Frequently Asked Questions

Check to find the answers to your questions about the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) programs and activities. You can search by category or key words. You can also send us your questions or website feedback here. We will respond to your requests based on the best available scientific evidence and research from our Agency.

AHRQ cannot provide diagnoses or specific medical advice to individuals on their personal health conditions and situations.

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Periodically, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) conducts workshops designed for health services researchers who have a background or interest in using national health surveys. Additionally webinars are offered on specific topics on a regular basis.

Information on upcoming workshops and webinars are available at MEPS Workshops & Events page.

The Effective Health Care (EHC) Program develops evidence reports, research summaries, tools, and other resources on a wide spectrum of topics, relevant to clinical, social science/behavioral, economic, and other health care organization and delivery issues. The reports and related resources may be used for informing and developing coverage decisions, quality measures, educational materials and tools, clinical practice guidelines, and research agendas. The EHC Program also develops new methods to improve how evidence synthesis is conducted.

To read the range of conditions researched in current and ongoing evidence reports, browse the EHC products by audience, type, or health topic categories.

The public can get involved in Effective Health Care (EHC) Program by suggesting topics for evidence reviews and providing comments on draft evidence reviews and other reports.

For more information, visit the Get Involved page on the EHC website.

The Effective Health Care (EHC) Program improves the quality of health care by providing the best available evidence on the outcomes, benefits and harms, and appropriateness of drugs, devices, and health care services and by helping health care professionals, patients, policymakers, and health care systems make informed health care decisions. The EHC Program achieves this goal by developing evidence reports in partnership with health professional societies, health systems, consumer organizations, and other stakeholders.

Learn about the history of the EHC Program and its projects, including the following:

Numerous former projects and initiatives have also contributed to the EHC Program since its authorization.

The SafetyNet Monitoring project was a joint initiative led by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) in response to a 2000 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) that described America's health care safety net as "intact but endangered" and recommended that "...concerted efforts be directed to improving this Nation's capacity and ability to monitor the changing structure, capacity, and financial stability of the safety net to meet the health care needs of the uninsured and other vulnerable populations."

This initiative is no longer active.

Information on the SafetyNet Monitoring project has been archived.

Grants and cooperative agreements both are financial assistance support mechanisms. Under both mechanisms, money and/or other direct assistance is provided to an eligible entity to carry out an approved project or activity in support of a public purpose and not for the direct benefit of the government.

A grant is used whenever the awarding agency anticipates no substantial programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance of the financially assisted activities.

A cooperative agreement is used when there will be substantial Federal programmatic involvement with the recipient during performance of the financially assisted activities. Substantial involvement means that OPDIV program staff will collaborate or participate in project or program activities as specified in the Notice of Award.

Unless otherwise specified, the use of the term "grant" includes cooperative agreements as well as grants.

In the rare instances that a PHS 2590 is to be submitted rather than an RPPR (Research Performance Progress Report), grantees are to follow the instructions posted on the AHRQ website at Post-Award Grant Management, Noncompeting Application Requirements.

Also refer to the instructions for PHS 2590 on the NIH Grants site.

Yes. Prevention TaskForce is available at:

Prevention TaskForce is a quick hands-on tool designed to help primary care clinicians identify the screening, counseling, and preventive medication services that are appropriate for their patients. Prevention TaskForce is available both as a mobile application and a Web-based tool. It is based on all current recommendations of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and can be searched by specific patient characteristics, such as age, sex, and select behavioral risk factors.

Unless instructed otherwise by a term of award, the majority of non-competing applications submitted to AHRQ are done so using the "Research Performance Progress Report" (RPPR) module of the eRA Commons. The exception is recipients of multi-year funded (MYF) awards (awards in which the budget and project periods are the same and are longer than 12 months).

For further details, refer to the Notice published in the NIH Guide on October 17, 2014.

When a Principal Investigator (PI) changes institutions, any grant on which they are a named PI does NOT automatically change institutions with them.

AHRQ prior approval is required for the transfer of the legal and administrative responsibility for a grant-supported project from one legal entity to another, before expiration of the approved project period. Approval is not automatic.

For transfers prior to award, the original applicant must submit an official letter relinquishing all rights to the application to AHRQ.

A transfer application should be submitted to AHRQ at least 2 to 3 months prior to the PI's actual move to the new institution to ensure that the transaction, if approved, can be completed by the date of transfer. Transfers that are not requested in a timely manner may jeopardize funding of the project in that they may result in disapproval of the request, significant delays in processing, or loss of funding.

Note that the original recipient institution is not required to relinquish the grant simply because the PI changes institutions. With the exception of Career Development Awards or individual Fellowship awards, the original recipient may, instead, seek AHRQ's prior approval for a change of PI. The recipient organization determines whether it wishes to propose retention of the project under a different PI or relinquishes the project for possible award to another eligible legal entity.

AHRQ’s decision to authorize transfer of a grant will be based upon the following criteria: (1) the project has been relinquished by the original institution, (2) the facilities and resources at the new location allow for the successful performance of the project, and (3) the investigator plans no significant change in research objectives and level of expenditures from those described in the previously approved project. If the proposed change of institution does not meet these criteria, competitive review will be required.

