I’m happy to report that as of the December 1 deadline, PCORI has received 856 applications for its Pilot Projects Grants Program. We attribute this amazing response to several factors, including a high level of awareness and interest in PCORI and its evolving research agenda, and a high level of interest and readiness to shift the research paradigm toward a patient-centered approach within both the research and stakeholder communities.
We now are working closely with the National Institutes of Health’s Center for Scientific Review in preparation for the review of these applications which will take place in mid-February. These merit reviews will be distinguished by the addition of patient and stakeholder engagement as one of the criteria for scoring applications and by inclusion of three stakeholder reviewers on each review team. We will be conducting an in-depth evaluation of this modified review process to see if the changes we’ve made succeed in introducing a new patient-focus on the scoring process.
We’re also delighted to report that a total of 349 stakeholders, including 160 patients, patient advocates or caregivers, have applied via PCORI’s website to be grant reviewers. In addition, 600 scientists applied. Many of these applicants will be invited to serve as reviewers for this round of reviews. PCORI will stay in touch with all of these reviewer applicants and invite others to participate in future reviews of PCORI applications.
Based upon these technical reviews, PCORI’s Board of Governors will select approximately 40 projects for funding in late March. Funded applications will address a broad range of questions regarding the engagement of patients in the research and dissemination process. Their findings will inform PCORI’s future priorities and research agenda and advance the research methodologies needed to carry out PCORI’s program of patient-centered outcomes research. This is just the beginning of our effort to engage the healthcare community in PCORI’s research enterprise. By the end of this month, PCORI will announce appointment of its Directors of Patient Engagement, Stakeholder Engagement, and Communications. This triumvirate will create PCORI’s ongoing engagement arm. We are very excited to see this unprecedented engagement effort begin to materialize.
Next month, following our Board meeting, we will begin a public comment period on our first set of national research priorities and research agenda. After public input has been considered and the priorities and agenda approved, we expect to issue our first requests for proposals for primary research by mid-year. To stay informed of the latest developments at PCORI, you can now follow us on Twitter @PCORI, in addition to subscribing to our email list.