Go to content

ICES call for AHRQ requests February 12, 2015


We are inviting all Ontario organizations that are users of research evidence to submit Applied Health Research Questions (AHRQs). ICES is now accepting AHRQ requests for adjudication in February, with monthly adjudication thereafter. Please note that AHRQ requests can be submitted to ICES at any time during the year, but should be submitted by February 12, 2015 for adjudication in February 2015.

An AHRQ is a question posed by a health system Knowledge User in order to request research evidence that can be applied to, improve or benefit the Ontario health system. Institutes, centres and projects funded by the Planning, Research and Analysis Branch of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) provide responses to AHRQs to inform planning, policy and program development, which in turn helps strengthen the Ontario health system. For more information, please visit the ICES AHRQ webpage.

Three types of AHRQs may be requested:

  1. Rapid response (within 5 business days): Preliminary information will be delivered in one week or less providing a “first blush” response.
  2. Research report or technical brief (4-8 weeks): Approximately 4-8 weeks of work will be required to synthesize the existing research evidence on a given topic.
  3. Research project (>8 weeks): Where it has been confirmed that new knowledge must be generated (i.e., existing knowledge is not sufficient for planning or policy development requirements), a new research project will be initiated. The duration may be months or years, depending on the project.

We are pleased to engage with policy development staff, planners and decision makers from across the Ontario health system in fulfilling AHRQ requests. Past requesters have included government ministries, Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs), hospitals (acute and rehabilitation), Community Care Access Centres, provincial associations and agencies (e.g., Health Quality Ontario, Public Health Ontario).

In order for your AHRQ request to be eligible for consideration, please ensure that the following criteria are met:

  1. Your organization must fit the definition of Knowledge User outlined by the MOHLTC, which includes any user of healthcare research (see the MOHLTC AHRQ webpage for additional details).
  2. The main objective of the AHRQ must be to provide a basis for evidence-based decision making for the Knowledge User, and cannot involve advocacy of a particular cause or answer.
  3. Priority will be given to single well-defined projects involving questions that are widely applicable to the healthcare system and for which ICES has the resources and capacity.

Knowledge Users will:

  • Initiate direct contact with the ICES-MOHLTC Liaison, Erika Yates ([email protected]) and copy the MOHLTC Research Unit ([email protected]).
  • Provide ICES with a brief summary of the background and purpose of the proposed question by preparing the Knowledge User AHRQ Request Form.
  • Work with ICES to identify which of the three AHRQ response types is most appropriate, given the information need and decision timeline.
  • Ensure that AHRQs are approved in writing by a senior manager (e.g., assistant deputy minister, executive director) in the Knowledge User’s organization, and reflect the need for knowledge in the Ontario health system.

If you have any questions about how to complete the AHRQ Request Form, or if you wish to discuss the feasibility of your research question, please do not hesitate to contact us. Should an AHRQ request be declined by ICES, the Knowledge User will be provided with suggestions of other organization that may be better suited to address the proposed research question.

Please submit any comments or inquiries, as well as completed Knowledge User AHRQ Request Forms to:
Erika Yates
e: [email protected]
t: (416) 480-4055 x83781


Associated Sites