In June 2020, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) issued a req

In June 2020, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) issued a request for application (RFA HS 20-003) titled “Novel, High-Impact Studies Evaluating Health System and Healthcare Professional Responsiveness to COVID-19 (R01)”. This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) invites R01 grant applications for funding to support novel, high-impact studies evaluating the responsiveness of healthcare delivery systems, healthcare professionals, and the overall U.S. healthcare system to the COVID-19 pandemic. AHRQ is interested in funding critical research focused on evaluating topics such as effects on quality, safety, and value of health system response to COVID-19; the role of primary care practices and professionals during the COVID-19 epidemic; understanding how the response to COVID-19 affected socially vulnerable populations and people with multiple chronic conditions; and digital healthcare including innovations and challenges encountered in the rapid expansion of telehealth response to COVID-19. AHRQ encourages multi-method, rapid-cycle research with the ability to: produce and disseminate initial findings (e.g., observations, lessons learned, or findings) within 6 months after award and then regularly throughout the remainder of the award period.
Dr. Sainfort assembled a team and submitted a proposal (see the PDF named “Sainfort Proposal AHRQ RFA-HS-20-003.PDF”). In this assignment you are asked to read and critique the application in terms of three criteria, listed below.
Significance
Does the project address an important problem, or a critical barrier related to the COVID-19 pandemic? Is there prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved?
How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive improvements in healthcare delivery in the U.S. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic or for future pandemics?
Innovation
Does the application propose innovative approaches to studying responsiveness to the COVID-19 pandemic? Does the application address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to understanding the response to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches or methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area, for example rapid cycle research and early dissemination of findings?
Approach
Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Have the investigators included plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented?
Does the project include a detailed project timeline so that early observations, findings or lessons learned can be disseminated and main research findings can be disseminated by the end of the 24-month project period?
Does the dissemination plan include innovative approaches to disseminating research observations, findings or lessons learned in a way that can be shared within the first 6 months after award and then regularly throughout the remainder of the award period? Does the applicant present a plan for disseminating results during the proposed award period which does not rely on a no-cost extension?
Please read the proposal “Sainfort Proposal AHRQ RFA-HS-20-003.PDF”. Then, to the best of your ability, for each of the criteria above, briefly list two (or more if you’d like) strengths of the application AND list one (or more if you’d like) weakness of the application. Upload your critique in a MS Word document.
Significance
List two (or more) strengths of the application and list one (or more) weakness of the application
Innovation
List two (or more) strengths of the application and list one (or more) weakness of the application
Approach
List two (or more) strengths of the application and list one (or more) weakness of the application

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