Note: This announcement has been superseded and is maintained for archival purposes only. Select for the current AHRQ Individual Awards for Postdoctoral Fellows (F32) announcement.
Ongoing Program Announcement
NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23, Number 19,
May 20, 1994
PA NUMBER: PA-94-068
PT: 22; K.W. 0720005, 0730050
Application Receipt Dates: August 5, December 5, and April 5
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) announces
the continuing availability of postdoctoral National Research
Service Award (NRSA) individual fellowships (F32) in health
services research. These postdoctoral research fellowships
provide opportunities for 1 or more years of academic training
and supervised experience in applying quantitative research
methods to the systematic analysis and evaluation of health
services. Women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities
are encouraged to apply.
Note: The original program announcement appeared in the NIH
Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23, Number 19, on May
Healthy People 2000
The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the
health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy
People 2000," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority
areas. AHCPR urges applicants to submit grant applications with
relevance to the specific objectives of this initiative.
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000"
(full report: stock No. 017-001-00474-0, or summary report:
stock No. 017-001-00473-1) from the Superintendent of Documents,
P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15205-7954; or by contacting the
U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) order desk, telephone:
Applicants for postdoctoral fellowships must, at the time they
apply, be citizens of the United States, noncitizen nationals, or
noncitizens who have been lawfully admitted to the United States
for permanent residence and have in their possession an Alien
Registration Receipt Card I-551 or I-151 or other legal
verification of such status at the time of application.
Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.
Applicants must have received, by the activation date of the NRSA
fellowship, a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., D.M.D., Sc.D., Dr.P.H.,
D.Pharm., or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited
domestic or foreign institution. Certification from an
authorized official of the degree-granting institution that all
degree requirements have been met is acceptable. (Persons
possessing the J.D. degree as the sole advanced degree are not
considered postdoctoral for NRSA purposes.) NRSA fellowships may
not be used to support studies leading to the M.D., D.O., D.D.S.,
D.M.D., or equivalent health professional degree (nor do they
support residency training).
Mechanism of Support
This program announcement (PA) uses the National Research Service
Award individual postdoctoral fellowship (F32) mechanism.
Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the
proposed project will be solely that of the applicant and the
sponsoring institution. This grant announcement replaces
PA-92-08 (AHCPR Publication No. 92-0012).
AHCPR-sponsored NRSA fellowships emphasize multidisciplinary
health services research training. This training should provide
a rigorous conceptual and methodological foundation for
investigating topics that include, but are not limited to, the
- Determinants of successful health care market reform,
including incentives for selection of efficient health plans by
health care purchasers and effective management by health care
- Cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis, including
allocation of health care resources and its relationship to
- Analysis of service delivery, resource use, and costs of
care for persons with HIV-related illnesses.
- Primary care issues, including relationships between the
structure and organization of service delivery, access to care,
and costs and outcomes of care.
- Evaluation of managed care and other approaches to
organizing, financing, and reimbursing health care
- Alternative delivery systems, providers, and practice
patterns in long-term care including home and community-based
- Medical treatment effectiveness issues, including evaluation
of outcomes associated with the use of clinical practice
- Availability, accessibility, effectiveness, and quality of
care for underserved populations such as low-income groups and
- Rural health issues, including primary care access, service
delivery, technology diffusion, and supply of health
- Medical malpractice and liability.
- Appropriateness and effectiveness, including cost
effectiveness, of alternative treatments and
- Factors affecting dissemination and assimilation of health
and clinical information to practitioners and patients.
- Development of measures, methods, and technologies to
support quality assurance and foster quality improvement in
- Application of medical informatics to developing and
improving expert systems for clinical diagnosis and treatment
Inclusion of Women and Minorities in Research Involving
It is the policy of AHCPR that women and members of minority
groups must be included in all AHCPR-supported health services
research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear
and compelling rationale and justification are provided that
inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the
subjects or the purpose of the research.
A new National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy resulting from
the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law
103-43) supersedes and strengthens NIH's previous policies
(concerning the inclusion of women in study populations, and
concerning the inclusion of minorities in study populations),
which were in effect since 1990 and which AHCPR had adopted. The
new NIH policy contains some provisions that are substantially
different from the 1990 policies. AHCPR plans to publish
guidelines specific to AHCPR. In the interim, AHCPR will follow
the NIH guidelines, as applicable.
All investigators proposing research involving human subjects
should read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and
Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research," published in the
Federal Register of March 9, 1994 (FR 59, 11146-11151) and
reprinted in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts,
Volume 23, Number 11, March 18, 1994.
Investigators also may obtain copies of the NIH policy from the
AHCPR program staff listed under "Inquiries." AHCPR program
staff also may provide additional relevant information
concerning this policy.
