare developing or emerging research institutions to conduct and translate research related to fostering improvements in health care delivery in the US.

AHRQ is especially interested in supporting conferences that demonstrate strategies which include plans for disseminating conference materials and products to other audiences beyond the participants attending the event. Such strategies might include, but are not limited to, submitting articles for publication, posting information on a Web site, and seeking formal opportunities to present information from the conference in other venues. Depending on the particular conference design, AHRQ would be pleased to provide relevant Agency publications and materials for the conference notebook or a briefing packet or for display tables, or to arrange participation by AHRQ topic experts in panel discussions or presentations. A link from the conference to pertinent materials on AHRQ’s website might also be arranged in accordance with Department policies.

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism of Support

This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will use the conference grant (R13) and conference cooperative agreement (U13) award mechanisms. Under the R13 mechanism, the applicant institution will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project. Under the U13 mechanism, the institutional Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) retains the primary responsibility and dominant role for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project, with AHRQ staff being substantially involved with the PD/PI as described under the Section VI. 2. Administrative Requirements, "Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award." Using a U13 cooperative agreement mechanism will help AHRQ more closely link the conference with the Agency mission. Applications using the U13 mechanism are typically submitted after discussion and concurrence with use of mechanism by AHRQ grants program staff. Applicants are encouraged to discuss submission of a U13 large conference grant application prior to application submission. Program staff contacts are listed in Section VII of this FOA. Funding decision will be based on the merits of the conference grant application and not based on choice of the U13 or R13 mechanism.

Multiple year awards may be made to a permanently sponsoring organization for conferences held annually or biennially on a subject of long term interest to AHRQ. The total project period for an application submitted in response to this FOA may not exceed three years.

2. Funds Available

The total costs awarded under this FOA for conferences will not exceed $100,000 annually for the entire project period. Funding beyond the first year will be contingent upon a review by Agency staff of the non-competing continuation report. An application with a project period that exceeds three years or a budget that exceeds $100,000 total costs per year will be returned without review.

AHRQ is supportive of applicants seeking co-sponsorship for a conference. AHRQ also welcomes applicants to consider requesting partial support for conferences. The peer reviewers will consider the overall structure and design of the conference as well as the structure and design of any sub-component for which support is being requested.

Because the nature and scope of the proposed conferences will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the AHRQ provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Facilities and Administration Costs (F&A) F&A costs (indirect costs) will not be allowed on grants in support of conferences.

Section III. Eligibility Information


1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

You may submit (an) application(s) if your domestic organization is a:

AHRQ will make R13 grants only to non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations are also eligible for U13 grants. For-profit organizations are eligible for U13 grants and may participate in R13 projects as members of consortia or as subcontractors. Organizations described in sections 501(c) 4 of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying are not eligible for either grant mechanism.

Applications may be submitted by domestic (U.S.) private and public nonprofit organizations, such as universities, clinics, foundations, scientific or professional societies, units of State and local governments, or tribes. An individual is not eligible to receive a grant in support of a conference. In the case of an international conference, the U.S. representative organization of an established international scientific or professional society is the eligible grantee. Grant funds may not be used to provide general support for international conferences held outside the United States or Canada. However, grant funds may be awarded to support specific aspects of an international conference held outside the United States or Canada.

1.B. Eligible Individuals

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed conference is invited to work with their institution to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to prepare applications for AHRQ programs.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

AHRQ does not require cost sharing for applications submitted in response to this Funding Opportunity Announcement.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Not Applicable

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


To download a SF424 (R&R) Application Package and SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for completing the SF424 (R&R) forms for this FOA, link to http://www.grants.gov/Apply/ and follow the directions provided on that Web site.

A one-time registration is required for institutions/organizations at both:

The conference convener should work with their institutions/organizations to make sure they are registered in the NIH eRA Commons.

Several additional separate actions are required before an applicant can submit an electronic application as follows:

1) Organizational/Institutional Registration in Grants.gov/Get Started

2) Organizational/Institutional Registration in the eRA Commons

3) Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) Registration in the NIH eRA Commons: Refer to the NIH eRA Commons System (COM) Users Guide.

Note that if a PD/PI is also an AHRQ peer-reviewer with an Individual DUNS and CCR registration, that particular DUNS number and CCR registration are for the individual reviewer only. These are different than any DUNS number and CCR registration used by an applicant organization. Individual DUNS and CCR registration should be used only for the purposes of personal reimbursement and should not be used on any grant applications submitted to the Federal Government.

Several of the steps of the registration process could take up to four weeks. Therefore, applicants should immediately check with their organization’s business official to determine whether their institution/organization is already registered in both Grants.gov and the NIH eRA Commons. The AHRQ will accept electronic applications only from organizations that have completed all necessary registrations.

