AHRQ MINORITY RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT PROGRAM

Release Date:  October 12, 2000
 
PA NUMBER:  PAR-01-001 (superseded by PAR-04-016)

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (formerly AHCPR)

Application Receipt Date:  February 1 (annually)

PURPOSE 

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), formerly known as the 
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), is establishing the 
Minority Research Infrastructure Support Program (M-RISP) to increase the 
capacity of minority institutions and their faculty to conduct rigorous 
health services research.  The intent of the research infrastructure program 
is to strengthen the research environments of minority institutions through 
grant support to develop and/or expand existing capacities for conducting 
research in all areas of health services.  Minority students will benefit 
from participation in projects as research assistants and will be encouraged 
to pursue careers in fields related to health services research.

To facilitate the goal of assisting institutions in increasing their capacity 
to conduct health services research, the M-RISP provides support for two 
types of core activities: (1) Institutional research development support, to 
strengthen the institutional infrastructure and enhance the capability of 
individual faculty members to undertake health services research; and (2) 
Individual investigator research project support, for developing research 
scientists to conduct small grant research activities that can lead to 
successful applications for funding under regular health services research 
grant mechanisms.

The mission of AHRQ is to support, conduct, and disseminate research that 
improves access to care and the outcomes, quality, cost, and utilization of 
health care services.  The research sponsored and conducted by the Agency 
provides information that enables better decisions about health care.  
Research that promotes the improvement of health care quality will be the 
Agency’s highest priority during the next few years.  Accordingly, the Agency 
has identified the following three strategic goals, each of which will 
contribute to improving the quality of health care for all Americans:  

o  support improvements in health outcomes
o  strengthen quality measurement and improvement
o  identify strategies to improve access, foster appropriate use, and reduce 
unnecessary expenditures 

AHRQ programs and products are designed to be responsive to the needs of 
consumers, patients, clinicians, and other providers, institutions, plans, 
purchasers, and public and private policy makers at all levels for 
evidence-based information they may need to improve quality and outcomes, 
control costs, and ensure access to needed health care services.  A copy of 
AHRQ’s strategic plan is available at http://www.AHRQ.gov

This Program Announcement (PA) expires three years from the release date 
shown directly above, unless reissued.

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.

Nondiscrimination 

The AHRQ M-RISP is conducted in compliance with applicable laws that provide 
that no person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, sex, 
disability, or age, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits 
of, or be subjected to discrimination.  Applicant organizations are required 
to have appropriate Assurance of Compliance forms filed with the Office of 
Civil Rights, Office of the Secretary, DHHS before a grant may be made to 
that institution.  The Division of Research Education, Office of Research 
Review, Education, and Policy (ORREP), should be contacted with any questions 
concerning compliance (see INQUIRIES).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS 

Applications for AHRQ M-RISP may be submitted by domestic public and private 
universities, four-year colleges, non-profit domestic organizations such as 
hospitals, laboratories, units of public agencies of State or local 
governments, eligible agencies of the Federal government, or other 
institutions conducting health services research.  For the purpose of this 
PA, AHRQ will make grants only to nonprofit organizations; however, for-
profit organizations may participate in grant projects through consortium 
arrangements or as subcontractors.  Organizations described in section 
501(c)4 of the Internal Revenue Codes that engage in lobbying are not 
eligible.  

The applicant must indicate which of the following eligibility conditions 
apply to the institution:

o  An academic institution with at least 55 percent minority (Black, 
Hispanic, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian or Pacific Islander) 
student enrollment.

o  An institution with more than 30 percent minority student enrollment in 
each of the past three years that can provide evidence of efforts to recruit 
members of ethnic or racial minority groups into scientific careers.  
Additionally, the institution should show evidence of demonstrated commitment 
to minority faculty recruitment and development in expenditure of resources, 
as well as documented institutional need for support in its research 
development program.  Potential applicants who intend to apply under this 
eligibility criterion are advised to consult with AHRQ staff (as listed under 
Inquiries) before submitting an application.

o  An Indian tribe may apply in conjunction with one or more institutions of 
higher learning that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in health 
services research related fields.  Such applicants must have a recognized 
governing body and perform substantial governmental functions, or qualify as 
an Alaska Regional Corporation (ARC) as defined in the Alaska Native Claims 
Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.).

