This notice announces the opportunity to apply for funding under the Rural Health Research Center (RHRC) Program. The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to support high-quality, impartial, policy-relevant research to assist health care providers and decision/policy-makers at the federal, state and local levels in better understanding the challenges faced by rural communities and in designing policies to improve health care access and population health. RHRC recipients will conduct policy-oriented health services research, update trend analyses and existing research, and conduct necessary literature reviews on rural issues and synthesize the issues into publically available policy briefs designed to be easily understood by a non-technical audience. In addition to primary and secondary research, the applicant must be willing and able to conduct literature syntheses and update existing research to produce timely and relevant information. The ratio of original research to other needed projects will be reviewed by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) and the final ratio will be negotiated between the recipients and the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. The four-year RHRC Program awards are designed to support research centers with specific rural health research areas of concentration. The topic(s) of concentration must be policy-relevant and of enduring interest and importance to rural providers, rural stakeholders, policy makers and/or rural communities. A goal of the RHRC Program is to produce new information, through the research activities supported by this cooperative agreement, which can be applied in ways that directly inform improvements in access to health care and population health for rural America. This cooperative agreement program will support health services research projects and will exclude clinical/biomedical research and the expenditure of funds for delivery of health care services. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) defines the term “health services research” as research that examines “how people get access to health care, how much care costs, and what happens to patients as a result of this care.” The main goals of health services research are to “identify the most effective ways to organize, manage, finance, and deliver high quality care; reduce medical errors, and improve patient safety.”1
Eligible applicants include domestic public or private, non-profit entities. Domestic faith-based and community-based organizations, tribes, and tribal organizations are also eligible to apply.