Note: For some conference grant applications, the conference convener identified is not an employee of the applicant organization. For other conferences, the conference convener is an employee of the applicant organization. Therefore, for electronic receipt of conference grant applications, applicants have the following two options:

a) Conference grant applicant institutions/organizations can name a scientific director who is an employee of the organization/institution and register that individual in the NIH eRA Commons. It is important to note that only the named scientific director at the institution will be able to access the Summary Statement, priority score, etc. If the applicant names someone else to be the scientific director for the conference, the applicant organization is responsible for sharing that information with the other individual (conference convener).

b) Conference applicants/institutions may continue to use an "affiliated" individual as the conference convener. In this case, the applicant organization will need to officially affiliate the conference convener with the conference organization in the NIH eRA Commons.

Following are the steps to affiliate a conference convener to an institution:

1) Conference convener gives NIH eRA Commons user ID and email address to the administrator of the new institution. (The email address must be the one that is contained in the Personal Profile for the conference convener.)

2) Administrator for applicant institution logs into the NIH eRA Commons. (The administrator can be the Signing Official, Administrative Official, or the Accounts Administrator.)

3) Administrator for applicant institution selects "Administration" tab and then "Accounts" tab.

4) Administrator for applicant institution selects "Create Affiliation" tab.

5) Administrator for applicant institution enters the NIH eRA Commons User ID and Email address into the appropriate fields and clicks "Submit."

Note: The account cannot have any other roles attached to it other than the conference convener.

1. Request Application Information

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide for this FOA through the Grants.gov Apply.

Note: Only the forms package directly attached to a specific FOA can be used. You will not be able to use any other SF424 (R&R) forms (e.g., sample forms, forms from another FOA), although some of the "Attachment" files may be useable for more than one FOA.

AHRQ is not using the Modular Grant Application and Award Process. Applications submitted in modular format will be returned without review.

For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Prepare all applications using the SF424 (R&R) application forms and instructions in accordance with the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide (MS Word or PDF).

The SF424 (R&R) Application Guide is critical to submitting a complete and accurate application to AHRQ. There are fields within the SF424 (R&R) application components that, although not marked as mandatory, are required by NIH (e.g., the “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component must contain the PD/PI’s assigned eRA Commons User ID). Agency-specific instructions for such fields are clearly identified in the Application Guide. For additional information, see “Tips and Tools for Navigating Electronic Submission” on the front page of “Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

The SF424 (R&R) application is comprised of data arranged in separate components. Some components are required, others are optional. The forms package associated with this FOA in Grants.gov/APPLY will include all applicable components, required and optional. A completed application in response to this FOA will include the following components:

Required Components:

SF424 (R&R) (An application cover component)
Research & Related Project/Performance Site Locations
Research & Related Other Project Information
Research & Related Senior/Key Person
Research & Related Budget

PHS398 Cover Page Supplement
PHS398 Research Plan
PHS398 Checklist

Optional Components:

PHS398 Cover Letter File
R&R Sub-award Budget Attachment Form

Additional Instructions

The following instructions are to be used in conjunction with the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide accompanying the SF424 (R&R) application form:

SF424 (R&R) Cover Component. Enter the title of the conference or scientific meeting on line item 11.

Research and Related Project/Performance Site Locations. Enter the site of the conference or meeting as the Performance Site.

Research and Related Other Project Information Component. Enter Abstract on line item 6. The proposed date for the conference should be included in the abstract.

Research and Related Senior/Key Person. Personnel are defined as the conference convener and those responsible for the scientific planning and organization of the meeting. Attach a biographical sketch for conference convener, Co-Chair, key personnel, and confirmed key speakers.

Research and Related Budget. Enter the direct costs requested. Provide a narrative justification for each proposed personnel position, including role and proposed level of effort. Include information regarding efforts to obtain funding for this conference/meeting from other sources.

Allowable Costs. Salary support requested shall be no greater than the percentage of the time or effort spent directly on the conference/meeting; rental of necessary equipment; travel and per diem or subsistence allowances; supplies needed for conduct of the meeting (only if received for use during the budget period); conference services; publication costs; registration fees; speakers’ fees.

Non-allowable costs. Purchase of equipment; transportation costs exceeding U.S. carrier coach class fares; visas; passports; entertainment; tips; bar charges; personal telephone calls; laundry charges; dues; honoraria or other payments for the purpose of conferring distinction or communicating respect, esteem or admiration; patient care; alterations or renovations; facilities and administrative costs/indirect costs. Please also refer to the PHS Grants Policy Statement for additional information regarding costs.

Additional details on allowable costs and unallowable costs, and direct cost expenditures, can be found in Section V.2.A.

PHS 398 Research Plan Component. Submit one attachment, which may not exceed 15 pages, under the Research Design and Methods section (line item 5). Note that this section will be called “Conference Plan” in the system-generated Table of Contents. Letters of agreement from key speakers and participants should be attached at line item 13. The Human Subjects Sections (Items 6-10) of the PHS 398 Research Plan do not apply to conference grants; therefore, do not complete these items.

