AHRQ Embracing Most Enhancements

AHRQ Announces Changes to Peer Review Processes, Evaluation Review Criteria, and New Application Forms for Grant Applications

AHRQ will be adopting many, but not all, of the procedures currently being implemented by NIH under the NIH Enhancing Peer Review initiative. This includes implementation of enhancing review criteria for evaluating the scientific and technical merit of research grant applications submitted to AHRQ through the peer review system.

AHRQ will also use the new, restructured versions of the paper PHS 398 and electronic SF 424 application packages, including changes to the Research Plan (i.e., Research Strategy with sections for Significance, Innovation, and Approach), Resources (environment), and Biographical Sketch.

Original new and competing renewal applications that were submitted prior to January 25, 2010 will be permitted two amendments (A1 and A2). For these “grandfathered” applications, AHRQ expects that any A2 will be submitted no later than January 7, 2011, and AHRQ will not accept A2 applications after that date.


AHRQ will not be using the new, significantly shorter page limits announced but will instead maintain the page limits it currently uses. However, each AHRQ FOA will specify the page limit requirements for the Research Strategy section of the grant application.

Also, AHRQ will not be using the designation of Early Stage Investigator (ESI) on grant applications.


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