Want to Be a PCORI-Funded Researcher?

Originally posted May 20, 2013

Our second year of patient-centered comparative effectiveness research funding kicked off May 15 with the release of five updated PCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs). In this first of three rounds of funding we plan through these announcements, we aim to award up to $81 million by mid-December to support research that addresses:

  • Evidence gaps that limit patients’ ability to make better-informed health care decisions.
  • Health outcomes that are meaningful to patients and those who care for them.
  • Issues relevant to the real-world settings where patients make decisions.

Letters of Intent (LOIs) for this funding cycle are due June 15 and completed applications are due August 15.

Are you interested in being a PCORI-funded researcher? Here are five key steps you need to take on the path to submitting a proposal:

1. Determine your eligibility

Applications may be submitted by any private or public sector research organization. This includes for-profit and non-profit organizations, academic institutions, hospitals and healthcare systems, manufacturers and laboratories, and government bodies. All U.S. applicants must be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Foreign organizations and nondomestic components of organizations based in the United States may apply, as long as there is demonstrable benefit to the U.S. healthcare system, and U.S. efforts in the area of patient-centered research can be shown clearly. Organizations may submit multiple applications for funding. Individuals may not apply.

2. Register with the PCORI Online Application System

You have to register with PCORI Online, our contracts management system, to submit LOIs and completed applications. You’ll have to register as an individual and you’ll need to register your research organization. Go to the PCORI Funding Center and click “Apply” to get started. Avoid the last-minute rush — register today!

3. Become familiar with the announcements and application guidelines

Our Funding Center provides links to each of the five broad PFAs. By clicking on the announcement titles, you’ll be taken to individual pages where you can access the complete announcements and other supporting information. Each announcement details its purpose, outlines research areas of interests, provides sample research questions, and explains the technical requirements and review criteria. Review the announcements to determine which priority your research idea could address and begin thinking about your research plan.

4. Learn more in an applicant webinar

We’re offering free “Applicant Town-Hall” webinars to help interested researchers learn more about the five PFAs. The webinars take place May 21-May 30. Register for the webinars that correspond to the PFAs you want to learn more about.  There are two webinars for the Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options PFA and one for each of the four other PFAs. Additional informational training programs will be provided in July and August for those individuals that submit a successful LOI.

5. Develop and submit your LOI

You must submit an LOI by June 15 to be eligible to submit a complete application for the current funding cycle. The LOI is a notification to us that your organization intends to apply for funding for one or more PFAs. Our revisedApplication Guidelines now contain a detailed section (Sec. 5, “LOI and Application Process and Instructions”) that explains what you need to include in your LOI, including information about your Primary Investigator, your proposed project and key personnel. An LOI Technical Abstract is provided to help you complete the requirements. In addition, you may need to submit additional documentation if your direct costs per year exceed a certain level. See each PFA for details.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be well on your way to submitting a completed application for funding through our PFAs.

Still have questions? Don’t hesitate to contact us at pfa@pcori.org.

Dueñas is PCORI’s Director of Contracts Management.