Use the research plan section of the application to describe the objectives, specific program, and logistical arrangements for the meeting. Describe the format and agenda, including the principal topics to be covered, problems to be addressed, and developments or contributions the meeting might stimulate. Provide a detailed justification for the meeting, including the scientific need, timeliness, and usefulness of the meeting to the scientific community. Describe the composition and role of the organizing committee, and provide the names and credentials of key participants in the meeting, including the basis for their selection and documentation of their agreement to participate. Estimate the expected size and composition of the audience, as well as the method of selection. Describe plans for publicizing the meeting and publication of the proceedings. If this is one of a series of periodic meetings held by a permanent sponsoring organization, briefly describe and evaluate the last meeting in the series.

Describe the expected product(s) to result from the conference, including how these products would be disseminated beyond those attending the conference. Describe plans for evaluating the conference’s success, including how the conference might impact on the quality, appropriateness, and effectiveness of health services, access to such services, and how it might address issues related to priority populations.

Describe plans for the appropriate involvement of priority populations (as defined in Section IV.6) in the planning and implementation of the proposed meeting. For example, consideration for priority populations may be reflected in the design of the agenda, selection of topics and speakers, attendees, and the final products associated with the conference, whether it is a research agenda or conference proceedings.

The narrative portion of the application may not exceed 15 pages in length and must include all material related to the project justification. A conference agenda or draft agenda, should be added in the PHS 398 Research Plan Component (line item 15).

PHS 398 Checklist Component. The checklist is required; however, no information regarding facilities and administration (F&A) costs (indirect costs) should be included as this is not an allowable cost for this mechanism.

Other Specific Application Instructions

Applicants proposing conference grants for $50,000 or less in total costs for a one year or less project period should read the "Small Grant Program for Conference Support," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on October 2, 2000 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-00-141.html).

3. Submission Dates and Times

See (Section IV.3.A) for details.

3.A. Submission, Review and Anticipated Start Dates

Opening Date: April 28, 2006 (Earliest date an application may be submitted to Grants.gov)
Application Submission/Receipt Date(s): February 1, June 1, October 1, annually until February 1, 2007, then Standard dates apply, please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm.
AIDS Application Receipt Date(s): http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm#AIDS.
Peer Review Date: within 5 months of submission
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: within 8 months of submission
Date of Conference: within 12 months of start date of award
Conference Summary: within 90 days after the conference dates

3.A.1. Letter of Intent
Not Applicable

3.B. Sending an Application to AHRQ

To submit an application in response to this FOA, applicants should access this FOA via http://www.grants.gov/Apply and follow steps 1-4. Note: Applications must only be submitted electronically. PAPER APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

3.C. Application Processing

Applications may be submitted on or after the opening date and must be successfully received by Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the applicant institution/organization) on the application submission/receipt date(s). (See Section IV.3.A. for all dates.) If an application is not submitted by the receipt date(s) and time, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.

Once an application package has been successfully submitted through Grants.gov, any errors have been addressed, and the assembled application has been created in the eRA Commons, the PD/PI and the Authorized Organization Representative/Signing Official (AOR/SO) have two business days to view the application image.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

There will be an acknowledgement of receipt of applications from Grants.gov and the Commons. Information related to the assignment of an application to a Scientific Review Group is also in the Commons.

AHRQ will not accept any application in response to this FOA that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial merit review unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. AHRQ will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. This does not preclude the submission of an application already reviewed with substantial changes, but such application must include an Introduction addressing the previous critique. Note, such an application is considered a "resubmission" for the SF 424 (R&R).

Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval of human subjects is not required prior to peer review of an application. However, initiation of IRB review, if necessary or applicable, is strongly encouraged to assure timely commencement of research.

The Funding Opportunity Announcement is also available on AHRQ's Web site http://www.ahrq.gov/ (see Funding Opportunities).

4. Intergovernmental Review

This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the PHS Grants Policy Statement. The Grants Policy Statement can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/gps/index.html (See also Section VI.3. Reporting.)

6. Other Submission Requirements

The AHRQ requires the PD/PI to fill in his/her Commons User ID in the “PROFILE – Project Director/Principal Investigator” section, “Credential” log-in field of the “Research & Related Senior/Key Person Profile” component. The applicant organization must include its DUNS number in its Organization Profile in the eRA Commons. This DUNS number must match the DUNS number provided at CCR registration with Grants.gov. For additional information, see “Tips and Tools for Navigating Electronic Submission” on the front page of “Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.”

Note: While each section of the Research Plan needs to be uploaded separately as a PDF attachment, applicants are encouraged to construct the Research Plan as a single document, separating sections into distinct PDF attachments just before uploading the files. This approach will enable applicants to better monitor formatting requirements such as page limits. All attachments must be provided to NIH/AHRQ in PDF format, filenames must be included with no spaces or special characters, and a .pdf extension must be used.

