Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Research

Through its National Research Service Award (NRSA) grant program, AHRQ supports scholars’ Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Research Training. These grants are managed by institutional and private financial sources.

Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32)

Through the NRSA postdoctoral fellowship grant, AHRQ assists individual students seeking postdoctoral research training. The goal of this training fellowship is to encourage deserving fellows who have the ability to excel as independent, productive researchers in the field of health services research and who have a keen interest in topics and priorities that are important to AHRQ’s mission.

NRSA scholarships provide stipends, money for tuition and fees, and an Institutional Allowance for fellowship expenditures such as health insurance, research supplies, equipment, books, and travel to scientific meetings.

Eligibility and Requirements for Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Research:

For more information, ensure you read this blog till the end

Applicants must:

  • Be U.S. citizens,
  • Non-citizen nationals, or
  • Permanent residents by the time of the grant award.
  • Have received a Ph.D., M.D., D.O., D.C., D.D.S., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., Dr.P.H., D.NSc., N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathy), Pharm.D., D.S.W., Psy.D., or
  • Equivalent doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution prior to activation of the award.

Read also: Edith Nourse Rogers STEM Scholarship

Institution in any of the following can handle the Predoctoral and Postdoctoral Research.

  • Indian/Native American Tribal Governments or Designated Organizations,
  • Public or non-profit private institutions (such as a university, college, faith-based, or community-based organization), municipal or state government bodies.
  • Only domestic institutions in the United States are eligible for awards.


Before submitting a fellowship application, the applicant fellow must identify the following:

  • Sponsor (also called mentor) who will supervise the training and research experience.
  • Sponsoring institution with appropriate staff and facilities available on site to provide a suitable environment for performing high-quality research training and be demonstrably committed to research training in the particular program proposed by the applicant.

Award Project Period:

  • Aggregate NRSA postdoctoral support normally may not exceed 3 years.
  • Please visit the funding opportunity announcement for complete details.
  • Application receipt dates are April 8, August 8, and December 8, annually.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What areas of research does AHRQ support?

Applications for postdoctoral fellowships must reflect the goal of AHRQ, which is to produce data to improve the safety, quality, accessibility, equity, and affordability of healthcare and to collaborate with HHS and other partners to ensure that the data are understood and applied. The following are the specific priority areas of attention for AHRQ within the mission:

  • Research to improve health care patient safety.
  • Harnessing data and technology to improve health care quality and patient outcomes and to provide a 360-degree view of the patient.
  • Research to increase accessibility and affordability of health care by examining innovative market approaches to care delivery and financing.

Please review the Research Training Objectives discussion (Section 1. Funding Opportunity Description) of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to note additional guidance.

After reviewing this information, you can contact the AHRQ program officer listed below for further consultation.

Where can I find more information on current funding levels for stipends, tuition/fees, and institutional allowance for fellowships and training grants?

NIH provides more information on current stipend levels, tuition/fees, and institutional allowance.

What is the maximum amount of NRSA support an individual may receive?

An individual may not receive more than 3 years of aggregate NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of NRSA support from institutional research training grants and individual fellowships, inclusive of NRSA support from another agency.

Applicants must consider any prior NRSA postdoctoral research training in determining the duration of the fellowship support requested.

Can a fellowship applicant have more than one sponsor?

Yes. A second sponsor is allowable, especially if the project involves or requires special expertise.

Do recipients of Kirchstein-NRSA awards incur any obligation?

Yes. Postdoctoral fellows incur a service obligation for their initial 12 months of NRSA postdoctoral support. The 13th and subsequent months of NRSA support are acceptable postdoctoral payback service, and fellows who continue under the award for 2 years will have paid off their first year obligation by the end of the second year.

Fellows carry out the service obligation by engaging in health-related biomedical, behavioral, and/or clinical research; research training; teaching; or any combination of these activities. NIH provides further information on service obligations related to this award.

Previously Funded F32 Awards
The NIH’s RePORTER Database provides information on previously funded F32 fellowship awards.

Institutional Training Programs (T32)
AHRQ provides support to U.S. academic institutions through the National Research Service Award (NRSA) grant program that offers advanced training to students with a strong interest in careers in health services research. These institutions in turn provide stipends and partial tuition coverage for predoctoral and postdoctoral students for periods of 1 to 5 years.

Curriculum requirements, educational approaches, content specialization, and length of support may vary by institution. All programs combine a mix of coursework with topical and career-development seminars, mentoring, and hands-on research experience.

Applicants for NRSA fellowships must, at the time of award

  • Be citizens of the United States,
  • Non-citizen nationals, or
  • Permanent residents.

The current list of AHRQ NRSA T32 programs can be found here.

Specific institutional requirements vary, but minimal requirements include the following:

  • Predoctoral Students Educational Requirement
  • Must have earned a baccalaureate degree.
  • Postdoctoral Students Educational Requirement
  • Must possess a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., Sc.D., Dr.P.H., D.Pharm., or equivalent doctoral degree.
  • Support is not provided for education leading to an M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., or equivalent health professional degree for residency training.

Annual AHRQ NRSA Conference

Each year AHRQ sponsors a conference that provides an opportunity for the NRSA trainees/fellows to present their research, obtain valuable methodological assistance, and network with other trainees and faculty.

In addition, the John M. Eisenberg Excellence in Mentorship award is presented to an AHRQ NRSA institutional program faculty member who has been nominated by the AHRQ trainees/fellows.

Program Contact

Shelley M. Benjamin, M.S.W.
Division of Research Education
Office of Extramural Research, Education and Priority Populations
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Phone: (301) 427-1528


Other Scholarship opportunities:

Emory/CDC Medical Toxicology Fellowship

The Grass Foundation Fellowship

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