AHRQ to award $44M for comparative effectiveness research

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is now accepting applications to give $44 million in grants to fund research projects to advance the quality, depth and scale of electronic data collection as a basis for comparative effectiveness research.

The PROSPECT (Prospective Outcome Systems using Patient-specific Electronic data to Compare Tests and therapies) Studies, funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), hope to enhance the U.S. ability and capacity to systematically collect prospective data that will inform comparative effectiveness research on diagnostics, therapeutics, devices, behavioral interventions and procedures used in clinical care, according to the Rockville, Md.-based AHRQ.

The $44 million will fund approximately five research project grant applications. Programs would be limited to budgets of $3 million annually, or $9 million over three years. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, according to the AHRQ, the size of each award also will vary.

The total amount awarded and the number of awards will depend on the quality, duration and costs of the applications received, according to the organization. Applicants may submit more than one application, provided each application is scientifically distinct.

The application due date is Jan. 20, 2010 and can be completed through www.grants.gov. Paper applications will not be accepted, according to AHRQ.