Racial and ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities 
are encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT 

Grants awarded under AHRQ M-RISP will use the resource-related research 
projects mechanism (R24).  This mechanism is used to support research 
projects that enhance capabilities to contribute to extramural research of 
the Public Health Service (PHS).  Grants funded under M-RISP are awarded 
directly to the applicant institution and are nontransferable.  
Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed 
projects will be solely that of the applicant.

Allowable Costs

Each application should include proposals related to both core elements 
(Institutional Research Development Support and Individual Investigator 
Research Projects) and indicate how the infrastructure support will enhance 
the individual research projects.  An application may also request support 
for Research Assistantships for students to work with faculty members who 
have research funding through another mechanism of support.  Institutions are 
encouraged to use funds under M-RISP to increase the availability of Research 
Assistants on these projects.  M-RISP funds are not intended to be used to 
replace any Research Assistant positions supported by other Federal or 
non-Federal awards.

AHRQ recognizes that different types of institutions will require different 
types of research infrastructure development activities and initiatives, 
depending upon particular needs and circumstances.  Accordingly, this 
announcement provides general rather than specific guidance as to the types 
of development activities appropriate under M-RISP.  Support may be requested 
for, but is not limited to, the following:

o  Partial salary support for persons engaged in the project
o  Research training for junior investigators
o  Scientific and statistical consultation, including expenses incurred by a 
scientific advisory committee
o  Biostatistical and data management services
o  Research technicians and assistants
o  Research instruments
o  Small, project-specific equipment
o  Pilot and feasibility studies
o  Research subject costs
o  Data acquisition costs

Funds Available 

The average AHRQ M-RISP grant is $300,000 direct costs per year plus 
negotiated F&A.  The infrastructure core component of most M-RISP grants 
average $50,000 per year, direct costs.  Individual Investigator projects 
average $50,000 per year, direct costs.  Support is limited to three years 
for the first-time application.  The core, infrastructure component of an 
M-RISP grant is renewable for intervals of up to five years.  Competitive 
renewals are permitted so long as new Individual Investigators of subprojects 
are supported by the program.  Individual Investigators who participate in 
subprojects on the M-RISP grant should not expect more than a total of six 
years of support through the M-RISP program.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 

Background

M-RISP is designed to enable predominantly minority institutions with small 
programs in health services research to develop into significantly stronger 
research institutions.  It is part of an integrated approach by AHRQ to 
develop and broaden the national infrastructure for conducting health 
services research.  Through this program, AHRQ seeks to expand the number of 
minority institutions and researchers who conduct health services research in 
areas identified in the "AHRQ Health Services Research" PA published in the 
NIH Guide on June 22, 2000.  This announcement is available on the AHRQ web 
site under “Funding Opportunities” (http://www.AHRQ.gov). Research topics 
that the Agency is most interested in include:

o  Accelerating and magnifying the impact of research on clinical practice 
and patient outcomes in applied settings.

o  Demonstrating that the translation of research into practice leads to 
measurable and sustainable improvements in health care.

o  Understanding how research is used in decision making by health care 
policymakers, administrators, and managers.

o  Understanding the determinants of career satisfaction and their influence 
on career path progression.

o  Improving the health care system’s ability to provide access to and 
deliver high quality, high-
value health care.

o  Developing and evaluating decision support systems to support real-time 
detection of bioterrorist threats and management of bioterrorism.

o  Assessing the quality of care for vulnerable populations.

o  Evaluating quality and patient safety in ambulatory care.

o  Enhancing informed decision-making in primary care settings, including 
shared patient-clinician decision-making. 

o  Using clinical informatics to improve primary care practice, including 
evaluation of its impact on quality, outcomes, and cost.

o  Assessing the organization and delivery of preventive care and methods to 
improve both the amount and quality of clinical preventive services that are 
delivered. 

