Frequently Asked Questions
The following set of questions and answers features responses from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to questions from the public submitted about the Agency's Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Partnerships for Sustainable Research and Dissemination of Evidence-based Medicine (R24).
These frequently asked questions were updated on May 18, 2012.
The following questions are derived from individual questions submitted to DisseminationGrants2012@ahrq.hhs.gov about the Request for Applications (RFA) HS-12-005: Partnerships for Sustainable Research and Dissemination of Evidence-based Medicine (R24) and are shared here for all potential applicants. We encourage applicants to review all replies and to monitor this site for newly added questions and answers.
A. Eligibility/Who Can Apply
B. Investigator Qualifications, Titles, and Other Designations
C. Determining Suitability of the Theme, Projects, or Research Ideas for Submission
D. Formatting, Organization, and Page Limits of Submissions
E. Letters of Intent
A. Eligibility/Who Can ApplyQuestion A1: What organizations are eligible to apply?
Answer A1: Eligible Institutions: You may submit an application(s) if your institution/organization has any of the following characteristics, as described in the RFA:
Applications from health care provider organizations that directly provide services to the targeted population, such as integrated health care delivery systems or primary care Practice-Based Research Networks, interested in dissemination and implementation research in partnership with appropriate community stakeholders and members of the target population are also encouraged.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grants policy requires that the grant recipient perform a substantive role in the conduct of the planned project or program activity and not merely serve as a conduit of funds to another party or parties. If consortium/contractual activities represent a significant portion of the overall project, the applicant must justify why the applicant organization, rather than the party(s) performing this portion of the overall project, should be the grantee and what substantive role the applicant organization will play. Justification can be provided in the Specific Aims or Research Strategy section of the PHS398 Research Plan Component sections of the SF424 (R&R) application. There is no budget allocation guideline for determining substantial involvement; determination of substantial involvement is based on a review of the primary project activities for which grant support is provided and the organization(s) that will be performing those activities.
Question A2: Can multiple Principal Investigators (PIs) within an institution submit separate applications with different fields of study?
Answer A2: Eligible institutions (as described in Section III.1.A of the RFA) may submit more than one application to RFA-HS-12-005, provided each application is scientifically distinct. However, AHRQ will not accept similar grant applications with essentially the same research focus from the same applicant organization.
Question A3: Are for-profit organizations eligible to apply for this FOA?
Answer A3: AHRQ's authorizing legislation does not allow for-profit organizations to be eligible to lead applications under this research mechanism. Thus, for the purpose of this FOA, AHRQ will make grants only to non-profit organizations. For-profit organizations may participate in projects as members of consortia or as subcontractors only. Because the purpose of this program is to improve health care in the United States, foreign institutions may participate in projects as members of consortia or as subcontractors only. Applications submitted by for-profit organizations or foreign institutions will not be reviewed. Organizations described in section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code that engage in lobbying are not eligible.
HHS grants policy requires that the grant recipient perform a substantive role in the conduct of the planned project or program activity and not merely serve as a conduit of funds to another party or parties. If consortium/contractual activities represent a significant portion of the overall project, the applicant must justify why the applicant organization, rather than the party(s) performing this portion of the overall project, should be the grantee and what substantive role the applicant organization will play. Justification can be provided in the Specific Aims or Research Strategy section of the PHS398 Research Plan Component sections of the SF424 (R&R) application. There is no budget allocation guideline for determining substantial involvement; determination of substantial involvement is based on a review of the primary project activities for which grant support is provided and the organization(s) that will be performing those activities.
B. Investigator Qualifications, Titles, and Other DesignationsQuestion B1: What qualifies a senior investigator to be a PI? Is it years of experience, academic rank, number of publications, or prior research grant experience, such as grant leadership?
Answer B1: There are no specific guidelines of what qualifies a senior investigator to be a PI; this determination is made upon review by the Special Emphasis Panel. Applicants should make the best case for their abilities within the application. The RFA clearly describes what the PI must be able to provide in terms of leading these initiatives.
Individuals with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research are invited to work with their institution/organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for AHRQ support.
The Project Director/PI must commit substantial time to the oversight of project and activities (at a minimum 15% annually).
Question B2: Can the investigator who is designated to act and make decisions in the absence of the PI be named a co-PI?
Answer B2: No. AHRQ does not recognize multiple PIs, so the term "co-PI" should not be used. For space considerations and/or convenience, an applicant may designate some other shorthand or abbreviation to refer to the designated co-investigator; applicants should make sure this and any other abbreviations are explicit and clear.
C. Determining Suitability of the Theme, Projects, or Research Ideas for SubmissionQuestion C1: How can applicants determine if their planned approach is a good fit for this RFA?
Answer C1: Applicants should read the RFA closely, including its review criteria; this is the best available guidance to potential applicants about the responsiveness of their planned research. Applicants should be aware that the determination of suitability and responsiveness of applications is the task of the Special Emphasis Panel, not AHRQ.
Question C2: Can applicants discuss the scientific and research aspects of their proposals with AHRQ?
Answer C2: AHRQ appreciates all expressions of interest from prospective applicants. Applicants should read the RFA closely, including its review criteria; this is the best available guidance to potential applicants about the responsiveness of their planned research.
If applicants have specific questions after reviewing the RFA, they can E-mail these questions to DisseminationGrants2012@ahrq.hhs.gov. For reasons of equity and consistency, AHRQ scientific staff responds in writing to all inquiries. Wherever it is possible and appropriate, AHRQ will clarify common areas of uncertainty in a written and generalized format that is applicable for dissemination to other potential applicants, such as frequently asked questions.
