Frequently Asked Questions About the Selection Process for AHRQ Dissemination and Implementation Initiative

  1. Why did AHRQ develop this process of selecting research findings for funding?

    According to an IOM report, it takes 17 years for evidence to be adopted in practice. Concerted efforts in dissemination and implementation are needed to accelerate this process, and improve health outcomes. Through its mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), AHRQ seeks to fill this gap by making investments to disseminate Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) findings from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and government-funded entities.

  2. What is involved in the selection process?

    AHRQ is establishing a multistep process to assess and select research findings. This multistep process includes the nomination of a research finding with supporting material; evaluation of evidence quality and potential impact of a research finding; assessment of feasibility of implementation; and selection of a research finding for investments in dissemination and implementation. Through this process AHRQ will identify those research findings that are high-quality, high-impact, and ready and feasible for dissemination and implementation funding. Incomplete nominations will not be considered.

  3. I have submitted my nomination. Can I make changes to it?

    After submission of the nomination, you will not be able to revise the submission. If you have been notified that your nomination is incomplete, you will be asked to re-submit the nomination. For this reason we strongly encourage nominators to save a copy of the nomination form for their records and to check the completeness of their nomination form before submission. For questions please contact

  4. What is a Patient-Centered Outcome Research (PCOR) finding?

    PCOR compares the impact of two or more preventive, diagnostic, treatment, or health care delivery approaches on health outcomes, including those that are meaningful to patients.

  5. Can you provide an example of a PCOR finding?

    “Low-dose computed tomographic screening is an effective approach for identifying lung cancer among smokers (compared to chest x-rays, which are not effective).”

  6. Why does the PCOR finding have to be peer-reviewed?

    AHRQ appreciates the value of the peer review process by the scientific community, and it can serve as a starting place for our assessment of the research finding.

  7. Who can nominate a PCOR finding?

    Anyone is welcome to nominate a finding for consideration.

  8. Does it make a difference who nominates the finding (individual vs. an organization)?

    We will consider all submitted nominations.

  9. The nomination form is asking for information to support the nomination. Why?

    The nominator will be most acquainted with the PCOR finding and will be able to provide the background, supporting evidence, and contextual information needed to understand the significance of the finding. Voluminous responses are not required. Succinct and clear responses will be most helpful in assessing each nomination.

  10. When will I hear back about my nomination?

    You will receive confirmation that your nomination has been received. We will contact you if additional information or clarification is needed about the nomination.

  11. How long will it take to assess a nomination?

    We anticipate that it will take 6-9 months to assess a nominated research finding.

  12. I was told that my nomination is incomplete. Will you offer technical support?

    We will offer technical support to provide guidance about the type of information needed to complete a nomination. We will not be able to identify relevant studies or background on behalf of the nominator. Incomplete nominations will not be considered. Voluminous responses are not required. Succinct and clear responses will be most helpful in assessing each nomination.

  13. I have a question about the status of my nomination. Who can I ask?

    The nominator will receive an email confirming nomination submission. Please contact for further questions.

  14. What do you mean by “evidence quality” supporting the research finding?

    The intent is to assess one’s confidence in the research finding. This includes considerations such as the quality and consistency of the evidence supporting the research finding, and whether the research finding has a plausible conceptual basis.

  15. What do you mean by “impact” of the research finding?

    We will assess the potential impact of a research finding. Types of impact include clinical outcomes, mortality, morbidity, quality of life, or safety. The research finding should also be sufficiently different than current practice such that its implementation in practice could make a significant difference in clinical outcomes. We will also consider the potential impact on disparities in care and the applicability of the research finding to different populations and settings.

  16. What do you mean by “feasibility of implementation”?

    The assessment of feasibility will include considerations such as the implementation environment, whether the research finding is actionable, the timing and timeframe for implementation, and duplication with other efforts.

  17. Will AHRQ consider cost in the selection process?

    AHRQ will consider many factors in the assessment of feasibility, including ease of implementation, barriers, timing, timeframe for implementation, evaluation potential, as well as cost.

  18. What happens if the research finding in my nomination is selected for potential AHRQ investment in dissemination and implementation?

    Nominated research findings will be selected after the assessment for the strength of the evidence, potential impact on patient outcomes, and feasibility of implementation. Following selection AHRQ will consider the options for how to disseminate and implement the research finding.

  19. How are these nominations different from a Request For Proposal (RFP)?

    This process is for the assessment of nominated research findings, not a proposal to fund activities for disseminating or implementing a research finding.

  20. How many projects will be funded per year?

    The number of projects will depend on the scope of activities planned for dissemination of selected research findings.

  21. What is the scope of AHRQ funding for these projects?

    The scope of funding will depend on the type of investments best suited for specific research findings.

  22. What type of dissemination and implementation activities will AHRQ fund?

    The type of activities will depend on the research findings and the considerations identified during the assessment of feasibility of implementation.

  23. Are you collaborating with other Federal funders of research?

    AHRQ is collaborating with other Federal funders of research and other organizations to solicit nominations.

  24. Can I see what other research findings have been nominated, so that I do not duplicate efforts?

    Please see the list of nominated research findings at PCOR FIndings Nominated for Consideration.

Page last reviewed August 2018
Page originally created October 2016
Internet Citation: Frequently Asked Questions About the Selection Process for AHRQ Dissemination and Implementation Initiative. Content last reviewed August 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
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