Research Education and Career Development Opportunities


The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) provides a variety of funding opportunities designed to support and enhance the education and career development of health services researchers. AHRQ’s training opportunities are designed to prepare researchers to address the vast changes occurring in health care delivery.

This fact sheet presents general information about the various predoctoral, postdoctoral, and career development opportunities sponsored by AHRQ.

Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Opportunities

Dissertation Research Grants (R36). Dissertation research funding is available for students conducting doctoral level health services research. This program supports dissertation research that addresses AHRQ’s mission and priorities and welcomes any areas of health services research as dissertation topics. An applicant must be a full-time student, and all requirements for the doctoral degree—other than the dissertation—must be completed upon submission of the application. Support is provided for a period of 9 to 17 months. Application receipt dates are February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1, annually.

Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships (F32). AHRQ supports individual students pursuing postdoctoral research training through the National Research Service Award (NRSA) postdoctoral fellowship. This postdoctoral fellowship provides support to promising postdoctoral applicants who have the potential to become productive independent research investigators in health services research with research interest in areas relevant to AHRQ's mission and priorities. Applicants must have a Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited institution. NRSA awards provide support (up to 3 years) to fellows, funds toward tuition and fees, and an institutional allowance to help defray fellowship expenses, such as health insurance, research supplies, equipment, books, and travel to scientific meetings. Application receipt dates are April 8, August 8, and December 8, annually.

Institutional Training Programs (T32). AHRQ provides support to 18 U.S. academic institutions through the NRSA program, which offers predoctoral and postdoctoral academic training to qualified individuals with a strong interest in health services research. These institutions select the recipients of these awards, which provide stipends and partial tuition coverage for periods of up to 5 years, depending on the level of training. Curriculum requirements, educational approaches, content specialization, and length of support may vary by institution. Candidates interested in pursuing these training opportunities are encouraged to contact the specific training programs directly. A list is provided at

Career Development Awards (K)

AHRQ sponsors several career development awards that are intended to foster the career development of promising new investigators in the field of health services research. These programs provide salary and research support for a sustained period of time for early career clinician and research scientists. Applicants must have a clinical (for K08) or research (for K01) doctoral degree, have identified a primary mentor with extensive research experience, and be willing to spend a minimum of 75 percent of their time developing their research careers. Awards are provided for between 3 and 5 years. Application receipt dates for career development awards are February 12, June 12, and October 12, annually.

AHRQ Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (K08). Supports the development of outstanding early career clinician research scientists with interests in health services research. Applicants must have a clinical doctoral degree (M.D., D.O., D.D.S., PharmD., or other clinical doctorate).

AHRQ Mentored Research Scientist Research Career Development Award (K01). Supports the development of outstanding early career research scientists with interests in health services research. Applicants must have a research doctoral degree (Ph.D., Sc.D., Dr.P.H., or other research doctorate).


Page last reviewed September 2017
Page originally created April 2016
Internet Citation: Research Education and Career Development Opportunities. Content last reviewed September 2017. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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