Supporting methodological research to improve the design and conduct of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) is a priority for PCORI and outlined in our authorizing law. This commitment reflects our view that "Methods Matter" and that they are necessary for the development and synthesis of strong, high-quality evidence that can inform clinical practice and ultimately improve individual- and population-level health.
The range of methodologies used in PCOR is broad, and PCORI has built a portfolio of methods-related projects that address a diverse set of topics under our national research priority, Accelerating Patient-Centered Outcomes Research and Methodological Research. As indicated in the Cycle 1 2016 PCORI Funding Announcement (PFA), the Improving Methods for Conducting Patient-Centered Outcomes Research program (hereafter, the Methods Program) is making significant and substantive changes to our research priorities. In developing the next release of the funding announcement (known as Cycle 3, 2016), we have made the priorities narrower and more focused. We feel that this change will permit the program portfolio to fill in gaps and to be a better fit with PCORI’s current scientific needs. The new PFA will be released on August 15, 2016.
Future PFAs for the Methods Program will focus on only two to three Research Areas of Interest (RAIs) in each announcement. Letters of intent (LOIs) or applications that do not address one of the selected RAIs will be deemed non-responsive for that cycle. We intend to announce and publicize these topics with sufficient lead time to allow investigators time to prepare LOIs and applications.
What are The Key Changes to Note for Cycle 3 2016?
In transitioning to this more focused approach, we want to provide investigators who have previously submitted applications (or have been invited to submit a full application) in response to the Methods PFA an opportunity to resubmit. Thus, the Methods PFA for Cycle 3 2016 will permit resubmissions that align with the broader program priorities included in our previous funding cycles. Investigators that submitted invited LOIs and full applications in Cycle 1 (Spring) 2015, Cycle 2 2015, Cycle 3 2015, and Cycle 1 2016 are eligible to resubmit.
New LOIs and applications for Cycle 3 2016 will only be accepted for two RAIs ("Research Related to the Ethical and Human Subjects Protection Issues in PCOR/CER" and "Methods to Support Data Research Networks"). These are the two most recently introduced RAIs and are areas in which relatively few awards have been made by PCORI.
Important details about applicant eligibility and responsiveness screening (for LOIs and full applications) for the Cycle 3 2016 Methods PFA will be provided in the PFA released on August 15.
Competitive LOI Review
Applicants will be required to submit an updated LOI. Program staff will review LOIs and determine whether or not to invite a full application. If the LOI is a resubmission, please make sure to make that clear. Because all LOIs are assessed in light of the portfolio of already-funded projects, past acceptance of an LOI is not a guarantee of an invitation to submit a full application for Cycle 3 2016.
Please direct any questions, concerns, or other inquiries regarding the Cycle 3 2016 Methods PFA to [email protected].