BUILDING RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE AND CAPACITY (BRIC) PROGRAM

Release Date:  February 22, 2001

RFA:  RFA-HS-01-001
 
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (formerly AHCPR)
 
Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  April 1, 2000
Application Receipt Date:       April 24, 2001

PURPOSE
 
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announces the Building 
Research Infrastructure and Capacity (BRIC) Program.  BRIC is a merit-based, 
peer-reviewed program initiated in response to Congressional intent to broaden 
geographic distribution of health services research funding by enhancing the 
competitiveness for research funding among institutions located in states in 
which the aggregate success rate for applications to the AHRQ has historically 
been low.  Primary goals of BRIC are to (1) enhance the competitiveness of 
research institutions and organizations in the BRIC eligible states (see 
below) for AHRQ-funded grants and (2) increase the probability of long-term 
growth of AHRQ-competitive funding to investigators at institutions from these 
eligible states.  This Request for Applications (RFA) describes a two-year 
development program to increase, strengthen, and sustain the health services 
research competitiveness of institutions within selected states.

The BRIC program is designed to support opportunities similar to the original 
exploratory, planning Institutional Development Awards (IDeA), sponsored by 
the National Institutes of Health.  As such, the program is also similar in 
some aspects to the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research 
(EPSCoR) initiated by the National Science Foundation (NSF).   

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.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted only by institutions in BRIC-eligible states.  
BRIC-eligible states include all states receiving a cumulative total funding 
level of less than $1 million from the AHRQ for the last five years -- FY 
1996-FY 2000. 

BRIC-eligible states include the following plus the Commonwealths of Puerto 
Rico and the Virgin Islands:

Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, 
Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, 
Vermont, and Wyoming.

Collaborative and cooperative programs between or among institutions within 
and outside of BRIC-eligible states are allowable and encouraged.  The 
applicant institution must perform a substantive role in the conduct of the 
planned research project activities and may not serve primarily as a conduit 
for the transmission of funds to another party or multiple parties. 
 
Applications may be submitted by domestic public and private universities, 
four-year colleges, non-profit domestic organization 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 RFA, AHRQ will make grants only to 
non-profit organizations.  For-profit organizations may participate in 
projects as members of consortia or as subcontractors.  Organizations 
described in section 501(c)4 of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in 
lobbying are not eligible.

AHRQ encourages women, members of racial and ethnic minority groups and 
persons with disabilities to apply as Principal Investigators.  

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use the Exploratory Grant (P20) mechanism.  Responsibility for 
the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project will be solely 
that of the applicant.  

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this RFA 
may not exceed two years.  The anticipated award date is September 28, 2001.  
It is anticipated that after successful completion of these exploratory 
grants, grant recipients will be in a position to compete for subsequent 
multi-year funds which AHRQ will offer, contingent upon funding availability, 
through a separate solicitation to be released in Fiscal Year 2003.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

AHRQ expects to award up to $1 million in fiscal year FY 2001 to support the 
total first year costs of approximately three to six grants under this RFA.  
If sufficient scientifically meritorious applications are received and 
additional funds are available, AHRQ reserves the right to fund additional 
applications beyond the stated funding level. 

The actual number of applications funded is dependent on the number of high 
quality applications and their individual budget requirements; it is not the 
intent of AHRQ that the awards be equal in size.

Although this program is provided for in the financial plans of AHRQ, awards 
pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the availability of funds for this 
purpose.   Funding beyond the initial budget period (i.e., the second year of 
the planning grant) will depend upon progress made in the first year of the 
grant and the availability of funds. 

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

BRIC is designed to build, increase, strengthen, and sustain the health 
services research competitiveness of institutions and organizations within 
eligible states.  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 geographic distribution of its 
support for the conduct of health services research in areas identified in the 
"AHRQ Health Services Research Program Announcement" 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).  Applicants are 
encouraged to review stated Agency research priorities provided in this 
program announcement.  Applicants are also encouraged to consult the AHRQ web 
site for information concerning Agency research priorities.   Examples of 
research topics that the Agency is interested in include, but are not limited 
to, the following:

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

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

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.

