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AHRQ announces conference grants

November 14, 2012

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), announces its continued interest in supporting conferences through its Conference Grant Program.  A conference is a symposium, seminar, workshop, or any other organized and formal meeting, whether conducted face-to-face or via the Internet, where individuals assemble (or meet virtually, e.g., through webinars) to exchange information and views or explore or clarify a defined subject, problem, or area of knowledge, whether or not a published report results from such meeting. A meeting that is conducted as part of the normal course of doing business is not considered a conference.  AHRQ support for a conference grant will not exceed $35,000 direct costs annually over any project period duration.  Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs (indirect costs) are not allowed for conference grants.

This Program is intended to complement and promote AHRQ’s core research, dissemination, and implementation activities by providing a mechanism for Agency stakeholders and others to:

  • develop health services research agendas and identify strategies and mechanisms for studying them;
  • discuss and develop consensus around health services research methodological and technical issues;
  • disseminate and implement health services research information and tools for formulating or evaluating health policy, and for managing health care programs;
  • improve quality and effectiveness of health care or purchasing health services; and
  • develop partnerships with stakeholder organizations and build their capacity to participate in research activities and using the results of health services research.

Conference Objectives
AHRQ seeks to support conferences that help to further its mission to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The types of conferences eligible for support include:

  • Research development – conferences where issues or problems in the practice and delivery of health care are defined and a research agenda or strategy for studying them is developed;
  • Research design and methodology – conferences where methodological and technical issues of major importance in the field of health services research are addressed or new study designs and methodologies are developed;
  • Dissemination and implementation conferences – conferences where research findings and evidence-based information and tools are summarized, communicated and used by organizations and individuals that have the capability to use the information to improve the outcomes, quality, access to, and cost and utilization of health care services; and,
  • Research training, infrastructure and career development – conferences where faculty, trainees and students are brought together with stakeholders to develop, share or disseminate research products, experiences, curricula, syllabi, or competencies. These types of conferences are not for the training of individuals in health services research.

Conference sessions should include health services research. AHRQ has particular interest in supporting conference grants in the following portfolio areas:  comparative effectiveness, health information technology (health IT), patient safety, prevention and care management, value, and healthcare innovations and emerging areas.  To learn more about AHRQ’s focus within these portfolios of work, please visit http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/portfolio.htm.

The conference should address issues related to priority populations–low income groups; racial and ethnic minority groups; women; children; the elderly; individuals with special health care needs, including individuals with disabilities and those who need chronic care and end-of-life health care; and individuals living in inner-city, rural, and frontier areas–to the extent appropriate to the conference topic.

The topic selected must be important to Agency stakeholders such as consumers and patients; clinicians and other providers; institutions; health plans; purchasers; and policymakers in all sectors (e.g., Federal, State and local governments; voluntary associations; international organizations; and foundations).

AHRQ is especially interested in supporting conferences that which include plans for disseminating conference materials and products beyond the participants attending the event.  Such strategies might include, but are not limited to, submitting articles for publication, posting information on a web site and other current forms of social media methods, implementation of conference findings and seeking formal opportunities to discuss conference information with others. 

Read the complete announcement here.

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