National Research Service Awards_Health Services Research Training

To provide predoctoral and postdoctoral training opportunities in health services research.

Individual fellowships will be awarded directly to applicants for postdoctoral research training.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) also cosponsors a predoctoral fellowship program
with NIH to enhance diversity in research.

Domestic institutions will also be awarded grants to enhance predoctoral and post doctoral training programs and provide support to trainees selected by them.

The purpose of these awards is to provide fellows and trainees with both academic training and actual experience in the application of research methods to the systematic analysis and evaluation of the organization, financing, utilization, and delivery of health care services.
Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Support is provided for training in the following areas: health services research, research methods (including qualitative research), epidemiology, biostatistics, geriatrics, health administration and public health, medical information sciences, health policy and management, organizational behavior, clinical outcomes and effectiveness, primary care, health care quality, health economics and financing, child health, and vulnerable populations.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Website Address


Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2007, 3 new and 3 continuing individual fellowships were funded and 27 continuing institutional training grants were funded. It is estimated that 6 individual fellowships and 25 institutional training grants will be awarded in fiscal year 2008. In fiscal year 2009, it is estimated that the same number of fellowships and training grants will be awarded as in fiscal year 2008.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Fellowship support is available for full-time health services research training.

An institutional allowance is provided to the sponsoring institution for each fellow.

Also, research training grants are awarded to institutions to provide support to trainees selected by the training program director at the grantee institution.

This support is available for predoctoral and postdoctoral trainees.

Offsets for tuition and fees are allowable for trainees, and an amount for institutional expenses will be provided.

Facilities and administrative costs may be requested at 8 percent of allowable direct costs, or the negotiated facilities and administrative cost rate, whichever is less.

Postdoctoral fellows and trainees in the first 12 months of postdoctoral NRSA support incur one month of payback obligation for each month of support.

The thirteenth and subsequent months of postdoctoral NRSA support are considered payback service for prior postdoctoral support.

Predoctoral fellows and trainees do not incur a service payback obligation.

Discretionary funds are available.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Domestic public or private nonprofit organizations or institutions may apply for training grants.

The applicant institutions must have or expand training programs designed to develop competent investigators in the methods and techniques of conducting health services research.

State or local governments and U.S.

Territories are eligible.

Profit-making organizations are not eligible.

Individual applicants for postdoctoral fellowships must have received a clinical or research doctoral degree.

Individual applicants for predoctoral fellowships must be from ethnic/racial groups that have been determined to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research.

All persons supported as fellows or trainees must be citizens or noncitizen nationals of the United States, or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Individuals and public or private nonprofit organizations or institutions, including State or local governments and U.S. Territories, are the beneficiaries of this program.


An individual applicant for a postdoctoral fellowship must document receipt of a doctoral degree and acceptance by an appropriate institutional sponsor. An individual applicant for a predoctoral fellowship must have completed their bachelor's degree and document their acceptance in a research doctoral degree granting program by an appropriate institutional sponsor. Institutional applicants for training grants must document their research and training experiences, staff, curriculum, facilities, and other resources available. Costs will be determined in accordance with HHS Regulations 45 CFR, Part 74.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

While there is no program requirement for preapplication, informal preapplication consultation to prospective applicants is available upon request to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and is recommended.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Application forms and information about health services research areas being supported are available from AHRQ. Individual fellowship applicants should submit Form PHS 416-1, (Rev. 10/05). Institutions should submit Form PHS 398 (Rev. 9/04). For State agencies, no State Plan is required. For State and local governments, the standard forms, as furnished by PHS and required by 45 CFR, Part 92, may be used. This program is subject to the provisions of 45 CFR, Part 92 for State and local governments and OMB Circular No. A-110 for nonprofit organizations.

Award Procedures

Applications are reviewed for scientific merit by a committee including nonfederal consultants who are selected from appropriate scientific fields. AHRQ considers the recommendations of the review committee, program interest, and the availability of funds in the final selection of grantees. When such decisions are made, applicants are notified and a Notice of Grant Award is issued. Before receiving support, all individual fellows and institutional postdoctoral trainees must submit required forms, including a payback agreement.


Contact Headquarters Office for deadline dates for Institutional Training Grants. Individual applications for predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships are due: July 23, November 23, and March 23.


42 U.S.C. 288, Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 5 to 6 months from receipt of application.




If additional support is desired to continue a grant beyond the approved project period, an application for competing continuation must be submitted for review in the same manner as a new application. Generally, no individual may receive more than 3 years of aggregate National Research Service Award support at the postdoctoral level, or 5 years at the predoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional and individual awards.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements


Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Individual fellowship support at the postdoctoral level is generally limited to 3 years and at the predoctoral level to 5 years. Institutional training grants may be awarded for project periods up to 5 years. Awards are made on an annual basis and it is expected that obligations will be made within the budget period awarded. After awards are issued, funds are released in accordance with the payment procedure established by the grantee with DHHS, which may be an Electronic Transfer System or a Monthly Cash Request system.

Post Assistance Requirements


Annual and final progress reports are required.

For Institutional Training Grants, a final progress report is due at the close of the project period.

Annual Financial Status Reports are also required for Institutional National Research Service Awards.

These Financial Status Reports must be submitted within 90 days after the close of each budget period.

Annual reports of activities for tracking payback provisions are required of all fellows and trainees upon termination of support.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. In addition, grants records are subject to audit and inspection by Federal auditors.


Records must be retained for at least three years; records shall be retained beyond the three year period if audit findings have not been resolved. Records relating to individual payback obligations are retained for one year after the individual has fulfilled or has been excused from fulfilling the payback obligation.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Grants) FY 07 $7,713,000; FY 08 est $7,820,000; and FY 09 est $7,820,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

(Individuals) $35,000 to $65,000; $45,000. (Institutions) $120,000 to $500,000; $300,000. These figures are total costs (stipends plus associated costs).

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Title 42 CFR Part 66; PHS Grants Policy Statement, DHHS Publication No. (OASH) 94-50,000, (Rev.) April 1, 1994.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Department of Health and Human Services, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, MD 20850. Program Contact: Shelley Benjamin (Telephone: (301) 427-1528) or Brenda Harding (Telephone: (301) 427-1527), Division of Research Education. Grants Management Contact: Al Deal, Grants Management Specialist (Telephone: (301) 427-1806). Use the same number for FTS.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

For Individual fellowship applications, the following review criteria will be used: (1) The applicant's past academic and research accomplishments; (2) research goals; (3) research training proposed; (4) qualifications of the sponsor; (5) appropriateness of training environment; and (6) reference reports. For Institutional training grant applications, the following review criteria will be used: (1) goals of the proposed training and probability of achievement; (2) substantive content, including courses offered; (3) qualifications and responsibilities of program director and faculty; (4) ability to recruit trainees; (5) extent of institutional participation through provision of necessary space, curriculum time, financial support, and appropriate facilities; (6) documented cooperation of related agencies in providing research experience; (7) proposed number of students; (8) methods for monitoring and evaluating trainees; and (9) reasonableness of budget. In all cases, AHRQ will consider the recommendations of the review committee, the Council program interests, and availability of funds in making the final selection of grantees.

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