What We Do

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, nonprofit research organization that seeks to empower patients and others with actionable information about their health and healthcare choices. We fund comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER), which compares two or more medical treatments, services, or health practices to help patients and other stakeholders make better informed decisions.

PCORI’s unique place in the health research landscape stems from its unwavering focus on outcomes that matter to patients and it is widely acknowledged as a leader in driving US clinical research to become more patient-centered. We are committed to ensuring that patients and other healthcare stakeholders have a seat at the table throughout the research process—helping to prioritize research topics, design and conduct the studies, and share the results.

The vast majority of the research that PCORI funds is for CER projects, but we also fund awards to promote engagement in research, dissemination and implementation projects, methodology research, and the development of research infrastructure, including PCORnet®, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network. We issue PCORI Funding Announcements several times each year.

PCORI Executive Director Nakela L. Cook, M.D., MPH, and PCORI Board of Governors Chairperson Russell M. Howerton, M.D., FACS, discuss who PCORI is, what PCORI does, why PCORI’s work is unique and important, and how you can get involved and learn more about PCORI’s funding opportunities and mission.

Our Impact

Research funded by PCORI concentrates on healthcare challenges that confront families every day, including cancer, diabetes, maternal mortality, opioid addiction, mental health, and equitable access to care, among many others. Patients deserve to know whether some approaches work better than others for certain populations, and caregivers, clinicians, and all of our stakeholders also benefit from better information about different care options. With health, information is power, and PCORI funds research that allows all patients to become more empowered decision makers.

Since its authorization by Congress in 2010, PCORI has awarded more than $4.5 billion to fund more than 2,400 research and related projects (explore our research portfolio). PCORI-funded research studies produce important results that are published in leading medical journals and presented at major scientific meetings. Results from studies we have funded are also taken up in a variety of clinical guidelines. We post results from every study we fund, with versions for both patients and clinicians.

What Guides Our Work

In 2019, PCORI’s funding was reauthorized, with additional research priorities—intellectual and developmental disabilities and maternal morbidity and mortality—and a mandate to consider, as appropriate, the full range of outcomes data, including the potential burdens and economic impacts of the use of medical treatments, items, and services for different stakeholders in the research we fund.

The next phase of PCORI’s work is guided by a strategic plan, developed with extensive input from stakeholders across the healthcare community and adopted by the PCORI Board of Governors in June 2022. Two foundational elements of the plan are the National Priorities for Health, which are ambitious, interconnected, long-term goals, and the PCORI Research Agenda, which provides a framework for advancing those priorities.

The strategic plan reinforces PCORI’s longstanding commitment to accelerating diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in all aspects of our activities—through a health equity lens. We remain committed to increasing the diversity of PCORI’s community of stakeholders—including the pool of applicants, awardees, and research participants—and to promoting inclusive PCORI convenings, such as our Annual Meeting.

Research Done Differently®

Our strategic plan reflects PCORI’s holistic approach to generating and promoting the use of patient-centered evidence, which is at the heart of what we do. There are four essential elements to this approach:

  • Funding of patient-centered CER—to address questions important to patients and other stakeholders and to generate meaningful evidence that will allow them to make better informed health and healthcare decisions.
  • Engagement—involving patients and all key health decision makers across the continuum of PCORI’s work, from research topic selection to dissemination and implementation of results, to produce research findings that are useful, relevant, and trustworthy to those we serve.
  • Dissemination and Implementation—to ensure that the results of PCORI-funded studies are easily accessible and can be used by those who need them to make better informed decisions on health and healthcare.
  • Research Infrastructure—including enhancing the ability of PCORnet® to improve capacity to conduct clinical research more efficiently, improving the science and methods of CER, and supporting the continuing development of the health research workforce.

Through this holistic approach, we will build on the lessons of our work to date, broaden our network of engaged stakeholders and partners, and remain responsive to the changing health landscape to help address health and healthcare challenges facing the nation.

More About PCORI

PCORI's Mission to Help People Make Informed Healthcare Decisions

Our Executive Director outlines PCORI’s creation and mission to fund research that helps people make better-informed healthcare decisions based on their needs and preferences.

Asking the Right Questions in Research

A patient co-investigator on a PCORI-funded study says patient engagement in research helps researchers ask the right questions.

More About PCORI's Research Priorities and Research Funding

What's Happening at PCORI?

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute sends weekly emails about opportunities to apply for funding, newly funded research studies and engagement projects, results of our funded research, webinars, and other new information posted on our site.

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