Priority Populations

The Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 (See 42 USC 299ff.) directed AHRQ, in carrying out its mission, to conduct and support research and evaluations, and to support demonstration projects, with respect to the delivery of health care in inner-city and rural areas (including frontier areas); and health care for priority populations, which include low income groups; minority groups; women; children; the elderly; and individuals with special health care needs, including individuals with disabilities and individuals who need chronic care or end-of-life health care. To implement this directive, AHRQ published a notice in the NIH Guide on February 28, 2003, establishing a new Agency policy on the Inclusion of Priority Populations in health services research (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HS-03-010.html). Applicants under this FOA should address agency objectives with respect to including priority populations as specified in the Notice.

Publication Transmittal: General AHRQ Requirements

In keeping with the Agency's efforts to translate the results of AHRQ-funded research into practice and policy, grantees are to inform the AHRQ Office of Communications and Knowledge Transfer (OCKT) when articles from their AHRQ supported activities are accepted for publication in the professional literature. Grantees should also discuss any ideas about other dissemination and marketing efforts with OCKT staff. The goal is to ensure that efforts to disseminate research findings are coordinated with other Agency activities to maximize awareness and application of the research by potential users, including clinicians, patients, health care systems and purchasers and policymakers. This is critical when outreach to the general and trade press is involved. Under any cooperative agreement award pursuant to this FOA contact with the media is to take place with close coordination between OCKT and the press offices of the grantee's institution. In cases when products are created (such as annual or final reports, Web-based tools, CD-ROMs), grantees will be asked to submit to OCKT a brief plan describing how the product will be publicized. An OCKT staff person will be assigned to each product and will coordinate the implementation of the plan, especially issues related to printing and electronic dissemination, and outreach to the media.

AHRQ expects grant recipients to keep the Agency informed of publications resulting from AHRQ grant support activities as well as the known uses and impact of their Agency-sponsored research. Applicants are to agree to notify AHRQ immediately when a manuscript based on research supported by the grant is accepted for publication, and to provide the expected date of publication as soon as it is known, regardless of whether or not the grant award is still active.

Assessment of AHRQ Grant Programs

In carrying out its stewardship of research programs, the AHRQ may request information essential to an assessment of the effectiveness of Agency research programs. Accordingly, grant recipients are hereby notified that they may be contacted after the completion of awards for periodic updates on publications resulting from AHRQ grant awards, and other information helpful in evaluating the impact of AHRQ-sponsored research.

Specific Instructions for Modular Grant applications.

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

Plan for Sharing Research Data

Not Applicable

Sharing Research Resources

Not Applicable

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria (Update: Enhanced review criteria have been issued for the evaluation of research applications received for potential FY2010 funding and thereafter - see NOT-OD-09-025).

Administrative Criteria: Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed by AHRQ for completeness and responsiveness. Merit Review Criteria are described in Section V.2 below.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications that are complete and responsive to the FOA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened in accordance with standard AHRQ peer review procedures that are described in 42 CFR Part 67, Subpart A. Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications or applications not following instructions given in this Funding Opportunity Announcement will be returned to the applicant without further consideration.

AHRQ uses these procedures in evaluating and administering the cooperative agreement under this FOA.

As part of the merit review, all applications will:

The applications will be assessed based on the likelihood that the proposed conference will have a substantial impact. The application's overall score will reflect how well the following criteria are addressed in the application, with weighting for different criteria as appropriate for each application.

Applications submitted in response to a FOA will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

Review Criteria

In their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application.

Note that an application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score. For example, an investigator may propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

1. Significance. Does this conference address an important health services research problem? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced? What will be the effect of this conference on the concepts or methods that drive this field?

A. The topic selected must complement existing Agency research conference priorities.

B. The conference must relate clearly and directly to the field of health services research and its goal of developing and translating research to improve the U.S. health care system.

C. The conference topic and objective(s) must be succinctly and clearly stated, and reflected in all aspects of the conference proposal.

D. Conference sessions should include health services research-related issues as broadly described in conference objectives above (see Section I.1), including such areas as:

E. The conference should address issues related to priority populations--to the extent appropriate to the conference topic--low income groups; racial and ethnic minority groups; women; children; the elderly; individuals with special health care needs, including individuals with disabilities and those who need chronic care and end-of-life health care; and individuals living in inner-city, rural, and frontier areas.

F. The topic selected must be important to Agency stakeholders such as consumers and patients; clinicians and other healthcare providers; institutions; health plans; purchasers; and policymakers in all sectors (e.g., Federal, State and local governments; voluntary associations; international organizations; and foundations).

G. The products or outcomes of the conference should have the potential to influence future health services research, policy, practice, training of health services researchers, or enhance AHRQ's collaborative relationships.

H. Expected conference outcomes should have a national impact or make a significant contribution to health services research. If the conference is state or regionally based, plans for a broad dissemination of conference materials and some indication of national relevance must be included.

2. Approach. Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and evaluation plan adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the conference? This should be fully reflected in the narrative.

A. The conference must be for the purpose of one of the following: disseminate research results, formulate a research agenda, develop a research methodology, or research training, infrastructure and career development.