Prior to making formal application, an individual applicant must
be accepted by an appropriate institution (private or public,
for-profit or nonprofit) and by a sponsor who will supervise the
training and research experience. The applicants research
training plan should include a description of the proposed
activities under the award and the aims, significance, and
experimental design and methods of the research proposal. The
sponsor must describe in detail the research training plan and
the availability of suitable staff and facilities. Formal
training is not necessarily limited to a single academic
institution or discipline. The sponsor must be an
established investigator who is active in health services
research and who personally will supervise the applicants
training and research program.
Fellowship applicants requesting continued training at the
doctorate institution or under the same sponsor in an
institution where they have been training for more than a year
should describe those opportunities for new or additional
training experiences that will broaden the scientific background
Applicants must submit the original and two copies of Public
Health Service form PHS 416-1 (rev. 10/91), Individual National
Research Service Award Application. If the applicant is lawfully
admitted to the United States for permanent residence, a
notarized statement documenting this status is required.
NRSA fellowship material for AHCPR applications is available
AHCPR Publications Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 8547
Silver Spring, MD 20907-8547
TDD service: 888-586-6340
Do not send applications to AHCPR. The completed, signed
original application and two copies must be sent or delivered
Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
Westwood Building, Room 240
Bethesda, MD 20892
Note: The mailing address given for sending applications to the
Center for Scientific Review or contacting program staff in the
Westwood Building is the central mailing address for the
National Institutes of Health. Applicants who use express mail
or a courier service are advised to follow the carriers
requirements for showing a street address. The address for the
Westwood Building is: 5333 Westbard Ave., Bethesda, MD 20816.
The following is the schedule for individual NRSA application
receipt and review:
Application Receipt Date: August 5, December 5, April 5
Study Section Review: October, February, June
Earliest Notification of Award: December, April, August
Earliest Possible Start Date: January, May, September
Note: This is a recurring schedule.
Applications for NRSA fellowships will be reviewed by a review
committee that includes consultants from appropriate scientific
fields. The committee will use the following criteria in
- Applicant's past academic and research
- Applicant's research and training goals and potential for a
health services research career.
- Research training program proposed (including the training
potential, as well as the scientific merit of the research
- Qualifications and suitability of the proposed sponsor and
appropriateness of the institutional environment.
- References and other relevant information.
For applications assigned to AHCPR, awards will be made based on
the recommendations of the review committee, relevance of the
application to AHCPR research priorities and training needs,
and availability of funds in making the final selection of
Stipends and Other Training Costs
A stipend is provided to each NRSA fellow to help defray living
expenses during the research training experience. The stipend
amount is determined by the number of full years of relevant
postdoctoral experience as of the date the award is issued.
Relevant experience may include research experience, teaching,
internship, residency, or other time spent in full-time studies
in a health-related field beyond that of the qualifying doctoral
No departure from the standard stipend schedule may be negotiated
between the institution and the fellow. Current postdoctoral
stipend levels are:
of relevant Annual
7 or more $32,300
AHCPR will provide an allowance of $3,000 per 12-month period to
non-Federal, nonprofit sponsoring institutions to cover such
awardee expenses as tuition and fees, self-only health
insurance, research supplies, equipment, travel to scientific
meetings, and related items. There is no institutional allowance
for individuals sponsored by for-profit institutions; but AHCPR
will provide up to $2,000 for the fellows tuition and fees,
self-only health insurance, scientific meeting travel expenses,
and books. The $2,000 is paid to the for-profit institution for
disbursement to the fellow, and any unexpended funds are to be
returned to AHCPR.
Additional funds may be requested by the institution for
extraordinary costs for fellows who are disabled, as defined by
the Americans with Disabilities Act. Such additional funds are
provided only in exceptional circumstances and must be fully
justified and explained by the institution.
Supplementation. Institutions may use non-Federal funds
to supplement NRSA stipends. Federal funds may be used for
stipend supplementation only if specifically authorized under the
terms of the program from which the supplemental funds are
derived. An individual may make use of Federal educational loan
funds or VA benefits when permitted by these programs.
Supplementation, when provided, must be without obligation to the
Compensation. Trainees may be permitted to receive
compensation for work in some other position (for example,
teaching or laboratory assistance) when the trainee is in an
employee-employer relationship, the payments are for services
rendered, and the situation otherwise meets conditions for
student compensation as specified in the PHS Grants Policy
Statement. Compensation may not be from a research grant that
supports the same research that is part of the NRSA experience.
Compensation for services must occur on a limited, part-time
basis apart from the normal full-time training activities that
require a minimum of 40 hours per week.
Under no circumstances may the conditions of either stipend
supplementation or student compensation for coincidental
employment detract from or prolong the research training.
Further information on stipend supplementation and compensation
is available in "National Research Service Awards: Guidelines for
Individual Awards: Institutional Grants," NIH Guide for Grants
and Contracts (special edition), Volume. 13, Number 1, January
Conditions of the Award
Applications may be for 1, 2, or 3 years of fellowship support.