If the original recipient institution decides to relinquish the grant and allow it to be considered for transfer to another eligible organization, information is needed from both the original recipient and the proposed "new" recipient, as follows:

From the Original Recipient Institution:

  • Completed Form Public Health Service (PHS) 3734 "Official Statement Relinquishing Interests and Rights in PHS Research Project" (PDF).
    Note that the estimated unexpended balance to be reported on the relinquishing statement is to include only funds from the budget period being relinquished, it is not to include the total balance from all grant years (e.g., prior year unobligated funds). The form must be signed by an authorized institutional official. The form should be submitted electronically through the eRA Commons by a signing official. Acceptance of a relinquishing statement by AHRQ does not guarantee approval of a transfer application.
  • Note that the original grantee institution is also required to submit a final Federal Financial Report and Final Inventions Statement, but these are not due until 90 days after the end date of the final budget period. Only the Form PHS 3734 is required prior to transfer.

From the Proposed "New" Recipient Institution:

complete Standard Form (SF) 424 R&R application, in PDF format.

Please indicate "CHANGE OF GRANTEE INSTITUTION" in capital letters across the top of the face page. The application needs to contain all of the information requested in the standard (i.e., not modular) SF 424 R&R instructions. Portions of the original application may be inserted for those sections of the application that will not change as a result of the transfer (e.g., often large portions of the Research Plan are unchanged and can be copied from the original application. Any sections that change, however, such as the "Resources and Environment" and human subjects sections, need to be changed in the transfer application. If there will be a change in scope to the project due to the move, peer review of the application may be required). The application is to include:

  • A detailed budget for the initial (transfer) budget period and, when future year commitments exist, detailed budgets for future budget periods. Each budget period request is to be based upon the originally committed DIRECT cost funding level(s). In the event of a mid-budget period (or "partial year") transfer, the initial budget is to be based upon the DIRECT costs being relinquished by the original institution as reflected on Form PHS 3734.
  • Note that 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 proposed “new” grant recipient must justify why it, rather than the party(s) performing this portion of the overall project, should be the recipient and what substantive role it 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.
  • When requesting the transfer of a budget period with less than 3 months remaining, provide a justification for the request. Note that transfers proposed to occur within 3 months of the end date of the budget period may be negotiated instead to correspond with the anniversary date of the next budget period.
  • If the original grant includes salary support or any other budget support that is not required at the new institution, a statement regarding the proposed rebudgeting of these funds is required and will be assessed by AHRQ staff to determine if the funds may be retained.
  • A description of the facilities at the new institution and a brief description of the probable effect of the move on the project.
  • A list (under Resources and Environment) of all equipment to be transferred from the original grantee institution which was purchased in whole or in part with grant funds. Such a listing in the application represents the new institution's acceptance of title to the transferred equipment.
  • A statement concerning the current research plan and an indication of whether the original plan has changed. If changed, provide details.
  • In addition to the overall research plan of the project as detailed in the SF 424 R&R instructions, include a comprehensive progress report describing progress made on the project from the beginning of the project period through the date of the transfer application; this will serve in lieu of a final progress report from the original institution.
  • Biographical sketches of all key personnel associated with the project.
  • Current other support for all key personnel.
  • Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval if human subjects are involved. Generally, the grant will not be transferred until this is in place.
  • sIRB plan if appropriate.
  • For K awards—A statement from a qualified sponsor at the new institution in accordance with instructions in the grant application.

The above information, in PDF format, is to be emailed to the Awarding Agency Contact listed under item 9 of the Notice of Award. Do not try to submit the information via the eRA Commons, and do not send a courtesy copy to the assigned AHRQ Program Official (PO). The Awarding Agency Contact (aka Grants Management Specialist), upon reviewing the transfer application, obtaining additional information if necessary, and determining that the transfer application is complete, will forward it to the PO for review and recommendation. The application will be reviewed to determine if the transfer is appropriate and to determine the level of AHRQ funding.

The project may be supported at the “new” institution in an amount not to exceed the amount previously approved for DIRECT COSTS for each budget period remaining in the project period. Applicable indirect costs, based on the “new” institution's most recent federally-negotiated facilities and administrative (F&A) cost rate agreement, will be awarded provided funds are available and that any total cost cap imposed by the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) under which the award was originally issued is not exceeded.

Note: When a transfer involves a partial year, the total amount awarded for direct costs at both institutions may not exceed the total direct cost funding level for that single budget period. For example, if the awarded direct costs for the budget period issued in FY2022 amount to $100,000 and the original institution indicates in its Relinquishment Statement that it has $40,000 of direct costs available for transfer, then the “new” institution's direct cost budget cannot exceed $40,000. The award of indirect costs to the “new” institution will be based on the “new” institution's federally negotiated F&A rate agreement, availability of funds, and with the total cost cap imposed by the NOFO in mind, because the total costs awarded to the “new” institution, combined with the total costs that remain at the original institution, may not exceed any NOFO-imposed total cost cap. If the “new” institution is not entitled to all of the indirect costs relinquished by the original institution, then those funds will revert to the Federal Government.

Unless the transfer grant (or a subsequent non-competing continuation award resultant of the transfer) involves current fiscal year funds, a Notice of Award (NOA) to transfer a grant will generally not be issued during the month of September; transfer applications received after July 15 that do not involve current fiscal year funds for the transfer or for the subsequent non-competing continuation award resultant of the transfer will be reviewed and action taken after October 1.

Please contact the Awarding Agency Contact listed under item 9 of the last NOA issued to the original recipient to discuss any issues or concerns prior to submission of the transfer application.


Ask a question, report a problem, or give us your opinion about a specific AHRQ program.