B. If the meeting format includes a call for abstracts, the application should include a summary of the process for soliciting, reviewing and selecting research to be presented at the conference.

C. The conference format must support the conference purpose and facilitate expected outcomes.

D. The planning committee should include representation from the research and research-user communities, and include a process for outreach to a subset of the conference target audience. To the extent consistent with the conference design, topic and goal(s), the planning process also should include outreach to people of differing views, and input from representatives of one or more of the Agency priority populations.

E. Speakers selected or proposed, or criteria for speaker selection, must be appropriate for the session topic. A plan should be in place to identify other presenters if those originally sought are unavailable.

F. A plan for evaluation of the conference results must be included in the design.

G. A draft agenda, with speakers, should be included.

3. Innovation. Does the conference employ novel concepts, approaches or methods? Are the methods appropriate to the topic? Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

4. Investigators. Is the conference convener appropriately trained and well suited to lead this conference? Is the conference proposed appropriate to the experience level of the conference convener and other conference planners? Conference planning staff and/or advisors must include persons with the requisite education, training and experience.

5. Environment. Does the applicant organization have the institutional resources, infrastructure, and demonstrated capacity to support the proposed conference?

6. Budget. Is the proposed project budget and the requested period of support reasonable in relation to the proposed conference? The budget must be adequate to support the conference design and must be justified. Other resources necessary to produce the intended outcome should have been identified or obtained.

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

In addition to the above criteria, the following items will be considered in the determination of technical merit:

Dissemination Activities

1. Is the plan to disseminate conference products to an audience broader than the conference participants adequate?

2. To the extent relevant to the particular conference topic, goal and format, does the application address strategies and opportunities for dissemination of germane AHRQ product(s), i.e., research findings and publications, databases, tools, after the conference?

3. For applicants who have been funded by AHRQ within the past three years, is evidence of dissemination and outcomes from previous conference(s) discussed?

Inclusion: Are the plans to address the needs of both genders, racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups), and children, as appropriate for the aims of the conference adequate? Is the attention to other populations of special priority to AHRQ (see discussion on Priority Populations in the section on Special Requirements, above, and Inclusion Criteria included in the section on Required Federal Citations, below.) adequate?

Special Budget Requirements

Applications may request full or partial support for conferences. AHRQ can support awards up to $100,000 in total costs with the large conference grant program. However, applicants are encouraged to obtain multiple sources of funding as a means of maximizing limited AHRQ funds. Where partial support of a conference is requested from AHRQ, peer reviewers will consider the overall structure and design of the conference as well as the sub-component for which support is being requested. Sources and amounts of other funding should be clearly identified. Applications must include a composite budget listing costs by category to be provided by other sources as well as costs for which coverage is being requested from AHRQ.

Allowable and Unallowable Costs

Peer reviewers will evaluate expenses allowed under the Grant Program for Large Conference Support following the guidelines described in the form SF 424 (R&R), and PHS Grants Policy Statement (April 1, 1994) Appendix 7. Areas of particular relevance to conference grants and exceptions to the general policies are described below.

Direct Cost Expenditures

a. Equipment. Grant funds may be used for rental of necessary equipment. Funds may not be used for the purchase of equipment. Rental expenses should be listed under the other expenses category.

b. Travel. Proposed per diem or subsistence allowances must be reasonable and will be limited to the days of attendance at the conference plus actual travel time required to reach the conference location by the most direct route available. Travel costs are limited to the extent provided for by grantee institutional travel policy. If the grantee institution has no formal travel policy, the Department of Health and Human Services travel regulations shall be applied in determining the amount of travel chargeable to grant funds. Where meals and/or lodging are furnished as part of the registration fee, the proposed per diem or subsistence allowance must take this into consideration. Transportation costs for those attending and participating in the conference and paid with grant funds may not exceed economy class fares. U.S. carriers must be used where possible. For local participants in the conference, grant funds may not be used to pay per diem or expenses other than local mileage.

c. Supplies. Grant funds may be used for the purchase of conference supplies, provided the supplies are received and used during the project period.

d. Conference Services. Grant funds may be used for necessary recording of proceedings, simultaneous translation, and subsequent transcriptions.

e. Publication Costs. Grant funds may be used to pay for the publication and dissemination of conference proceedings.

f. Registration Fees. Registration fees, when paid by the grantee to other organizations on behalf of attendees, may be paid from grant funds, provided such fees cover only those allowable costs properly chargeable to the grant.

g. Entertainment and Personal Expenses. Costs of amusement, diversion, social activities, ceremonial, and related incidental costs such as bar charges and personal telephone calls of participants or guests cannot be charged to the grant.

h. Federal Employees. Grant funds may not be used to cover the cost of travel or any payment to a full-time Federal employee, except under the conditions detailed in Appendix 7 of the Grants Policy Statement.

i. Honoraria. Honoraria or other payments given for the purpose of conferring distinction on or to symbolize respect, esteem, or admiration may not be paid from grant funds. Speaker fees for services rendered, however, are allowable.

j. Alteration and Renovations. Grant funds may not be used to support facility alteration or renovations of any kind.