Objectives and Scope

AHRQ acknowledges that, due to variability among potential applications, the 
size and scope of the BRIC program will depend in large part upon the current 
size and extent of the health services research environment of applicant 
institutions and organizations.  It is recommended that, in order to achieve 
maximum impact of the available funds, applicants propose innovative research 
activities that will stimulate sustainable improvements in the capacities of 
institutions and organizations in eligible states to compete successfully for 
AHRQ funds and to enhance their research competitiveness in future years.
 
Examples of types of activities include:
 
o  development of infrastructure necessary for multidisciplinary approaches 
for conducting broad-based health services research, including partnerships 
across institutions within and outside of BRIC-eligible states;
 
o  faculty development;
 
o  mentoring of junior faculty as they participate in research projects; and

o  support for one small-scale research project per application.

Program Research Plan

The program research plan should provide sufficient information to allow the 
peer reviewers to assess it in terms of the stated Review Criteria.
 
The application should include:
 
(a) specific aims, including a description of the long-range institutional 
research development goals to be achieved and suggested plans for achieving 
them (including those which extend beyond the duration of the proposed set of 
activities and projects);

(b)  information about the institution's current involvement in and capacity 
for the conduct of health services research;
 
(c)  evidence of the institution's commitment to achievement of the program 
goals in the form of a letter of support from a senior institutional official 
(e.g., President or Dean) outlining the commitment for resources and 
facilities to sustain and support the BRIC application throughout the period 
of funding and beyond (this can be included in an appendix);

(d) one-page description of a specific research project being proposed.
 
(e)  biographical data for participating scientists and chief administrative 
personnel and a detailed budget explaining and justifying the support 
requested, prepared according to the form PHS 398 (rev. 5/95) format.

The institutional research development plan section of the application is 
limited to 25 pages.  

Requests for support for one research project must be described in sufficient 
detail to permit evaluation of the scientific merit of the project.  The 
description should address:

o  linkage to the overall infrastructure and capacity building plan;

o  specific aims;

o  background and significance;

o   progress report/preliminary studies;

o  literature review;

o  research plan, including design and methods;

o  protection of human subjects, where applicable;

o  consultants and collaborators;

o  consortium/contractual agreements; and

o  detailed budget for the research project, which will be incorporated into 
the overall application budget.

The research plan for the individual investigator research project is limited 
to an additional 10 pages (not including the list of references). 
 
Budget Considerations
 
Allowable Costs
 
In general, the direct costs listed in the PHS Grants Policy Statement as 
allowable for research grants are also allowable for the BRIC program.  Funds 
requested for the BRIC program may be used to support the following:
 
o  central shared equipment and other research resources
 
o  recruitment of faculty and other research personnel
 
o  development of research data to be included in research grant applications 
submitted to AHRQ for support through established support mechanisms
 
o  development of research skills by investigators
 
o  research salary support of key investigators
 
o  consultants

o  establishment of research laboratories/centers
 
o  grant related support personnel

o  travel to establish partnerships, attend scientific meetings, or facilitate 
faculty development 
 
o  other direct costs of development of institutional research capability

o  training
 
Direct Costs Not Allowable
 
o  construction

o  salary for teaching and other non-research activities

Support provided through the BRIC program may not replace existing state, 
institutional or Federal research support, but can be used to replace such 
support which has expired.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Data Privacy  

All information about identifiable individuals or organizations obtained for 
the research purpose of carrying out a demonstration project supported 
pursuant to this RFA under AHRQ’s statutory authority is protected by a 
federal confidentiality statute, section 924 of the Public Health Service Act 
, 42  USC 299c-3(c).  Under this law, the only permissible uses or disclosures 
of the information are those agreed to by the subject individuals and 
organizations or by those who supply the information to the researchers.  
There are substantial statutory penalties (up to $10,000) for improper use or 
disclosure of this information.  Thus, 42 USC 299c-3(c) provides a Federal 
statutory basis for resisting any Federal or state court order or subpoena to 
the extent that carrying out the order or subpoena would violate the 
protective restrictions of the statute.  Upon request, AHRQ will provide legal 
assistance in defending adherence to these statutory confidentiality 
protections with respect to identifiable data obtained in carrying out Agency 
research activities.  

