About Us

With each of PCORI’s research funding cycles we have a unique opportunity to improve our process for supporting studies that will provide patients, caregivers, and their clinicians with evidence-based information to improve healthcare decision making and outcomes.

For our upcoming Fall* 2015 cycle, for example, we’re adding a process to further encourage submission of applications that will result in scientifically rigorous comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) that is truly patient-centered. PCORI staff will invite selected applicants who were not funded during the Fall 2014 cycle to resubmit revised applications. We want to encourage those applicants who seem to understand PCORI’s goals and whose proposals weren’t far off the mark.

We’ll choose high-quality applications that were responsive to our national research priorities, but for which the merit reviewers and PCORI staff raised concerns that seem remediable. Staff will recommend revisions to the selected applicants and discuss options with them. Those invited to resubmit will not be asked to provide the Letter of Intent (LOI) required of other applicants.

Competitive Letters of Intent

Beginning with the Fall 2014 cycle, all applicants—new and resubmitting—have been required to submit a competitive LOI for review by PCORI staff. Only applicants whose LOIs are deemed responsive to the criteria detailed in the relevant PCORI Funding Announcement (PFA) were invited to submit a full application.

In Fall* 2015 and future cycles, those applicants invited to resubmit their applications from an earlier cycle will bypass the competitive LOI review stage. Instead, by the LOI deadline, they will be required to upload their invitation to resubmit, and, if applicable, an email from PCORI program staff indicating approval of any changes to specific aims negotiated during discussions with staff. Applicants who are invited to resubmit must provide their full application by the application deadline specified in the PFA.

Application Requirements

All applications submitted or resubmitted to PCORI must adhere to the requirements outlined in the relevant PFA and undergo our rigorous merit review process. And even with this new process, it’s important to note an invitation to resubmit is not a guarantee that the application will move beyond the initial stage of merit review or be selected for funding.

Previous applicants not invited by PCORI staff to resubmit may still resubmit by providing an LOI by the LOI deadline during the Spring 2015 or later cycles. Resubmitted LOIs will be evaluated through the same screening process as newly submitted LOIs.

All applicants who resubmit, either with an LOI or full application through the new process, must include a three-page resubmission statement for the reviewers. To move forward in the review process, all LOIs and applications must meet our review criteria, including patient-centeredness, methodological rigor, and programmatic responsiveness.

We are looking forward to implementing the new resubmission policy and are always available to help answer your questions. Please submit any questions to [email protected].

Tafari is an Associate Director of PCORI’s Research Integration and Evaluation program
Marschhauser is a Merit Review Officer in PCORI’s Research Integration and Evaluation program

* Editor’s note: Earlier versions of this post said “Spring 2015,” but this has been changed to Fall 2015 to reflect merit review timelines.

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