o  Understanding the determinants of insurance coverage and access to care.

o  Improving methodologies to systematically review and evaluate preventive 
services, especially screening tests.

o  Improving the delivery of primary care services in rural and inner-city 
areas.

o  Assessing the special health care needs of low income populations. 

o  Improving care at the end-of-life.

o  Providing policy makers with the ability to assess the impact of health 
care changes on outcomes, effectiveness, quality, access, cost and use of 
health services.

o  Developing methods and measures for identifying and preventing medical 
errors to enhance patient safety. 

o  Evaluating the impact of chronic illness among workers and their 
dependents on health care outcomes and work productivity.

o  Developing methodological advances in health services research, especially 
cost-effectiveness analysis.

o  Promoting high ethical standards across the spectrum of health care 
delivery, research, and research education.

o  Application of advances in information sciences to clinical practice, 
including testing their impact on quality, outcomes, costs, and patient 
satisfaction.

In all of the topics listed above, the Agency is interested in an explicit 
focus on health issues related to priority populations including racial and 
ethnic minorities, women, children, older adults, populations in inner-city 
and rural areas, low income groups, and individuals with special health care 
needs, including individuals with disabilities and individuals who need 
chronic care or end-of-life health care.

To facilitate these goals, M-RISP provides support for two types of primary 
activities:

Institutional Research Development Support:  M-RISP provides support to 
strengthen the institutional infrastructure so as to enhance the capability 
of individual faculty members to undertake health services research.  
Requests may be made for infrastructure enhancements such
as support of collaborative linkages with senior scientists in other 
institutions, provision of resources for data management and statistical 
analyses, and laboratory development, including limited support for 
equipment.  For individual faculty development, support may be requested for 
activities such as enrolling in advanced seminars in scientific techniques, 
and for pilot work to serve as a basis for developing individual research 
projects.

Individual Investigator Research Projects:  In addition to capacity 
development support, an M-RISP grant provides support for at least two 
initial or developmental research subprojects from at least two or more 
faculty members who serve as Individual Investigators of these subprojects.  
The intent of this component of M-RISP is to support research activities that 
will lead to successful applications for funding under other 
investigator-initiated AHRQ grants programs.  Individual Investigator 
projects should be designed to take advantage of the infrastructure 
development being supported by the program.

In addition to these two main elements in M-RISP, an optional component is 
also available for faculty members who have obtained research funding for 
health services research through other sources of funds:

Research Assistantships for Associate Investigator Projects.

Investigators under this program are research project directors whose funding 
for the research project has been obtained from other sources (including 
Federal, State, local, and/or private support).  In such cases, additional 
funds may be requested through M-RISP to support minority undergraduate or 
graduate students to serve as research assistants on the funded research 
project.

Application Characteristics

An AHRQ M-RISP application must present a plan that (1) assesses current 
institutional and faculty capacity to conduct health services research; (2) 
identifies unmet needs; and (3) describes activities that will be undertaken 
to develop and strengthen the institutional research infrastructure.  The 
plan should include both an institutional research development program and 
two or more individual investigator projects.  The plan should cover a period 
of three years
(up to five years for competitive renewals) and indicate how the capacity to 
conduct health services research will be improved significantly during this 
time period.
The application should contain the following:

Institutional Research Development Plan

o  Specific aims

o  Summary of relevant ongoing health services research

o  Assessment of institutional capacity to conduct state of the art research 
on health services related issues; identification of gaps which M-RISP is 
intended to fill

o  Design and procedures to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the 
research infrastructure  development plan over the time period of the 
proposed project (3 years for new applications; up to 5 years for competitive 
renewal applications), including plans for administrative structure, 
recruitment and retention of persons skilled in health services research, 
staff training and mentoring, statistical and other consultation and data 
management, and collaboration with other institutions

o  Description of equipment, space, and other facility resources available to 
support the development plan and extent to which enhancement of these 
resources is needed

o  Description of institutional financial commitment to support the proposed 
minority health services research infrastructure development

o  Brief descriptions (1 page each) of individual research studies that will 
be undertaken as part of infrastructure development, including plans for data 
collection and analysis

The Institutional Research Development Plan section of the application is 
limited to 25 pages.