Facilities and Administration Costs (F&A) F&A costs (indirect costs) will not be allowed on grants in support of conferences.

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Not Applicable

2.C. Sharing Research Data

Data Confidentiality

Pursuant to section 934(c) of the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 299c- 3(c)), information obtained in the course of any AHRQ supported-study that identifies an individual or entity must be treated as confidential in accordance with any explicit or implicit promises made regarding the possible uses and disclosures of such data. There are now civil monetary penalties for violation of this confidentiality statute [42 U.S.C.299c-3(d)). In the Human Subjects section of the application, applicants must describe procedures for ensuring the confidentiality of the identifiable information to be collected about human subjects. The description of the procedures should include a discussion of who will be permitted access to the information, both raw data and machine readable files, and how personal identifiers and other identifying or identifiable data will be restricted and safeguarded. Identifiable patient health information collected by grantees under this FOA will also be obtained and managed in accordance with 42 CFR Parts 160 and 164, a federal Privacy Rule, developed by the Department of Health and Human Services pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). These regulations serve to limit the disclosure of personally identifiable patient information by covered entities and define when and how such information can be disclosed e.g., to researchers. Thus, for example, health care plans, will require either patient authorization of disclosures of identifiable information to be made to researchers or waivers of such authorizations obtained from an IRB or Privacy Board (defined in the Privacy regulation) which is satisfied that any identifiable health information will be appropriately safeguarded by the investigators.

The HHS Office of Civil Rights is the enforcement body for this HIPAA regulation. Additional information about the regulations, their implementation, and alternative methods of permissible disclosures to researchers (limited data sets with data use agreements, de-identified data sets, data about deceased persons, and data use to develop protocols) can be obtained from: http://www.aspe.hhs.gov/admnsimp/ or http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/.

The awardee 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 websites referenced 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 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published several implementation guides for this circular. They are: An Introduction to Computer Security: The NIST Handbook; Generally Accepted Principals and Practices for Securing Information Technology Systems; and Guide for Developing Security Plans for Information Technology Systems. The circular and guides are available on the web at http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-12/. The applicability and intended means of applying these confidentiality and security standards to subcontractors and vendors, if any, should be addressed in the application.

2.D. Sharing Research Resources

Rights in Data

AHRQ grantees may copyright, unless otherwise provided in grant awards, or seek patents, as appropriate, for final and interim products and materials including, but not limited to, methodological tools, measures, software with documentation, literature searches, and analyses, which are developed in whole or in part with AHRQ funds awarded under this FOA. Such copyrights and patents are subject to a worldwide irrevocable Federal government license to use and permit others to use these products and materials for government purposes. 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; and subject to AHRQ budget constraints, final products may be made available to the health care community and the public by AHRQ or its agents, if such distribution would significantly increase access to a product and thereby produce substantial or valuable public health benefits. Ordinarily, to accomplish distribution, AHRQ publicizes research findings but relies on grantees to publish research results in peer-reviewed journals and to market grant-supported products. Important legal rights and requirements applicable to AHRQ grantees are set out or referenced in the AHRQ's grants regulation at 42 CFR Part 67, Subpart A (Available in libraries and from the GPO's website http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html).

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Generally, applicants should anticipate an 8 month timeframe from the application submission date to the funding decision.

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

After the peer review of the application is completed, the conference convener will be able to access a Summary Statement (written critique) via the NIH eRA Commons.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Grant Award (NGA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NGA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the Notice of Award will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the Notice of Grant Award (NGA) are at the recipient's risk.

Notification will be made electronically to the designated administrative/institutional official. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs. See Section IV.5., Funding Restrictions. “

Conditions of Award

In addition to standard grant requirements, the grantee is required to comply with the following terms and conditions included in the NGA.

1. Agreement for up to five AHRQ staff to attend the conference without paying a registration fee.

2. Agreement to hold a proposed conference within 12 months of the start date of the award.

3. The understanding that prospective applicants should allow adequate time for application submission and review and award processing in their plans for conference development.

Under no circumstance will support be provided for conferences held prior to the start date of grant award, and no public announcement of AHRQ's financial commitment can be made for a conference before the applicant receives a NGA.

4. Agreement to submit an original and two copies of an executive summary and one-page abstract of the conference and summary of participant's evaluation ratings/comments, which includes discussion of what was learned and what might be done differently in the future, to AHRQ no later than 90 days after the dates of the conference. If applicable, at the time of the award, the grant project officer will determine how many copies of the conference products will be required for distribution to AHRQ staff and other DHHS colleagues.

5. When relevant to a particular conference, agreement to disseminate tools and products after the conference.

6. Agreement to list AHRQ as a meeting supporter on conference materials, subsequent proceedings and references with the following disclaimer:

“Funding for this conference was made possible [in part] by [insert grant or cooperative agreement number] from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement of them by the U.S. Government.”

