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 within HHS and with other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used. Within the mission, AHRQ’s specific priority areas of focus are:
- 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
The research sponsored and conducted by the Agency develops and presents scientific evidence regarding all aspects of health care in the United States. It addresses issues of organization, delivery, financing, utilization, patient and provider behavior, outcomes, effectiveness and cost. It evaluates both clinical services and the system in which these services are provided. These scientific results improve the evidence base to enable better decisions about health care, including such areas as disease prevention, appropriate use of medical technologies, improving diagnosis and treatment in cost-effective ways, long-term care, and reducing disparities based on race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status. AHRQ welcomes any area of health services research relevant to AHRQ's priority areas as a dissertation project topic. AHRQ research priority areas are described at http://www.ahrq.gov/funding/policies/foaguidance/index.html.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to focus on topical areas unique to AHRQ, demonstrating how expected results can be used or made available for use to enhance healthcare quality. Results should be directly relevant to customers, such as providers and practitioners, administrators, payers, consumers, policymakers, and insurers.
Candidates are encouraged to address health services research issues critical to AHRQ priority populations, including: individuals living in inner city or rural (including frontier) areas; low-income and minority groups; women, children, the elderly; and individuals with special health care needs, including those with disabilities and those who need chronic or end-of-life health care.
Candidates must conduct dissertation projects which focus on health care delivery in the United States. AHRQ will not accept international health care research projects.