Individual Investigator Research Projects

o  Linkages to overall institutional capacity development plan
o  Specific aims
o  Background and significance
o  Progress report/preliminary studies
o  Literature review
o  Research plan, including experimental design and methods
o  Protection of human subjects, where applicable
o  Consultants and collaborators
o  Consortium/contractual arrangements
o  Detailed budgets for each project

The research plans for the Individual Investigator Research Projects are 
limited to 10 pages each (not including the list of references).

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

AHRQ Data

To the extent feasible, AHRQ applicants are encouraged to submit projects 
that build on available data, will generate early results, and are modest in 
time, scale, and cost.  

AHRQ encourages research applications that will use data from the Medical 
Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project 
(HCUP), and other AHRQ data.  

The MEPS is a rich data source for health care utilization, expenditure, and  
insurance information, directly linking data about persons and their families 
with information obtained from their employers, insurers, and health care 
providers.  It is the third in a series of nationally representative surveys 
of  medical care use and expenditures in the U.S.  The 1996 MEPS updates 
previous survey data to reflect the changes that have occurred over the past 
decade.  MEPS collects data on the specific health services that Americans 
use, how frequently they use them, the cost and source of payment for 
services, and information on the types and costs of private health insurance 
held by and available to the U.S. population.  It provides a foundation for 
estimating the impact of changes in sources of payment and insurance coverage 
on different economic groups or special populations of interest, such as the 
poor, elderly, uninsured, and racial and ethnic minorities.  

Some data from the Household and Nursing Home Components of the 1996 MEPS 
became available for use by researchers beginning in Spring of 1997.  The 
release schedule for other data through calendar year 1998 is available from 
the MEPS section under “Data” of the AHRQ Web site (http://www.ahrq.gov).  

The HCUP includes databases covering 1988-1997, with 1998 and 1999 data 
available in 2001.  These all-payer databases were created through a Federal-
state-industry partnership to build a multistate health care data system.  
The main HCUP databases contain discharge-level information for inpatient 
hospital stays in a uniform format with privacy protections.  The Nationwide 
Inpatient Sample (NIS) is a nationwide probability sample of about 1000 
hospitals.  The State Inpatient Databases (SID) contain inpatient records for 
all community hospitals in 22 states.  Other HCUP databases contain 
ambulatory surgery data from nine states.  These databases can be directly 
linked to county-level data from the Health Resources and Services 
Administration's Area Resource File and to hospital-level data from the 
Annual Survey of the American Hospital Association.

Information on MEPS and HCUP is available from the Data section also from the 
AHRQ Web site, and from AHRQ staff (See INQUIRIES).  

Data Privacy

Pursuant to section 924(c) of the Public Health Service Act (42 USC 299c-
3(c)), information obtained in the course of any AHRQ-study that identifies 
an individual or entity must be treated as confidential in accordance with 
any promises made or implied regarding the possible uses and purposes of the 
data collection.  In the Human Subjects section of the application, 
applicants must describe procedures for ensuring the confidentiality of such  
identifying information.  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.

The grantee should ensure that computer systems containing confidential data 
have a level and scope of security that equals or exceeds those 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/handbook.pdf.     

The application of these confidentiality and security standards to 
subcontractors and vendors should be addressed as necessary.

Rights in Data

AHRQ grantees may copyright 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.  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 research materials, data bases, 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 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.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/index.html).

INCLUSION OF WOMEN, MINORITIES, AND CHILDREN IN RESEARCH STUDY POPULATIONS 

It is the policy of AHRQ that women and members of minority groups should be 
included in all AHRQ-supported research projects involving human subjects, 
unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is provided that 
inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the 
purpose of the research.  

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research," which have been published in the Federal Register of 
March 28, 1994 and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts of  March 18, 
1994.  To the extent possible, AHRQ requires adherence to these guidelines.  