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All AHRQ grant and cooperative agreement awards are subject to AHRQ’s grants regulation at 42 CFR Part 67, Subpart A, and beyond that the terms and conditions of the Public Health Service (PHS) Grants Policy Statement as part of the NGA, found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/gps/index.html. For terms of the award, see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/gps/5award.htm#terms, and see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/gps/5award.htm#fund for the award and funding process.

The following Terms and Conditions will be incorporated into the NGA and will be provided to the conference convener as well as to the appropriate institutional official at the time of award.

2.A. Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to, otherwise applicable OMB administrative guidelines: AHRQ regulations at 42 CFR Part 67, HHS grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 or 92 (Part 92 is applicable to State and local government) and other HHS and PHS grant administration policy statements. AHRQ will use these procedures in evaluating and administering the cooperative agreements under this FOA.

As indicated above, the administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement (U13), an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial AHRQ programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under cooperative agreement conferences, the purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared between the awardees and AHRQ as described in this subsection of the FOA.

2.A.1. Awardee Rights and Responsibilities

Awardees will have the primary authorities and responsibility to define objectives and approaches, and to plan, conduct, analyze and publish results, interpretations, conclusions and evaluation, of the conference.

The conference convener will retain custody of and have primary rights to, information developed under the cooperative agreement, subject to government rights of access, consistent with the current DHHS, PHS, and AHRQ policies. Publication and copyright agreements and the requirements for financial status reports; retention of records; and annual and terminal progress reports will be as stated in the AHRQ regulations at 42 CFR Part 67, Subpart A and DHHS Grants Policy Statement.

Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current HHS, PHS, and AHRQ policies.

Awardees are responsible for identifying specific milestones for conferences that will be supported during the project period, particularly when multi-year conferences are supported.

2.A.2. AHRQ Responsibilities

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

An AHRQ Program Official will have substantial scientific-programmatic involvement during conduct of this activity, through technical assistance, advice, and coordination above and beyond the normal program stewardship for grants. Substantial involvement as a partner would include, for example, assisting in planning the agenda, selecting speakers, organizing a symposium, determining the content of the meeting, or determining the acceptability of submitted papers. Substantial involvement would not include serving as an invited speaker or providing limited advice.

Additionally, an agency Program Official will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the NGA.

2.A.3. Collaborative Responsibilities

Not Applicable

2.A.4. Arbitration Process for Cooperative Agreement Awards

Not Applicable

3. Reporting

Awardees will be required to submit the PHS Non-Competing Grant Progress Report, Form 2590 annually (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/2590/2590.htm) and financial statements as required in the PHS Grants Policy Statement.

The Progress Report must include Sections a through f as described on pages 10-14 in the general PHS form 2590 instructions, as well as sections g through j as described in Section IV of the 2590 instructions.

The Progress Report is to include factual and evaluative comments on both completed activities and plans for the remainder of that year, including any changes foreseen in the future. The self assessments are intended to inform AHRQ regarding progress to date measured against project aims; methodological changes implemented; key preliminary findings; significant problems and resolutions; career development activities; degree of success with respect to inclusion of priority populations; and project related publications, presentations, and dissemination activities.

Closeout Reporting Requirements

The AHRQ Grant Final Report Template is available online at http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/reptemp.htm

Section VII. Agency Contacts


We encourage your inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into three areas: scientific/research, peer review, and financial or grants management issues:

1. Scientific/Research Contacts:

Direct your general questions about the Large Conference Grant application to:

Mary Hand, M.S.P.H., R.N.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Office of Extramural Research, Education, and Priority Populations
540 Gaither Road
Rockville, MD 20850
Telephone: (301) 427-1395
FAX: 301-427-1562
Email: mhand@ahrq.gov

Direct your questions regarding specific program matters to the offices listed below by specific program areas:

Public Health Preparedness
Sally Phillips, R.N., Ph.D.
Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships
301-427-1571
sphillip@ahrq.gov

Data Development
Doris Lefkowitz, Ph.D.
Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends
301-427-1477
dlefkowi@ahrq.gov

Chronic Care Management
David Atkins, M.D.
Center for Outcomes and Evidence
301-427-1608
datkins@ahrq.gov

Socio-Economics of Health Care
Claudia Steiner, M.D, M.P.H.
Center for Delivery, Organization, and Markets
301-427-1407
csteiner@ahrq.gov

Joel Cohen, Ph.D.
Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends
301-427-1659
jcohen@ahrq.gov

Health Information Technology
Jon White
Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships
301-427-1171
jon.white@ahrq.hhs.gov

OR

Carol Cain
Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships
301-427-1622
carol.cain@ahrq.hhs.gov

Quality and Safety of Patient Care
Marge Keyes
Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety
301-427-1333
mkeyes@ahrq.gov

