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.
Level of Effort: Although level of effort is reported in terms of months, it is expected that students will devote 100 percent time and effort (based on 40 hours per week) on the dissertation for a minimum of nine months beginning at the time of award. The time of award should be estimated to begin no less than five months from the submission date. Receipt of additional compensation (e.g., pay) for performance of work that is distinctly separate from the actual work involved in the conduct of the dissertation is allowable, but cannot exceed a paid level of effort greater than 20 hours per week.
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Moreover, a dissertation does not repeat the details of critical thinkingand analysis found in published sources; it uses the results as fact andrefers the reader to the source for further details.
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(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?
AHRQ is not using the Modular Grant Application and Award Process. Applicants for funding from AHRQ should ignore application instructions concerning the Modular Grant Application and Award Process, and prepare applications using instructions for the Research and Related Budget Components of the SF 424 (R&R). Applications submitted in the Modular format will be returned without review.
In keeping with the Agency's efforts to translate the results of AHRQ-funded research into practice and policy, grantees are to inform the AHRQ Office of Communications and Knowledge Transfer (OCKT) when articles from their AHRQ supported activities are accepted for publication in the professional literature. Grantees should also discuss any ideas about other dissemination and marketing efforts with OCKT staff. The goal is to ensure that efforts to disseminate research findings are coordinated with other Agency activities to maximize awareness and application of the research by potential users, including clinicians, patients, health care systems and purchasers and policymakers. This is critical when outreach to the general and trade press is involved. Contact with the media will take place in close coordination with OCKT and the press offices of the grantee's institutions. In cases when products are created (such as annual or final reports, Web-based tools, CD-ROMs), grantees will be asked to submit to OCKT a brief plan describing how the product will be publicized. An OCKT staff person will be assigned to each product and will coordinate the implementation of the plan, especially issues related to printing and electronic dissemination, and outreach to the media.
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.
For sections 11-14, Other Research Plan Sections, need to be completed, as appropriate. For Section 13, Letters of Support, the following two letters are required (NOTE: these differ in content from the optional Cover Letter – see SF 424 (R&R) instructions on the Cover Letter Component):
Items 2-5 (Research Plan Attachments) must not exceed 10 pages. Note that this section will be called “Research Plan” in the system-generated Table of Contents. Part of the research plan should describe any potential outcomes, products and/or impact of the proposed research on policy or practice, as well as dissemination plans, which involve traditional academic as well as nontraditional means of communicating relevant research findings to policymakers or health care delivery personnel. A clear description of the unique contribution of this effort must be included, especially if the research builds upon ongoing or previously conducted work by the principal investigator, or other dissertation committee member/faculty.
Dissemination Plans: Does the applicant describe plans to disseminate the results of the dissertation research? Do these plans include dissemination strategies which avail policymakers, consumers, providers or other users of the results, if appropriate?