Investigators may obtain copies from the above sources or from the AHRQ 
Publications Clearinghouse listed under INQUIRIES, or from the NIH Guide 
Website http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/index.html.

AHRQ is also encouraging investigators to consider including children in 
study populations, as appropriate.  AHRQ announced in the NIH Guide of May 9, 
1997, that it is developing a policy and implementation plan on the inclusion 
of children in health services research.  This notice is available through 
the AHRQ Web site at http://www.ahrq.gov (Funding Opportunities) and through 
InstantFax (see instructions under INQUIRIES).  

AHRQ Program staff may also provide additional information concerning these 
policies (see INQUIRIES). 

APPLICATION PROCEDURES 

Applicants should use the research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 
04/98) in applying for these grants. (State and local government applicants 
may use form PHS-5161-1, Application for Federal Assistance (rev. 05/96), and 
follow those requirements for copy submission.)  AHRQ encourages applicants 
to review all PHS 398 application instructions prior to completing an 
application.  The PHS 398 type size requirements (p.6) will be enforced 
rigorously and non-
compliant applications will be returned.

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 according to instructions provided in form PHS 398 (revised 
4/98).

Application kits are available at most institutional offices of sponsored 
research.  They may also be obtained from the Division of Extramural Outreach 
and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge 
Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone (301)-435-0714, email:  
grantsinfo@nih.gov.

AHRQ applicants are encouraged to obtain application materials from the AHRQ 
Publications Clearinghouse (see INQUIRIES).

The PA title and number must be typed on line two of the face page of the 
application form and the YES box must be marked. 

The completed, signed, typewritten original application, including the 
Checklist, and three signed photocopies in one package must be sent to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health 
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710 
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710 or
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must also 
be sent to:

Division of Scientific Review/M-RISP Program
Office of Research Review, Education and Policy
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 400
Rockville, MD 20852-4908

Applications will be accepted annually on the single receipt date of February 
1st.  

Application Preparation

For applications that propose to use Medicare or Medicaid data that are 
individually identifiable, applicants should state explicitly in the 
"Research  Design and Methods" section of the Research Plan (form PHS 398) 
the specific files, time periods, and cohorts proposed for the research.  In 
consultation with HCFA, AHRQ will use this information to develop a cost 
estimate for obtaining the data.  This estimate will be included in the 
estimated total cost of the grant at the time funding decisions are made.  

Applicants should be aware that for individually identifiable Medicare and 
Medicaid data, Principal Investigators and their grantee institutions will be 
required to enter into a Data Use Agreement (DUA) with HCFA to protect the 
confidentiality of data in accordance with OMB Circular A-130, Appendix 
III--Security of Federal Automated Information Systems.  The use of the data 
is restricted to the purposes and time period specified in the DUA.  At the 
end of this time period, the grantee is required to return the data to HCFA 
or certify that the data have been destroyed.  Grantees must also comply with 
the confidentiality requirements of Section 903(c) of the PHS Act.  

Questions regarding HCFA data should be directed to the AHRQ program official 
listed under INQUIRIES.

In carrying out its stewardship of human resource related programs, the AHRQ, 
at some point in the future, may begin requesting 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 
sponsored research.  AHRQ expects grant recipients to keep the Agency 
informed of publications or the impact from Agency sponsored research.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS 

Upon receipt, AHRQ staff will review applications for completeness and 
relevance to the AHRQ mission.  Incomplete applications and applications 
proposing research in areas outside the mission of the Agency will be 
returned to the applicant without further consideration.

Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and technical 
merit by an appropriate peer review group convened in accordance with AHRQ 
peer review procedures.  All applications will receive a written critique, 
and also may undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to 
have the highest scientific merit will be discussed and assigned a priority 
score.

