The overall goal of the AHRQ Research Career Development program is to help ensure that a diverse pool of highly trained scientists is available in appropriate scientific disciplines to address the Nation’s health services research needs. In addition to this opportunity, AHRQ supports other career development programs designed to foster research methodological skills development and progression towards research independence. More information about AHRQ career development programs may be found at the AHRQ Training and Education website.
The objective of the AHRQ Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award (K01) is to provide salary and research support for a sustained period of “protected time” (3-5 years) for intensive research career development, under the guidance of an experienced mentor in patient-centered outcomes research. The expectation is that, through this sustained period of research career development, recipients will launch independent research careers and become competitive for new research project grant (e.g., R01) funding.
PCOR is defined as the conduct and synthesis of research comparing the benefits and harms of different interventions and strategies to prevent, diagnose, treat and monitor health conditions, as well as the delivery of health care in “real world” settings. The purpose of this research is to improve health outcomes by developing and disseminating evidence-based information to patients, clinicians, and other decision-makers, responding to their expressed needs, about which interventions are most effective for which patients under specific circumstances.
The award may be used by candidates with different levels of prior research training and at different stages in their career development. For example, a candidate with limited experience in health services research may use an award to support a career development experience that includes a designated period of didactic training followed by a period of closely supervised research experience. A candidate with previous health services research experience and training may not require extensive additional didactic preparation and may use an award to support a career development experience that focuses on an intensive, supervised research experience.
The training of research scientists will focus on the generation and translation of new scientific evidence and analytic tools. In particular, the emphasis is on developing and enhancing the research and methodological capacities for conducting patient-centered outcomes research and for the integration of evidence into practice and decision-making in the healthcare system. The training program will incorporate the recommendations of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Methodology Committee to guide the development of CER methodological skills in candidates, who will then apply these skills to PCOR. Of central importance will be the inclusion of stakeholders (patients, providers, administrators, policy makers) in the selection of research questions, execution of the research, and dissemination/implementation of research findings.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Methodology Committee was established to develop and improve the science and methods of comparative clinical effectiveness research. The Committee’s recommended methodology standards and subsequent updates can be found at www.pcori.org.
Candidates must focus their research and career enhancement/development plans in one or both of the following areas:
1. The reduction of disparities in healthcare outcomes and quality among racial and ethnic minority populations and underserved populations. Promoting equity is an important societal goal. AHRQ intends that research funded by the agency contribute to this goal by addressing equity.
Candidates are encouraged to propose projects addressing any healthcare delivery-related topic with demonstrated health inequities, including but not limited to:
- Maternal Healthcare Delivery
- Primary Care Delivery
- Prevention of Diagnostic Errors
- Care Delivery for Persons with Multiple Chronic Conditions
- Digital Healthcare Tools /Methods
- Integration of SDOH and Social Needs Care within Healthcare Delivery
- Nursing Home Care Delivery
- Behavior and Mental Healthcare Delivery (including substance abuse)
- Healthcare Policies (including changes in health insurance access, coverage and payment)
2. Evaluating and comparing healthcare delivery system designs; developing and evaluating system redesigns; or implementing and disseminating effective, evidence-based design practices. Candidates may focus their research on areas from a wide range of issues within delivery system research, including:
- The organization and management of healthcare delivery (e.g., primary care medical home, the development of accountable care organizations, other forms of bundling care);
- Strategies for increasing providers’ compliance with evidence-based guidelines;
- Transition support for patients with complex healthcare needs, including ways to reduce unnecessary re-hospitalization;
- Care delivery and coordination for chronic care patients; and
- Payment and reporting strategies for improving access, quality, and/or the value and administration of health care and its delivery.
Candidates are strongly encouraged to emphasize and address the following:
- Novel approaches for engaging stakeholder groups (e.g., clinicians, patients, consumers, policymakers, insurers, buyers, and administrators) in the development of research questions, measurement of outcomes, the design of projects, and as appropriate and feasible, participation in the research;
- Specific Plans for disseminating the findings and incorporating them into healthcare delivery at the onset of developing a research project.
Pursuant to its authorizing legislation, see 42 U.S.C. 299(c), AHRQ conducts and supports research for AHRQ priority populations (see Section IV.7 for a list of priority populations). AHRQ is interested in research that includes a focus on priority populations such that meaningful subgroup analysis can be conducted and results can be produced that are stratified by priority population.
Recipients of awards under this NOFO must provide annual and final reports of performance in achieving the NOFO objective to build capacity of early career research scientists in comparative effectiveness research methods, applied to patient-centered outcomes. (see Section VI.3. Reporting).
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Filed Under: Funding Opportunities