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Health Services Research & Development

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Nominating a topic for the VA Evidence Synthesis Program

    ESP Reports in Progress

Would an independent and rigorous review of the scientific literature help your office plan or implement a program, develop a guideline or directive, make a health policy decision, or inform future research needs? The Evidence Synthesis Program (ESP) is soliciting nominations from VHA leadership for review topics for FY 2023. The ESP offers a range of products from rapid review evidence briefs to full systematic reviews, tailored to the needs of decision-makers. Because of high demand and limited resources, review topics are prioritized based on the following criteria:

  • Topic nominated by system-level leadership: the proposed evidence review will be incorporated into health system decision-making and is likely to make a significant impact (eg, clinical guidelines, VHA Directive, formulary guidance, resource allocation, or research agenda development).
  • Significant issue for VHA: Nomination addresses a high-priority national goal with a clear plan for a rapid uptake of the evidence synthesis findings (into the development of clinical guidelines, VHA Directives, performance measures, educational programs, coverage policies, or other strategies for improving the quality of health care services).
  • Not duplicative: the topic is not already covered by an available or soon-to-be available high-quality systematic review by AHRQ or others.
  • Feasible: published literature (eg, RCTs, observational studies, systematic reviews) is available to address proposed research questions(s).
  • Engaged operational partner: nominator of the proposed review has been responsive and engaged during the topic development phase and has provided timely input regarding the proposed scope and is willing to assess the impact of the proposed ESP review.

Nominations are accepted by downloading the PDF version of the form. Once completed please email the form to esp.cc@va.gov.

Questions about submitting a topic to the ESP? Join our live webinar and Q&A period at 12 PM ET on Thursday, Sept. 1st. Click here to join the meeting.

The Coordinating Center will then work with you to determine the appropriate research approach and ESP product to address your questions of interest. If the topic meets our program's prioritization criteria and is selected by HSR&D leadership, then an ESP Center will be assigned to conduct the review. High-priority, time-sensitive needs will be addressed at the Coordinating Center as capacity allows.

VA ESP Topic Nomination Form deadlines

The standard systematic review generally takes nine months to complete. If your need is more urgent, please state that in the nomination form. We have limited capacity for rapid products and may accommodate this once we learn more about your needs.

As an operational partner of an assigned review, you will be involved in the ESP review process in a variety of ways. Please refer to this document for further information.


Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.