Accelerated Process to Targeted Funding

PCORI is pursuing a complementary two-path process to build a portfolio of high-impact patient-centered outcomes research guided by our National Priorities for Research and Research AgendaPCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs) resulting from this process are designed to address questions of greatest concern to patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders.

We started down the first of these paths in May 2012 with the release of PFAs under our first four national priorities; the first in a series of PFAs under the fifth priority was released in November. These broad announcements count on the research community to submit proposals to pursue studies on critical investigator-initiated topics. Proposed research teams must include patients and other stakeholders in a meaningful, way and patients and other stakeholders participate in the application review process.

The second path seeks to generate and prioritize research topics over the long term by starting with questions solicited directly from patients and other stakeholders through our website, workshops, and roundtables, and similar efforts undertaken by others. These questions are reviewed to ensure they address a research gap; assessed and ranked based on PCORI criteria; and submitted to our Board for consideration as the subject of topic-specific PFAs. This process is guided by PCORI Advisory Panels, now being set up.

In December 2012, our Board approved a plan to accelerate this second path to targeted funding.  As part of this plan, three topics were identified for potential development into PFAs; two more were identified later on. These topics were selected through a rigorous process that complements our long-term strategy.  Learn more about the process.  The five topics are:

Topic Selection
Compared with our long-term process, our accelerated process has a compressed timeline, with a goal of releasing targeted PFAs by the end of June 2013. To meet this compressed timeline, topic selection has been guided chiefly by a landscape review of existing prioritized research lists prepared by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), American Nurses Association, Friends of Cancer Research, and other stakeholder organizations.

As part of this process, in March and April 2013, we will convene ad hoc workgroups of researchers, patients, and other stakeholders who will provide input to our staff and Board on the critical research questions that should be answered within each topic. Each workgroup will meet once to discuss questions generated by members as well as by researchers, patients, and other stakeholders who can submit questions through our website and other channels. These workgroups are not the same as the PCORI Advisory Panels noted above. Read more about the workgroup selection process here.

Development of Targeted PFAs Based on Our Accelerated Process
Through our website, we’ll solicit additional comments, suggestions, and general input on these topics before, during, and after each workgroup meeting. Meetings will be accessible through audio-conference, webcast, or other forms of communication. Records of the workgroups will be made publicly available in accordance with PCORI’s policies and procedures.

As a follow-up to our ad hoc workgroup meetings, PCORI staff will synthesize both public comments and workgroup discussions to develop specific comparative effectiveness research questions for each topic. Our Board will consider this information for potential development of associated PFAs and eventual approval of funding of resulting research proposals.


Posted February 8, 2013; Updated August 22, 2013