No one is eligible for more than 3 years of aggregate NRSA
support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of
support from institutional training grants and individual
Fellowships are awarded for full-time research training.
However, it is recognized that a close interrelationship between
teaching and research may exist in the academic environment.
Fellows are permitted, with the approval of the sponsor, to
undertake teaching that can contribute meaningfully to their
academic training. Any teaching undertaken by a fellow may not
occupy more than 10 percent of work time during the year or
exceed 4 hours per week. Fellows in clinical areas are expected
to devote their time to the proposed research training program
and to confine limited clinical duties to those that are part of
the research training.
Concurrent awards. An NRSA postdoctoral fellowship may
not be held concurrently with another federally sponsored
fellowship or similar Federal award that provides a stipend or
otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.
Activation. The awardee must start work on the fellowship
within 6 months of the date the award is issued. No funds may be
disbursed until the award is activated.
Tax liability for stipends. Section 117 of the Internal
Revenue Code applies to the tax treatment of all scholarships and
fellowships. It must be emphasized that the interpretation and
implementation of tax laws are the domain of the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS) and U.S. courts. AHCPR does not have the authority
to advise students or institutions about their tax liability.
The business office of the sponsoring institution is responsible
for the annual preparation and issuance of the IRS form 1099 for
postdoctoral fellows training at the institution. Individuals
should consult their local IRS office for more detailed
information on the proper steps to be taken regarding their tax
The taxability of stipends in no way alters the relationship
between NRSA fellows and their institutions. NRSA stipends are
not now, and never have been, salaries. Fellows supported
under a National Research Service Award are not in an
employer-employee relationship with AHCPR or with the institution
in which they are pursuing research training. It is
inappropriate and unallowable for institutions to seek funds or
to charge individual fellowship awards for costs normally
associated with employee benefits (such as FICA, workers
compensation, or unemployment insurance).
Termination and postaward reporting. At the conclusion of
the fellowship, the fellow must submit a termination notice (form
PHS 416-7) to AHCPR. NRSA fellowship recipients are responsible
for informing AHCPR of changes in their status or address and for
submitting the Annual Payback Activities Certification (form PHS
6031-1) yearly until any required payback service obligation is
Payback provision. Before an award is made, the fellow
must sign an agreement to fulfill the congressionally mandated
payback requirements. The NIH Revitalization Act of 1993
substantially modifies the existing service payback requirements
for individuals supported under NRSA programs. For fellowship
awards beginning after June 10, 1993, only fellows in the first
12 months of postdoctoral NRSA support will incur a service
obligation of 1 month for each month of support. Postdoctoral
fellows in the 13th and subsequent months of NRSA support
will not sign the Payback Agreement Form (form PHS 6031) and will
incur no further obligation.
The 13th and each subsequent month of postdoctoral NRSA support
will be considered acceptable payback service; therefore,
individuals who begin the initial postdoctoral fellowship
on or after June 10, 1993, and continue under that award for 2
years will have fulfilled their first year obligation by the end
of the second year of training.
Service payback obligations can also be repaid after the period
of training by engaging in health services related research
(including research assistantships/associateships and
fellowships) and/or teaching for at least 20 hours per week
averaged over a full year. Positions after training are arranged
by the individual, not AHCPR.
Recipients must undertake the obligated service on a continuous
basis within 2 years after termination of NRSA support. The
period for undertaking payback service may be delayed for
temporary disability, for completion of residency requirements,
or for completion of the requirements for a graduate degree.
Requests for an extension must be made in writing to AHCPR and
must specify the need for additional time and the length of the
Individuals who fail to fulfill any required obligation through
service must pay back the total amount of NRSA funds paid to them
for the obligation period plus interest at a rate determined
by the Secretary of the Treasury. Financial payback must be
completed within 3 years beginning on the date the United States
becomes entitled to recover such amount.
Under certain conditions, the Secretary of Health and Human
Services may extend the period for starting service or for
repayment, may permit breaks in the period of service or
repayment, or otherwise waive or suspend the payback obligation
of an individual.
Written and telephone inquiries are encouraged. The opportunity
to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is
welcome. Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues
Debbie Rothstein, Ph.D.
Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
540 Gaither Road, Suite 2000
Rockville, MD 20850
Telephone: (301) 427-1525
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal and administrative matters
Mable L. Lam
Grants Management Staff
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
540 Gaither Road, Suite 4000
Rockville, MD 20850
Telephone: (301) 427-1448
PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a
smoke-free workplace and promote the nonuse of all tobacco
products. This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and
advance the physical and mental health of the American people.
Authority and Regulations
NRSA individual postdoctoral fellowships are made under authority
of Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended (42
U.S.C. 288). Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations,
Part 66, is applicable to this program. This program is
described under the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, No.
93.225. It is not subject to the intergovernmental review
requirements of Executive Order 12372.
Current as of October 1999
AHCPR Publication No. 94-0078
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