(4) INVESTIGATOR/MENTORING: Is the student-investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the proposed work appropriate to the mentor(s)’ experience and the quality of the dissertation award application? Are the mentors appropriately qualified to provide guidance as needed? Have the mentors indicated that they will commit sufficient time and attention to the student? Is evidence of strong mentoring seen in the quality of the dissertation application? Does the student-investigator hold promise to be a contributor to the field of health services research, as determined by his/her career plans, mentor’(s)’ written assessments, the topic of the dissertation?
Reviewers will be asked to balance the technical merit of the grant application with strong emphasis placed on their assessment of the applicant's potential as a future health services researcher, as reflected in accompanying letters, the quality and relevance of the written proposal, the caliber of the infrastructure to provide necessary guidance and support to the student, the dissertation chair or faculty advisor’s evaluation of the student, faculty biosketches, and background of the dissertation committee members.
Allowable Costs:Total allowable direct costs include: stipend/salary compensation up to the current fiscal year NRSA predoctoral stipend level (in FY 2006 this is $20,772, see ), and up to $15,000 for other expenses, including travel to one scientific meeting. Total direct costs may not exceed $35,000. The additional amount may be used to cover health insurance for self and family members, as well as research costs of the dissertation. Travel costs included as part of additional expenses may not exceed $1,500. General purpose equipment items, such as personal computers, need to be separately listed and estimated under equipment costs (even if costing less than $5,000). The applicant must provide justification for each budget item requested in the detailed budget section for the total period of support being requested. Computer-related purchases need to be fully justified as not being readily available to the student for the conduct of the research.
The dissertation candidate, who must be matriculated in an accredited doctoral program, will be the designated PD/PI. The mentor for the PD/PI should be listed as a key person. Other key persons are the other members of the dissertation committee, as well as any other consultants involved in the research project. Attach a biographical sketch for the PD/PI, mentor, and all other key personnel. It is strongly encouraged that the doctoral dissertation committee include recognized health services researchers with appropriate interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary expertise necessary to fully support the research activities.
Unallowable Costs: Specific costs not allowed on dissertation research grants are tuition, matriculation fees, alterations/renovations, space rental, contracting or consortium costs, dissertation defense or deposit fees, membership fees and costs associated with faculty/advisor mentor supervision. This listing is not exclusive, and the applicant institutions should contact AHRQ staff regarding any other cost item being considered.
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This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will use the dissertation grant (R36) award mechanism. The total direct costs awarded under this FOA for dissertations must not exceed $35,000 for the entire project period, which should be a minimum of nine months and not to exceed 17 months in duration. The proposed grant start date should not be sooner than five months after the submission deadline.
The overall goal of the AHRQ Health Services Research Dissertation Grant Program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained health services researchers is available in adequate numbers and appropriate research areas to address the research mission and priorities of AHRQ.
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Applications for dissertation research grants must be responsive to AHRQ’s mission, which is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The research sponsored and conducted by the Agency develops and presents scientific evidence regarding all aspects of health care in the United States. It addresses issues of organization, delivery, financing, utilization, patient and provider behavior, outcomes, effectiveness and cost. It evaluates both clinical services and the system in which these services are provided. These scientific results improve the evidence base to enable better decisions about health care, including such areas as disease prevention, appropriate use of medical technologies, improving diagnosis and treatment in cost-effective ways, long-term care, and reducing racial and ethnic disparities.
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