Recovery Act Comparative Effectiveness Research AHRQ

To improve health outcomes by providing evidence to enhance medical decisions made by patients and their medical providers.

This goal is pursued by generating research comparing different interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat and monitor health conditions.

Funds are available
under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to support research and evaluations, demonstration projects, research networks and multidisciplinary centers, predoctoral and postdoctoral training opportunities, individual fellowships, and to disseminate rigorous evaluations of the impact of different options that are available for treating a given medical condition for a particular set of patients.

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.

Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The research should contribute to the health services and clinical knowledge base in comparative effectiveness of different treatment and practices from which empirically based information can be derived by patients, providers, policymakers, and other stakeholders, both immediately and over the coming decades.

Grant funds will be available in FYs 2009 and 2010 for costs necessary to carry out an approved project.

Unallowable costs, as well as those for which prior written approval is required, are indicated in the HHS Grants Policy Statement.

Grantees must comply with all Recovery Act reporting requirements.

Additional details will be available following approval of the spend plan.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Federal: Health/Medical.

State (includes District of Columbia, public institutions of higher education and hospitals): Health/Medical.

Local (includes State-designated lndian Tribes, excludes institutions of higher education and hospitals: Health/Medical.

Public nonprofit institution/organization (includes institutions of higher education and hospitals): Higher Education (includes Research).

Federally Recognized lndian Tribal Governments: Health/Medical.

Non-Government - General: Higher Education (includes Research).

Individual/Family: Health/Medical

Beneficiary Eligibility

Federal; State; Local; Sponsored organization; Public nonprofit institution/organization; Other public institution/organization; Federally Recognized Indian Tribal Governments; Individual/Family; Minority group; Specialized group (e.g. health professionals, students, veterans); Private nonprofit institution/organization; Anyone/general public; Native American Organizations; Health Professional; Education Professional; Student/Trainee; Scientist/Researchers; Consumer


Nonprofit organizations must submit proof of their nonprofit status when applying for grants. Costs will be determined in accordance with HHS Regulations 45 CFR 74 or 45 CFR 92 as appropriate. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Applications must be submitted in response to a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). All FOAs are posted on Refer to the FOA of interest for specific requirements regarding application procedures as AHRQ is in the process of transitioning to the new SF-424 Research and Related (R&R) grant application form and to electronic submission through for competing awards. For FOAs involving grant mechanisms that have not yet been transitioned to electronic submission through, nongovernmental applicants should submit using Form PHS-398 (Rev. November 2007;; State and local governments may submit using the standard application forms, as furnished by PHS and required by 45 CFR 92. For State agencies, no State Plan is required. Applications are reviewed and evaluated by a group composed of primarily nonfederal scientists. The review is conducted by a panel of experts in the specific study area proposed. This program is subject to the provisions of 45 CFR 92 for State and local governments and OMB Circular A-110 for non-profit organizations.

Award Procedures

Following review for scientific merit by a group composed primarily of nonfederal scientists, grant applications may be reviewed by the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality, after which AHRQ makes final decisions to support recommended applications. When such decisions are made, applicants are notified directly by AHRQ staff and all required steps are taken to issue the Notice of Award.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Social Security Act, Title XI, Part A, Public Law 74-271, 42 U.S.C 1301-1320; Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Moderization Act of 2003, Title IX, Section 1013, Public Law 108-173, 42 U.S.C 1305; American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Title 8, Public Law 111-5; Public Health Service Act , Title IX, 42 U.S.C 299 et seq.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

> 180 Days.


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.

This program has no matching requirements.

This program does not have MOE requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grants may be approved for project periods up to 4 years. Funds will be awarded for the total project in fiscal year 2009 or 2010. Costs budgeted beyond the initial 12 months of funding will be restricted pending satisfactory progress. After awards are issued, funds are released in accordance with the payment procedure established by the grantee institution with DHHS, which may be an Electronic Transfer System or a Monthly Cash Request System. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements


Grantees must submit quarterly reports in compliance with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Inventions are to be reported immediately.

A terminal progress report must be submitted within 90 days after the end of the project.

Grantees must submit quarterly SF272 reports to HHS" Program Support Center (PSC).

Progress reports are required to be submitted to AHRQ on an annual basis and will be based on the PHS 2590 Non-Competing Continuation Progress Report.

A Financial Status Report (SF269) must be submitted within 90 days after the end of each 12 month increment of time.

Quarterly performance monitoring in accordance with the requirements of the Recovery Act.


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 financial assistance of $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 accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular A-133 (Revised June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or 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 A-133. In addition, grants and cooperative agreements are subject to inspection and audits by DHHS and other Federal government officials.


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.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Project Grants (Discretionary)) FY 08 $0; FY 09 est $1,000,000; FY 10 est $197,500,000

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

This is a new program.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009; 42 CFR 67, Regulations for Health Services Research, Evaluation, Demonstration, and Dissemination Projects as amended by Public Law 106-129; HHS Grants Policy Statement.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Jean Slutsky Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Department of Health and Human Services, 540 Gaither Road, Rockville, Maryland 20850 Email: Phone: (301) 427-1600

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The proposals must first be reviewed by review groups and recommended for funding on the basis of scientific and technical merit. This includes consideration of the qualifications of the principal investigator and staff to conduct the research using appropriate methodology and budget. Applications may be reviewed for program relevance by the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality. Those recommended proposals which are most relevant to comparative effectiveness and promote the goals of the ARRA will be funded to the extent that funds are available.

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