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Nursing Research

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Nurse researchers are encouraged to apply for Agency research grants

Six percent of all funded grants from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, AHCPR) were awarded to nurse principal investigators (PIs) in FY 1994, 9 percent in FY 1995, 4 percent in FY 1996, and 2 percent in FY 1997. For corresponding years, nurse PIs represented 7 percent, 7 percent, 4 percent, and 5 percent of the total pool of AHRQ research grant applicants. Thus, nurse PIs have been successful in receiving funding when they applied for Agency grants, and they should build on this success by submitting more grant applications, according to Cheryl Bland Jones, Ph.D., R.N., a senior health services researcher at the Agency.

Dr. Jones and her Agency colleagues Lorraine Tulman, D.N.Sc., R.N., F.A.A.N, and Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., recently published an article that describes research funding opportunities at AHCPR—now AHRQ—and discusses contributions made by nurse researchers. They point out that the outlook for nurse PIs to receive Agency funding is good for two reasons. AHRQ is interested in many of the same research topics of interest to nurses, for example, disease prevention, health promotion, primary care, quality of care delivery, and service delivery. Also, the Agency's budget has increased from roughly $45 million in 1989 to more than $200 million in FY 2000. At the same time that funding has increased, current commitments are ending, and the existing application pool is small (but growing). This makes now a very opportune time for nurse PIs to apply for AHRQ funding, particularly since the Agency wants to strengthen its relationship with the nursing research community.

Research applications submitted to the Agency should be innovative and well written. In addition to the health services research focus, proposals should include an interdisciplinary research team and focus on the timeliness and relevance of the proposal. Investigators should also address the practical and applied clinical origin of the proposal, anticipated impact of the proposed study on health care decisionmaking at all levels, and strengths of the research design and methodology.

See "Research funding opportunities at the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research," by Drs. Jones, Tulman, and Clancy, in the July 1999 Nursing Outlook 47(4), pp. 156-161. Reprints (AHCPR Publication No. 99-R080) are available from AHRQ's Publications Clearinghouse.

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