Telephone counseling on potential study ideas is discouraged in order to be equitable and avoid potential misdirection of applicants. Applicants should be aware that the determination of suitability and responsiveness of applications is the task of the Special Emphasis Panel, not AHRQ.
Question C3: What sources and translation of evidence-based health information are appropriate in response to this RFA?
Answer C3: Applicants must apply or develop one or more new or innovative customizations or mechanisms of delivery to the content of evidence-based information and/or tools in order to enhance their use and value in decisionmaking by key audiences, including patients/consumers, clinicians, and policymakers. Comparative effectiveness information/tools must be chosen from trusted sources, including, but not limited to: AHRQ, Institute of Medicine (IOM), Cochrane Collaborative, and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Adaptations must preserve the fidelity of the original product(s) contents, and the application must describe methods of adaptation.
A wide range of mechanisms, media, and communication channels may be considered, including, but not limited to:
Applicants must describe and support all proposed methods or mechanisms for adapted presentation and/or delivery of evidence-based health information. Applications must include a clear rationale and approach for the proposed adaptation(s) of materials, such as media requirements, cultural sensitivities, literacy and numeracy, English language proficiency, visual/educational/cognitive competencies of the targeted audience or stakeholder group members, information processing and burden, conflicting health beliefs or information sources, issues with authority or trust of information provided by the government, or other considerations. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to assess the utility of the original evidence-based health information/tool to the proposed target(s) for adaptation, so as to identify key, generalizable gaps in content presentation or formatting, acceptance, understanding, or willingness to apply the materials in actual use situations. Such assessment would provide evidence to guide subsequent adaptation or modification of the primary material to a specific audience, system, setting, communication channel, or expanded purpose.
D. Formatting, Organization, and Page Limits of SubmissionsQuestion D1: Are applications allowed to have appendices?
Answer D1: An application may include an appendix, but applicants should not use the appendix to circumvent the specific page limit for the Research Strategy component. Applicants should observe the page number limits specified in the RFA. An application will be rejected if it does not comply with these requirements.
Question D2: Does the 15-page limit for the Research Strategy section of the application include the Specific Aims?
Answer D2: No. The Specific Aims are limited to one page, and that page is separate from the Research Strategy. It does not count toward the 15-page limit.
Question D3: Can the tables and figures be in a smaller font size?
Answer D3: Yes. A font size smaller than 11 point font may be used for figures, graphs, diagrams, charts, tables, figure legends, and footnotes; however, the font type must follow the font typeface requirement (Palatino, Georgia, Arial, or Helvetica) and be readily legible.
Question D4: Is there a page limit for the appendix?
Answer D4: The FOA does not restrict the number of pages in the appendix, stating only that applicants should not use the appendix to circumvent the page limit of the Research Plan component and warning that an application that does not observe the required page limit may be delayed in the review process. Applicants should note the special instructions in Section IV.3 of the FOA for submitting appendices to the National Institutes of Health and AHRQ.
Question D5: Regarding the submission of appendix materials on CD for an application in response to RFA-HS-12-005, is it correct that five copies of the CD should be sent to AHRQ and none should be sent to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for Scientific Review?
Answer D5: Yes. Five copies of the CD containing the appendix materials should be sent to AHRQ, along with two copies of the application; no CDs should be sent to the NIH Center for Scientific Review. The RFA states:
Applications must be prepared using the forms found in the PHS 398 instructions for preparing a research grant application. Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the checklist, and three signed photocopies in one package to:
Center for Scientific Review
(for express/courier service; non-USPS service)
Personal deliveries of applications are no longer permitted (go to http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-040.html).
Partnerships for Sustainable Research and Dissemination FOAQuestion D6: Can applications be submitted electronically?
Answer D6: No. Applications in response to this RFA must be submitted in hard copy, using the PHS 398, and sent to the Center for Scientific Review and AHRQ.
Instructions for submitting an application are given in the previous answer (Answer D5).
PHS 398 application instructions are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. Applicants must use the currently approved version of the PHS 398. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.
Applications must be received on or before the application receipt date described above (Section IV.3.A.). If an application is received after that date, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed. Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review, NIH, and AHRQ. Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will not be reviewed.
Question D7: Should the requirements stated in Section IV.6. be included in the 15-page Research Strategy or in another section of PHS 398?
Answer D7: Yes, the requirements should be included in the 15-page Research Strategy.
Section IV.6. of the RFA states that the application must include:
Answer D8: When instructions in an RFA differ from the general application instructions, the instructions in the FOA always supersede the general instructions. Therefore, the page limit for the Research Strategy is 15 pages.
E. Letters of IntentQuestion E1: What specific information should be in the letter of intent? Is there a particular format or length?
Answer E1: As stated in the RFA, the letter of intent allows AHRQ staff to estimate the potential peer review workload and plan the review accordingly (that is, anticipate the nature of reviewer expertise that will be required). Prospective applicants may submit a letter of intent that includes an acknowledgement of interest in this funding opportunity (referring to the number and title of the funding opportunity), a few comments on the subject of the proposed research, background expertise of key personnel, the nature and role of participating institutions, and the name and E-mail address of the PI. This letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and is not considered in the review of a subsequent application. AHRQ requests that letters of intent for this FOA be E-mailed to DisseminationGrants2012@ahrq.hhs.gov by April 27, 2012.
Current as of May 2012
Partnerships for Sustainable Research and Dissemination of Evidence-based Medicine (R24): Frequently Asked Questions. May 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/rfahs12005faq.htm
Monday, May 21, 2012
Funding Opportunities: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
at May 21, 2012
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