AHRQ Grants for Health Services Research Dissertation Program (R36)

AHRQ provides support to individuals for dissertation research in health services research as part of completing a research doctorate degree.

The AHRQ Grants for Health Services Research Dissertation Program (R36) provides dissertation grants for doctoral candidates. This program supports dissertation research that addresses AHRQ’s mission and priorities and welcomes any areas of health services research as dissertation project topics.

Eligibility and Requirements*

Candidates must:

  • Be U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents by the time of the grant award.
  • Be full-time academic students in good standing, who are enrolled in an accredited research doctoral program in such fields as behavioral sciences, health services research, nursing, social sciences, epidemiology, biostatistics, health policy, health informatics, engineering, and mathematics.
  • Have completed all non-dissertation requirements for their doctoral degree by the time of submission of the application, including completion of their qualifying exams. (The only exception allowable will be the completion of required clinical internships that follow completion of the dissertation.)
  • Not have more than part-time employment in addition to the requirements of their current, full-time academic student appointments (defined as greater than 20 hours per week).
  • Not be recipients of mentored career development awards.
  • Institution is any of the following: public or non-profit private institution (such as a university, college, faith-based or community-based organization), units of local or State government, eligible agencies of the Federal Government, and Indian/Native American Tribal Government or Designated Organizations.

Award Budget*

  • Up to $40,000 in direct costs

Award Project Period*

  • Minimum 9 months up to 17 months

*Please refer to the funding opportunity announcement for complete details.

Please note that applicants are encouraged to make sure that their institutions are registered with both the eRA Commons and Grants.gov. Also, the principal investigators (PIs-in this case, the potential dissertation applicants) need to work with their institutions to make sure they are registered in the NIH Commons. The institution and the individual should allow up to 2 to 4 weeks for the registration processes to be completed and verified.

Application receipt dates are February 1, May 1, August 1, and November 1, annually.
When a postmark/submission date falls on a weekend or Federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

Please refer to the funding opportunity announcement for complete details.

Frequently Asked Questions

What areas of research does AHRQ support under the R36 program?
Applications for dissertation research grants must be responsive to AHRQ’s mission, which is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable and affordable, and to work with HHS and other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used. Within the mission, AHRQ’s specific priority areas of focus are as follows:

  • Improve health care quality by accelerating implementation of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR)
  • Make health care safer
  • Increase accessibility by evaluating expansions of insurance coverage
  • Improve health care affordability, efficiency, and cost transparency

AHRQ welcomes any area of health services research as a dissertation project topic. Please review the Research Objectives discussion (Section I. Funding Opportunity Description) of the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to note additional guidance. After reviewing this information, you can contact the AHRQ program officer listed below for further consultation.

Should qualifying exams be completed prior to submitting an R36 proposal? 
Yes. The qualifying exam must be completed by the time of application. Please see the FOA for additional eligibility information.

When would funding start if the grant is approved?
Per the FOA, the review meeting generally occurs 4 months after application receipt, and the anticipated grant start date (if funded) generally occurs 4 months after the review meeting. 

What needs to be done when an R36 grant terminates early?
Please immediately notify the Grant Specialist assigned to your grant to inform AHRQ of your plans to terminate the R36 award early. The Notice of Award will be revised to reflect the early termination.

How should R36 grantees notify AHRQ of accepted peer-reviewed publications?
Please let us know of your AHRQ-funded research that has been accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal(s) by submitting the Get Recognition for Your AHRQ-Funded Study fillable PDF form (94.6 KB). Please email the completed form to journalpublishing@ahrq.hhs.gov, with a copy to your Program Official.

Previously Funded R36 Awards

The AHRQ Grants On-Line Database (GOLD) provides a listing of previous recipients with their institutional affiliations and dissertation titles.

Program Contact

Gregory Stuppard, M.S.
Division of Research Education
Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations (OEREP)
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Phone: (301) 427-1391
Email: Gregory.Stuppard@ahrq.hhs.gov

Page last reviewed September 2015
Page originally created September 2015
Internet Citation: AHRQ Grants for Health Services Research Dissertation Program (R36). Content last reviewed September 2015. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/training-grants/r36.html