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.

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


Include the following in your noncompeting continuation applications:

  • A brief summary of prior year accomplishments, problems encountered and resolved, recent additions (e.g., faculty, tracks, courses) and future plans.
  • Aggregate data tables on the racial/ethnic distribution of students supported with AHRQ funds from the fiscal year near completion.
  • Brief description of students (and their accomplishments) currently supported by AHRQ, with indication made if the student is or will be supported with funds from the fiscal year near completion vs. the previous fiscal year.
  • List of AHRQ-supported students who have left or graduated from the training program since the last reporting period, and those who are on the grant who are expected to complete their support by June 30 of that year.
  • List of students who have been recruited for the following year, including those who will be continuing.
  • Summary of minority recruitment plans.
  • Summary of training in the ethical conduct of research.
  • Appropriate budget and face pages.
  • Biosketches for any new faculty.

No, AHRQ does not follow the follow the Streamlined Non-competing Award Process (SNAP). Submit a complete, detailed RPPR, including a budget and justification, other support, and progress report, in accordance with instructions provided in the Noncompeting Application Requirements.

No, only stipend, tuition, and fees are to be obligated for the full 12-month appointment from the date the appointment is made. Any charges for Travel or for Training-Related Expenses (TRE) are to be made to the grant in the budget period in which the expenses are incurred. Once a budget period ends, any unexpended TRE and/or Travel funds must be reported as an unobligated balance. Further, if a trainee is on a grant less than 6 months in a budget period, half of the TRE funds awarded for that trainee position revert back to the Government in the form of an unobligated balance.

AHRQ was originally created as the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) on December 19, 1989, under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 (103 Stat. 2159), as a Public Health Service Agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Agency was reauthorized with a name change as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality on December 6, 1999, under the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999.

Additional information on public records for AHRQ and its predecessor agencies in health services research is available from the National Archives and Records Administration at:

It depends on the specific cost. Overall, these guidelines apply:

  • "Trainee costs" (stipend, tuition/ fees) cannot be rebudgeted into other budget categories (i.e. travel, Training-Related Expenses) without prior approval or without sufficient funds available to fill approved slots.
  • Grantees can rebudget into or within "Trainee costs" (stipend, tuition/fees) without prior approval; however, the funds cannot be used to augment stipends beyond established levels.
  • Travel and Training-Related Expenses can be rebudgeted into or within all budget categories without prior approval; however, the funds cannot be used to augment stipends beyond established levels.

Trainees can be appointed at any time during a budget period, and must be appointed for an entire 12-month appointment period, even when that period goes beyond the end of the budget period. When making an appointment, the entire 12-month stipend and tuition is charged to the grant budget period in which the appointment initially is made. Thus, an appointment made in one budget period can overlap into the next budget period. While the entire 12-months of stipend and tuition is charged to the grant at the time of the appointment, funds for travel and Training-Related Expenses are not, therefore, any unexpended balances stemming from a trainee's stipend and tuition is reported as an unliquidated balance on the Federal Financial Report (FFR), but unexpended balances from travel and other training related expenses are reported as an unobligated balance on the FFR.

Note: Students appointed as late as June 30 of a given grant year have their salary capped at the level established for the grant year in which they were last appointed or re-appointed. Those students are not entitled to receive any newly announced stipend increases available to students who are initially appointed or reappointed the next day (which is the beginning of the new grant year award). Also, if a student is on a grant six months or less in an award period, one-half of the Training Related Expenses (TRE) funds associated with that student revert back to the Government in the form of unobligated balances.

To access a listing of current AHRQ job vacancies, with information on application procedures and contacts, go to:

Applications for employment are only accepted for specific vacancies; applications are not accepted for general employment consideration.

AHRQ brings onboard graduate students as interns to work with AHRQ staff on specific ongoing research projects. These internships usually last between 8-12 weeks and the interns work full time. Interns are paid for their work.

Announcements publicizing these internships are posted on the Job Opportunities page.

The United States Health Information Knowledgebase (USHIK) was an online, publicly accessible registry and repository of healthcare-related metadata, specifications, and standards. USHIK was funded and directed by AHRQ with management support and engagement from numerous public and private partners.

For more information, go to:

The U.S. Health Information Knowledgebase (USHIK) used a metadata registry methodology based on international standards to promote interoperability and comparability for managing the meaning of data assets and consistent interpretation of the data. The meaning (or semantics) of data assets and associated terminology must be understood and the context accurately characterized and communicated to ensure the coherence of information stored in and shared between databases.

The USHIK project provided a tool to compare and evaluate metadata across multiple metadata standards and served as a one-stop shop display experience for metadata standards to researchers, clinicians, policymakers, developers, and healthcare metadata users in general. USHIK supported the HHS goal to promote quality of care by enhancing the quality of data used to provide that care.

More information is available at

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