General Review Criteria

Institutional Research Development Plan

o  significance of overall project to the goals of this program announcement

o  appropriateness of the institutional research development plan for the 
applicant institution and extent to which this plan will build on current 
institutional support for conducting health services research and 
significantly augment and improve the support for research

o  quality of the institutional research development plan, including plans 
for enhancing institutional capacity and individual faculty research 
development plans and the degree to which the components enhance one another 
in achieving overall objectives

o  probability that the proposal can be implemented successfully, and the 
likelihood that it will result in competitive research proposals from 
individual faculty members

o  experience and appropriateness of the Program Director

o  evidence of institutional support and commitment to the proposed program

Individual Investigator Research Projects

o  significance and originality of proposed research and potential for 
publication

o  adequacy of literature review and justification of the proposed 
theoretical framework

o  appropriateness and scientific quality of the methodology proposed to 
carry out the research, including appropriateness of control or comparison 
groups, plans for recruitment and retention of subjects, use of consultants, 
and provisions for other scientifically necessary linkages

o  qualifications and research experience of the Individual Principal 
Investigator and staff, particularly, but not exclusively, in the area of the 
proposed research

o  for competitive renewals, progress report and publications associated with 
prior funding period

o  availability of the resources necessary to perform the research, including 
access to research subjects

o  appropriateness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the 
proposed research

o  adequacy of plans to include both genders and minorities and their 
subgroups as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research

o  contribution of Investigator Projects to overall objectives of 
institutional infrastructure plan and benefits to students participating on 
the associated projects

The peer review group will also examine the provisions for the protection of 
human subjects.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved 
applications assigned to AHRQ.  The following will be considered in making 
funding decisions:  Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer 
review, availability of funds, and program priorities.

Priority will be given to those institutions or departments with no other 
support for infrastructure.

Special Award Requirements

Grant funds may be used for expenses clearly related to infrastructure 
development and necessary to conduct research projects, including both direct 
costs which can be specifically identified with the project and allowable 
indirect costs for the institution.  Costs must be justified in terms of 
research objectives, methods, and designs which promise to yield 
generalizable knowledge and/or make a significant contribution to theoretical 
concepts.  When independent research funds become available to support 
Individual Investigator Research Projects, the proposed reallocation of 
existing funds must be discussed with appropriate AHRQ staff on a case by 
case basis.

INQUIRIES 

Copies of this PA and copies of the grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 
4/98) are available from: 

AHRQ Publications Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 8547 
Silver Spring, MD 20907-8547
Telephone: (800) 358-9295
TDD Service: 888-586-6340 

The PA is available through AHRQ InstantFAX at (301) 594-2800. To use 
InstantFAX, you must call from a facsimile (FAX) machine with a telephone 
handset. Follow the voice prompt to obtain a copy of the InstantFAX table of 
contents, which has the document order number (not the same as the PA 
number). The PA will be sent at the end of the ordering process.  AHRQ 
InstantFAX operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  For comments or problems 
concerning AHRQ InstantFax, please call (301) 594-6344. 

AHRQ welcomes the opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from 
potential applicants. Written and telephone inquiries concerning this PA are 
encouraged.  Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues, including 
information on the inclusion of women, minorities, and children in study 
populations to:

Shelly Benjamin
Division of Research Education 
Office of Research Review, Education, and Policy
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 400
Rockville, MD 20852-4908
Telephone: (301) 594-1449
E-Mail: training@AHRQ.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to: 

Michelle Burr 
Grants Management Specialist
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality 
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 601 
Rockville, MD 20852-4908 
Telephone: (301) 594-1840
FAX (301) 594-3210 
E-mail: mburr@AHRQ.gov 

Inquiries Concerning Data Sources:

MEPS Household Component

Nancy Krauss
Center for Cost and Financing Studies
Telephone: (301) 594-0846
E-mail: nkrauss@AHRQ.gov
MEPS Nursing Home Component

Jeffrey Rhodes
Center for Cost and Financing Studies
Telephone: (301) 594-0891
E-mail: jrhodes@AHRQ.gov

HCUP-3

Kelly Carper
Telephone: (301) 594-3075
E-mail: kcarper@AHRQ.gov, hcupnis@AHRQ.gov, hcupsid@AHRQ.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS 

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
Number 93.226.  Awards are made under authorization of Title IX of the Public 
Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 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. 

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

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a 
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-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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