Overview of the Application Process

An overview of the application process.
  • AHRQ receives most new application types three times a year: February 1, June 1, and October 1. There are set AHRQ grant receipt dates for all grant mechanisms that AHRQ accepts.
  • After AHRQ receives your application, it is logged in, given a unique Application ID number and then it is assigned to a peer review group (study section committee) or to a special emphasis panel.
  • You will receive written notification indicating your review assignment within six weeks. CSR mails application to reviewers to read and asks them to streamline the list of applications.
  • Your application will undergo initial peer review at AHRQ.
  • After the application review has been conducted, you will receive a summary statement with the review results within three months.
  • AHRQ decides which applications to fund based on scientific and technical merit, Agency research priorities and availability of grant funds.
  • If your application is approved for funding, an AHRQ Grants Management staff member will contact the applicant institution to negotiate the terms of the grant award. A Notice of Grant Award will then be sent electronically to the applicant institution, usually within six weeks of the funding decision.
  • If your application did not get funded, you may contact your Project Officer to discuss options for revising and resubmitting the application.


Application ID Number

What does the Application ID number mean?

After the grant application assignment is made, the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will give your application a unique identification number that looks like this:

1 R01 HS055555 01 A1 S1
Application TypeActivity CodeAdministering OrganizationSerial No.Suffix YearGrantOther

The Application ID number tells us about the grant.

  • The first number is the application type (e.g., new is Type 1), which describes whether your application is new, a renewal, a non-completing application or other type. Type 2 is used for a competing continuation application—these grant applications are peer reviewed and compete with new Type 1 applications for funds.
  • Next is the activity code (also called funding mechanism), the three digit identifier of a specific grant mechanism or grant award type. For example, a research project grant is an R01. For a list of grant types (activity codes) that AHRQ supports, go to Current Funding Mechanisms Used by AHRQ.
  • The next two-letter abbreviation is the Agency code; AHRQ's code is HS.
  • Next is the unique serial number assigned by the CSR.
  • Next is the suffix showing the support year for the grant.
  • Last is a code for a supplement, or amendment, to a grant application.


Current Funding Mechanisms Used by Used by AHRQ

CodeType of ApplicationDescription
Research Career Development Program
K02Independent Research Scientist Development AwardFor support of a scientist, committed to research, in need of additional research training.
K08Mentored Clinical Scientist Development AwardTo provide the opportunity for promising medical scientists with demonstrated aptitude to develop into independent investigators, or for faculty members to pursue research aspects of categorical areas applicable to the awarding unit, and aid in filling the academic faculty gap in these shortage areas within health profession=s institutions of the country.
Research Program Projects and Centers
P01Research Program Project (RFA Only)To contribute (through each project supported) or be directly related to the common theme of the total research effort. These scientifically meritorious projects should demonstrate an essential element of unity and interdependence, i.e., a system of research activities and projects directed toward a well-defined research program goal.
P20Exploratory Grants (RFA Only)To support planning for new programs, expansion or modification of existing resources, and feasibility studies to explore various approaches to the development or interdisciplinary program that offer potential solutions to problems of special significance to the mission of AHRQ. These studies may lead to specialized or comprehensive centers.
Research Projects
R01Research ProjectTo support a discrete, specified, circumscribed project to be performed by the named investigator(s) in an area representing his specific interest and competencies.
R03Small Research Project GrantsTo provide research support specifically limited in time and amount for studies in categorical program areas. Small grants provide flexibility for initiating studies which are generally for preliminary short-term projects and are non-renewable.
R13Conference GrantsTo support recipient sponsored and directed international, national or regional meetings, conferences and workshops.
R18Research Demonstration and Dissemination ProjectsTo provide support designed to develop, test and evaluate health service activities, and to foster the application of existing knowledge for the control of categorical diseases.
R21Exploratory/Development GrantsTo encourage new exploratory and developmental research projects by providing support for the early and conceptual stages of these projects.
R24Resource-related Research ProjectTo support research projects that enhance capabilities to contribute to extramural research of the Public Health Service (PHS) and the development of a translational research capability. As an applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.
R36Dissertation GrantsTo support health services research (with emphasis placed on methodological and research topics that address the mission of AHRQ) undertaken as part of an academic program to qualify for a doctorate.
Fellowship Programs
F31Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (Minority Program)To provide predoctoral individuals with supervised research training in specified health and health-related areas leading toward the research degree (e.g., Ph.D.).
F32Postdoctoral Individual National Research Service AwardTo provide postdoctoral research training to individuals to broaden their scientific background and extend their potential for research in specified health-related areas.
Training Programs
T32Institutional National Research Service Award (RFA Only)To enable institutions to make National Research Service Awards to individuals selected by them for predoctoral and postdoctoral research training in specified shortage areas.
Cooperative Agreements
U01Research Project/Cooperative Agreements (RFA Only)To support a discrete, specified, circumscribed project to be performed by the named investigator(s) in an area representing his specific interest and competencies.
U18Research Demonstration/Cooperative Agreements (RFA Only)To provide support for testing, by means of a research design, the effectiveness of the transfer and application of techniques or interventions derived from a research base for the control of diseases or disorders or for the promotion of health. These are usually cooperative programs between participating principal investigators, institutions, and the sponsoring Institution(s).
Current as of October 2012
Internet Citation: Overview of the Application Process. October 2012. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/process/grant-app-basics/appover.html