Note that identifiable data obtained by AHRQ-supported researchers is 
protected by this law when it is obtained to carry out AHRQ-supported 
research, but this law would not protect against access to this same 
information in medical records if it were gathered and recorded there for 
other purposes.  If providers collect certain information solely for purposes 
of this research, it should be so marked and if necessary to protect its 
confidentiality, kept separately.  Note also that this law does not protect or 
restrict aggregate and nonidentifiable statistical or data analysis and 
conclusions developed by the researchers that would not disclose information 
about any identifiable individuals or establishments

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 through the media and other appropriate channels 
in coordination with AHRQ’s Office of Health Care Information 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 be included 
in all AHRQ-supported 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. 

All investigators 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.

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

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

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

LETTER OF INTENT 

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by April 1 2001, a letter of 
intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed project, the name, 
address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator, the identities of 
other key personnel and participating institutions, and the number and title 
of the RFA in response to which the application may be submitted.

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not 
enter into consideration of any subsequent application, the information allows 
AHRQ staff to estimate the potential review workload and to plan the review.  
AHRQ will not provide responses to letters of intent.

The Letter of Intent is to be sent to Dr. Kay Anderson (see address under 
INQUIRIES).

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used in 
applying for these grants.  State and local government applicants may use PHS 
5161-1, Application for Federal Assistance (rev. 5/96), and follow those 
requirements for copy submission.   Applicants are encourage to read all PHS 
Forms 398 instructions prior to preparing an application in response to this 
RFA.  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.

The “AHRQ Revised Policy for IRB of Human Subjects Protocols in Grant 
Applications” was published in the NIH Guide on September 27, 2000.  All 
investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read this 
revised policy. 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HS-00-003.html) 

Beginning with applications for AHRQ submitted for the February 1, 2001 
receipt date, Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval of human subjects is 
not required prior to peer review of an application unless otherwise indicated 
by the Agency 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-HS-00-003.html).  
Given the nature of this project and the speed with which 
successful applicants will need to begin work, the Agency has determined that 
IRB approval is required prior to peer review of all applications submitted in 
response to this RFA.  All investigators/applicants proposing research 
involving human subjects should pay particular attention to the instructions 
in the form PHS 398 regarding human subject involvement.

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, E-
mail:  grantsInfo@nih.gov.

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

The RFA label and line 2 of the application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) should 
both indicate RFA number.  The RFA label must be affixed to the bottom of the 
face page.  Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of 
the application such that it may not reach the review committee in time for 
review.  In addition, the RFA title and number must also be typed on line 2 of 
the face page and the YES box must be marked.  The sample RFA label available 
at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf has been modified 
to allow for this change.  Please note this is in pdf format.

Additional instructions for the budget information required by AHRQ in the 
application form PHS 398 include:

Item 7 - Costs Requested for Initial Budget Period.  In 7a. enter the Total 
Direct Costs for Initial Budget Period as requested from AHRQ (Form Page 4).  
In 7b. enter the Total Costs Requested for Initial Budget Period.  This is the 
total of the direct costs from (Form Page 4) and the indirect costs for the 
initial budget period (3a) from the Checklist.

Item 8 - Costs Requested from AHRQ for Entire Proposed Project Period.  In 8a. 
enter the Total Direct Costs for Entire Project Period as requested on (Form 
Page 5).  In 8b. enter the Total Costs Requested for Entire Proposed Project 
Period.  This is the sum of the total direct costs from (Form Page 5) and the 
indirect costs for the entire proposed project period (3b) from the Checklist.

(Form Page 4) - Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period - This budget must 
detail only the funds being requested from AHRQ for the first year.  Matching 
funds from the institution or third-parties are to be described separately 
under budget justification (Form Page 5) or on a continuation page. A separate 
detailed budget page (Form Page 4) must be submitted for each consortium 
institution.

If funds are being requested for a research project, then a detailed budget 
for it must be submitted, in addition to the summary budget.
 
(Form Page 5) - Budget for Entire Proposed Project Period - This page must 
detail only the funds being requested from AHRQ for the two-year project 
period.

Complete and signed, typewritten original of the application, including the 
Checklist and three singed photocopies, must be submitted in one package to:

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040 - MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD  20892-7710
(20817 for express/courier service)
 
At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application, labeled 
“Advanced Copy (s)” must also be sent to:
Patricia Thompson, Ph.D.
Director, Division of Scientific Review
Office of Research Review, Education, and Policy
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 400
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone:  (301) 594-1404 
FAX:  (301) 594-0154
E-mail Address:  pthompso@AHRQ.gov

Applications must be received by April 24, 2001.  An application received 
after the deadline may be acceptable if it carries a legible proof-of-mailing 
date, assigned by the carrier, and the proof-of-mailing is not later than 1 
week prior to the deadline date. If an application is received after that 
date, it will be returned to the applicant without review. 

