Prospective Reviewers

Beginning with reviews of our August 2013 Cycle of PFAs, we will start to use standing panels to evaluate applications in our five national research priority areas. But as we move to this standing-panel model, we will continue to welcome applicants for additional reviewers—scientists, patients, and other stakeholders, including payers, employers, industry and health system representatives, clinicians, and policymakers—to serve on an ad hoc basis. Click here for more information.

We also will continue to need reviewers for the targeted PFAs we have started to release, such as the one seeking studies to improve asthma treatment in African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos.

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Meet Our Reviewers Banner and video screenshotWhat is Expected  of a PCORI Reviewer? 

All reviewers will:

  1. Understand and apply PCORI’s mission, vision, and review criteria, which differ somewhat from those of other funding institutions.
  2. Complete approximately two hours of required online reviewer training and seek help from PCORI if you have a question or concern. (Periodic training refreshers may be required when the review process or criteria are updated.)
  3. Identify conflicts of interest (COI) quickly and honestly.
  4. Agree to review all assigned applications for a single round of applications and to prepare a written critique of each application reviewed.  Reviewers can expect to review approximately 7-10 applications, depending on the number of applicants and the number of reviewers with specific expertise.
  5. Participate in a one- or two-day peer review panel meeting. In-person attendance is required unless specific circumstances, such as a disability that limits mobility, prevent travel. You will also need to read approximately 20 additional application abstracts prior to their discussion in your panel session. 
  6. Provide scores and written critiques electronically.
  7. Provide feedback to PCORI in the form of follow-up surveys and via group interview

Standing Panelists will:

  • Serve a two-year term, with an option for extension;
  • Attend at least two review meetings per year during your service period, and no more than five review meetings over the two-year appointment period. Each meeting is one to two days in length.
  • Update your reviewer profile to optimize matching of your expertise to research applications;
  • Complete initial online training (2 hours) and in-person reviewer trainings (2 hours) prior to your first panel meeting as a Standing Panel member, and complete periodic refreshers;
  • Review, critique, and score between five and ten applications per funding cycle;
  • Identify and recuse yourself from reviewing any application for which a Conflict of Interest is identified;
  • Provide feedback to PCORI in the form of follow-up surveys and via group interview.

Compensation Information:

Ad hoc reviewers receive $50 for each application they review. A stipend is provided for all reviewers for attending the in-person merit review ($200/day).

In recognition of the long-term commitment to PCORI’s merit review, Standing Panelists will be compensated $75 for each application reviewed. Standing Panelists will also receive a $200/day stipend for attending in-person meetings. Standing Panelists that have participated in four reviews within two years will receive an additional one-time $200 stipend.

What Does it Take to Become a Reviewer? 

PCORI reviewers share a commitment to patient-centered research and an interest in helping PCORI fulfill its promise of “research done differently.”  All reviewers, whether scientists, patients, or other stakeholders, are crucial to the review of PCORI funding applications and all bring a perspective that enhances the quality of the review.

Qualification* Patient and Other Stakeholder Reviewers Scientific Reviewers
Representative roles Patients, caregivers, clinicians, providers, purchasers, payers, industry, policymakers, and educational institution and advocacy group representatives
  • Members of the health and healthcare research communities.
  • Experience with health and health care as a patient, practitioner, payer, policymaker, or member of representative organizations.

Experience may also include:

  • Firsthand experience in service, advocacy, policy-setting, or other similar activities in the healthcare system or with healthcare-related organization.
  • Demonstrated involvement in community-based initiatives involving representation of the interests and perspectives of patients/family/caregiver/advocates (eg, service on boards or committees), relevant publications, or presentations.
  • Past participation in decision-making bodies at a national, state, or local level.
  • Advanced degrees in the sciences.
  • Technical or specialized research expertise in one or more program areas funded by PCORI.
  • Prior experience writing and/or reviewing research applications.
  • Experience that generally includes conducting independent research and publishing peer-reviewed articles.
Interest Interest in health and health care, familiarity with health care and science-related issues, or formal training in these areas.
Commitment Dedication to making a contribution to healthcare research.
Specific Skills
  • Ability to succinctly summarize complex information in writing and through oral presentation.
  • Ability to identify and present key concepts efficiently and clearly.
  • Ability to speak, read, write, and understand English.
  • Proficiency with use of online programs and e-mail.
  • Ability to represent the perspective of a broad group of patients, caregivers, or other stakeholders, and see beyond specific individual experience.
  • An appreciation of the benefits of including gender and geographic diversity; underrepresented patient populations; ethnic and racial groups; and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds in any study involving human participants.

Availability to participate in review meetings.**

*Ability to represent a patient perspective is the overriding criteria governing selection of patient and caregiver reviewers.

**All reviewers should be mindful of the physical demands of the review process.  PCORI will make needed accommodations whenever possible.

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Posted April 29, 2013; Updated December 18, 2013