As part of our mission to fund studies that will provide useful information to patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders, we continually evaluate PCORI’s application process. So with the opening of Cycle 2 of our 2015 funding, we want to draw your attention to some new features and provide other updates that will help you submit a responsive application.
When applying for any of the five broad research funding opportunities available in this cycle, please note the following changes:
We have updated each PCORI Funding Announcement (PFA) to reflect the types of programs and topics we are seeking. We encourage all applicants, even experienced PCORI researchers, to thoroughly read the new PFAs before submitting a Letter of Intent (LOI).
Paying attention to the PFAs is important because during the Fall 2014 Cycle (the last cycle of broad funding announcements for which we’ve announced awardees), we invited only 35 percent of the applicants who had submitted LOIs to prepare a full application. Why? Of those not invited to apply, 96 percent didn’t fit our programmatic goals, while the rest didn’t comply with administrative requirements.
If you need assistance determining whether your topic aligns with our current funding opportunities, contact us.
We want to draw your attention to a few other changes in the PFAs this cycle:
- PCORI has expanded its populations of interest to include veterans as well as members of the Armed Forces and their families.
- Only applicants to the Communication and Dissemination Research PFA may request waivers to exceed the budget and/or period of performance limits stated in the funding announcement. See the Communication and Dissemination Research PFA for instruction on how to submit this request.
- The Application Guidelines for each PFA have been updated to reflect new LOI and full-application formatting requirements. We have also clarified the instructions for preparing the budget and provide information about how we respond to violations of administrative guidelines and deadlines.
Letters of Intent
All of our current funding announcements have a new LOI template. Please make sure to download this template for your submission. LOIs submitted on incorrect or outdated templates will not be accepted.
We remind you that the submission of an LOI requires:
- Filling out the LOI template, converting it to PDF, and uploading the PDF to PCORI Online
- Responding to the online LOI questions located within PCORI Online
New this cycle: if an application is funded, the names of the individuals and organizations who serve as patient and other stakeholder partners on the research team will be posted on PCORI’s website, along with the principal investigator.
This change acknowledges the valuable contribution by all research partners in PCORI-funded studies. We are making this change in response to demand from the patient and other stakeholder communities that contributions of these partners be publicly recognized. However, we will honor requests from patients or other stakeholder partners who prefer to remain anonymous.
As you begin your application, please thoroughly review the current PFA and its Application Guidelines and templates. The Application Guidelines include a checklist that will assist you in submitting an administratively responsive LOI. The guidelines also include a new Administrative Actions section, which outlines what problems will result in LOI or application rejection.
Be sure to use the new materials rather than documents from previous cycles.
Applicant Training and Assistance
The Applicant Training available in Funding Opportunities on our website provides links to resources that will assist you in preparing an LOI and full application. PCORI provides applicants with self-paced online training, access to applicant webinars, and printed resources.
We hope you’ll take a look at the recent funding announcements and consider applying. If you have questions as you begin your LOI, you can reach our helpdesk by email at [email protected] for technical and administrative questions and [email protected] for questions about topics and the research process. You may also phone us to speak with a member of the science staff (202-627-1884) or ask for technical assistance related to the administrative or financial guidelines (202-627-1885).
PCORI also provides an online Help Center that offers searchable frequently answered questions and forms for submitting a question or a request for assistance.
As always, we want to hear from you on how we can improve the clarity of our funding announcements and guidelines. Each cycle, we use your feedback to improve our process and make the application process easier. We thank you for your support of and interest in PCORI.