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.  

In carrying out its stewardship of extramural grant 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, applications will be reviewed for completeness and 
responsiveness.  Incomplete and non-responsive applications will be returned 
to the applicant without further consideration.  Applications that are 
complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for scientific and 
technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by AHRQ in 
accordance with the review criteria stated below.

As part of the merit review, 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 

General review criteria for grant applications are: consistency with the 
Agency’s mission and research priorities; significance and originality from a 
scientific or technical viewpoint; adequacy of the method(s) and proposed 
approaches; availability of needed data or adequacy of the proposed plan to 
collect data required for the project; adequacy and appropriateness of the 
plan for organizing and carrying out the project; qualifications and 
experience of the Principal Investigator and proposed staff; reasonableness of 
the proposed budget and the time frame for the project in relation to the work 
proposed; adequacy of the facilities and resources available to the applicant; 
the extent to which women, minorities, and if applicable children, are 
adequately represented in study populations; and as applicable, the adequacy 
of the proposed means for protecting human subjects. 

Special Review Criteria 

Specifically, criteria for review of the overall planning application include 
the following:

o consistency with AHRQ’s research focus and mission;
 
o  merit of the research development goals to be achieved by the institution 
and described in sufficient detail within the BRIC application;
 
o  merit of the plan proposed to achieve the research development goals; 
 
o  quality of the proposed type of research for which infrastructure 
development support is requested from AHRQ;

o  research qualifications of existing and proposed personnel related to the 
BRIC award;
 
o  overall administrative strengths of the program;
 
o  evidence of the commitment of the applicant institution and the state to 
achieve the research development goals and to sustain those achievements; and
 
o  probability that the research development goals will be achieved and 
sustained, and that high-quality health services research will result; and
 
o  appropriateness of the requested budget for the project goals.

Criteria for review of research projects include:
 
o  relevance of proposed project to institutional plan for expansion of health 
services research capacity;
 
o  significance and relevance of the proposed research problem and potential 
for publishable results and continued future funding;
 
o  the technical merit and appropriateness of the research plan, including 
specific aims, experimental design, methodology, consideration of 
alternatives, data analysis, scope and timetable;
 
o  adequacy of resources, including background and training of the principal 
investigator and other personnel and availability and suitability of 
specialized facilities and equipment; and
 
o  appropriateness and adequacy of the institution's evaluation plan, 
including availability of expertise and time and resource allocation.
  
Overall, special emphasis will be placed on the impact of the proposed program 
on the institution(s) and the state and its potential to obtain additional 
AHRQ research support to continue and expand its activities.  Reviewers need 
to ensure an appropriate balance is achieved between the weight given a 
particular proposed research project and the overall planning for 
infrastructure development, given the latter is central to this announcement.
 
AWARD CRITERIA
 
Applications will compete for available funds with all other applications 
under this RFA.  The following will be considered in making funding decisions: 
quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review; how well it fits 
AHRQ priorities; program balance with respect to types of projects proposed; 
compatibility with other awardees with respect to cooperative activities; 
policy relevance, geographical distribution and types of populations.

Preference may be accorded to applications from principal investigators who 
are not recent (within 2 years) or current AHRQ funded principal 
investigators.

INQUIRIES
 
Copies of the RFA 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: 1-800-358-9295 
TDD Service: 888-586-6340

The RFA is also available on AHRQ’s Web site, http://www.AHRQ.gov, and 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 table of contents, which has the document order number 
(not the same as the RFA number).  The RFA 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 who have read the RFA.  Written and telephone inquiries 
concerning this RFA are encouraged.   Direct inquiries regarding programmatic 
issues, including information on the inclusion of women, minorities, and 
children in study populations to:
 
Kay Anderson, Ph.D.
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
2101 East Jefferson St., Suite 400
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone:  (301) 594-6061
FAX: (301) 594-0154
Email:  kanderson@AHRQ.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal and eligibility matters to:
 
George Moyer
Grants Management Specialist
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 601
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone: (301) 594-1842
FAX: (301) 594-3210
Email: gmoyer@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 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.  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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