Long Term Care
D.E.B.Potter, M.S.
Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends
301-427-1564
dpotter@ahrq.gov

William Spector, Ph.D.
Center for Delivery, Organization, and Markets
301-427-1446
wspector@ahrq.gov

Pharmaceutical Outcomes
Scott R. Smith, R.Ph., Ph.D.
Center for Outcomes and Evidence
301-427-1511
ssmith@ahrq.gov

Clinical Prevention
Therese Miller, DrPh.
Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships
301-427-1585
tmiller@ahrq.gov

Training and Career Development
Karen Rudzinski, Ph.D.
Office of Extramural Research, Education, and Priority Populations
301-427-1529
krudzins@ahrq.gov

Questions regarding AHRQ priority populations should be directed as follows:

Minority Health and Health of Inner City and Low Income Populations
Francis Chesley, M.D.
Office of Extramural Research, Education, and Priority Populations
301-427-1449
fchesley@ahrq.gov

Children's Health
Denise Dougherty, Ph.D.
Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations
301-427-1868
ddougher@ahrq.gov

Populations with Disabilities
Harvey Schwartz, Ph.D.
Office of Extramural Research, Education, and Priority Populations
301-427-1552
hschwartz@ahrq.gov

Women's Health
Rosaly Correa-de-Araujo, M.D., Ph.D.
Office of Extramural Research, Education, and Priority Populations
301-427-1550
rcorrea@ahrq.gov

Rural Populations Health
Lisa Dolan
Center
for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships
301-427-1588
ldolan@ahrq.gov

Older Adult Health
William Spector, Ph.D.
Center for Delivery, Organization, and Markets
301-427-1446
wspector@ahrq.gov

Populations Needing End of Life Care
Ronda Hughes, Ph.D.
Center for Primary Care, Prevention, and Clinical Partnerships
301-427-1578
rhughes@ahrq.gov

2. Peer Review Contacts:

Direct your questions about peer review issues to:

Rebecca Roper, M.P.H., M.S.
Office of Extramural Research, Education, and Priority Populations/DSR
301-427-1535
rroper@ahrq.gov

3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to:

Marc Pitts
Office of Performance Accountability Resources and Technology/DGM
301-427-1704
mpitts@ahrq.gov

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children in Research Study Populations:

Women and members of minority groups are included in all AHRQ-supported or AHRQ–assisted research projects involving human subjects, unless a 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.

Conference conveners proposing research involving human subjects should read the UPDATED "NIH Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on August 2, 2000 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not-od-00-048.html). A complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_update.htm. To the extent possible, AHRQ requires adherence to these NIH Guidelines.

Applicants may obtain copies from the above sources, from the AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse, listed under INQUIRIES, or from the NIH Guide Web site http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/index.html. AHRQ Program staff may also provide additional information concerning these policies (see INQUIRIES).

AHRQ also encourages investigators to consider including children in study populations, as appropriate.

Access to Research Data through the Freedom of Information Act:

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are (1) first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. If no Federal act is taken, having the force and effect of law, in reliance upon an AHRQ-supported research project, the underlying data is not subject to this disclosure requirement. Furthermore, even if a Federal regulatory action is taken in reliance on data from AHRQ-supported research under FOIA, 5 USC 552(b), disclosure of statutorily protected confidential identifiable data from such study is exempted from disclosure under "the (b)(3) exemption." It is important for applicants to understand the scope of this requirement and its limited potential impact on data collected with AHRQ support. Proprietary data might also be exempted from FOIA disclosure requirements under "the (b)(4) exemption," for example, if it constituted trade secrets or commercial information. NIH has provided general related guidance at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm which does not include discussion of the exception applicable to confidential identifiable data collected under AHRQ's authorities.

Should applicants wish to place data collected pursuant to this FOA in a public archive, which can provide protections for the data (e.g., as required by the confidentiality statute applicable to AHRQ supported projects, 42 U.S.C. 299c-3(c)) and manage the distribution of non-identifiable data for an indefinite period of time, they may. The application should include a description of any archiving plan in the study design and include information about this in the budget justification section of the application. In addition, applicants should consider how to structure informed consent statements or other human subject protection procedures to permit or restrict disclosures of identifiable data, as warranted.

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:

As described in Section V 2.C, the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information" regulation was mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. It governs the protection of individually identifiable health information. It is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with “covered entities”. The OCR website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools that may be used to determine whether a researcher is considered to be staff of a covered entity. Project Officers will assist grantees in resolving questions about the applicability of HIPAA requirements.

Healthy People 2010:

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting health improvement priorities for the United States. AHRQ encourages applicants to submit grant applications with relevance to the specific objectives of this initiative. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.

Authority and Regulations:

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/, Number 93.226. Awards are made under Title IX of the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 299-299c-7) as amended by P.L. 106-129 (1999). Awards are administered under the PHS Grants Policy Statement and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 67, Subpart A, and 45 CFR Parts 74 or 92.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products. In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.


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