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.


On December 6, 1999, the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 reauthorized the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and directed the Agency, in carrying out its mission, to conduct and support research and evaluations, and to support demonstration projects, with respect to the delivery of health care in inner-city and rural areas (including frontier areas); and health care for priority populations, which include low income groups; minority groups; women; children; the elderly; and individuals with special health care needs, including individuals with disabilities and individuals who need chronic care or end-of-life health care.

To implement this directive and help achieve a broad portfolio of research, AHRQ implemented a policy on the Inclusion of Priority Populations in the health services research.

For more information, go to the notice in the NIH Guide.

The inclusion of priority populations in research policy began with all grant applications submitted to AHRQ on October 1, 2003.

AHRQ's priority populations, specified by Congress in the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 (Public Law 106-129) include: women, children, racial and ethnic minorities, populations with special healthcare needs (chronic illness, disabilities, and end of life care needs), the elderly, low-income, inner-city, and rural populations.

All acceptable activities must be undertaken for periods that average at least 20 hours per week. Total employment in such activities averaging less than 20 hours per week cannot be counted toward fulfilling the obligation except in cases of disability or other pressing personal or family circumstances, such as child care or elder care responsibilities. Individuals otherwise engaged in full-time employment may not engage in service payback activities at effort levels below 20 hours per week. If less than 20 hours commitment per week is permitted, the total period of service obligation will be prorated.

Yes, AHRQ transitioned from the use of the PHS 398 form to the Standard Form (SF) 424 Research and Related (R&R) for most grant activity codes. Always refer to application instructions included in the Funding Opportunity Announcement to which you are applying to determine the appropriate application form.

No, AHRQ does not currently participate in the modular grant application initiative for any of its grant programs. Applicants should submit a complete, detailed SF424 Research and Related (R&R) application and ignore any/all modular application instructions. Applications submitted to AHRQ in the modular format will be returned to the applicant without review.

AHRQ will not make an award based on an application submitted in the modular format. Before award can take place, information not included in the modular grant format must be submitted to AHRQ. If a modular application submitted to NIH is assigned to AHRQ or is subsequently transferred to AHRQ for funding, you will be contacted by AHRQ grants management staff and informed of what additional materials are needed in order for AHRQ to complete its administrative review of the project and determine if an award will be made.

"Terms and Conditions of Award" are all the legal requirements imposed on a grant by the Federal Government, whether by statute, regulation, policy, or other document referenced in the Notice of Award (NoA) or by the NoA itself. In addition to general terms and conditions, the NoA may include other conditions that are considered necessary to attain the objectives of the grant, facilitate post-award administration, conserve grant funds, or otherwise protect the Federal Government's interests.

Grantees should carefully review all terms of award. The terms of award, either contained in or referenced by the award document, will be binding on both the grantee and the awarding agency until such time as they are modified by a revised award notice signed by the Grants Management Officer (GMO). A grantee indicates acceptance of the terms of award by requesting funds from the grants payment system. If the grantee cannot accept the terms, it should notify the GMO.

The Division of Grants Management's address is:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
Office of Management Services (OMS)
Division of Grants Management
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857

All questions coming from your business office (Office of Sponsored Projects) should be directed to the assigned AHRQ grants management specialist named on the most recent Notice of Award, not to the program official named on the grant. Grants Management staff will consult with the program official as needed.

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