Since our establishment, PCORI has been committed to meaningful involvement by patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders throughout the research process. As part of our Engagement program, the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards have supported more than 200 projects that are building communities ready to participate in patient-centered outcomes research and comparative clinical effectiveness research (PCOR/CER). We’ve been pleased with the program’s impact so far, and now we’re excited to announce an important refinement of our aims.
We are now placing a greater emphasis on supporting communities that will help move the results of patient-centered research into clinical practice, where they can help patients and those who care for them make better-informed healthcare decisions. Disseminating and encouraging the uptake of research findings has always been part of PCORI’s mandate. PCORI’s Dissemination and Implementation program has multiple initiatives in place to support this mission, including a funding mechanism for investigator-initiated dissemination and implementation of PCORI-funded research results. On June 2, the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards began to place additional emphasis on supporting this critical priority.
Looking toward New Evidence
Since its creation, the Engagement Awards program has supported projects in three categories: knowledge awards, training and development awards, and dissemination awards. We are now shifting away from the first category, which includes projects that identify research gaps or increase stakeholder knowledge of what patients and other stakeholders need to make informed healthcare decisions.
To lay the groundwork for disseminating and implementing the PCOR/CER results from the research projects PCORI has funded, we now intend to fund more projects to support organizations with many constituents who view them as trusted sources of health information. These projects should focus on strengthening the infrastructure and relationships necessary to disseminate and implement research results or products derived from PCORI-funded studies or related research. Project activities may include developing, demonstrating, and evaluating the processes, pathways, and mechanisms necessary to provide patients, clinicians, and others in the healthcare community with evidence useful for the decisions they must make.
To apply for these projects, an organization must identify existing or emerging PCOR/CER findings that are highly relevant to its members. Applicants should place these research results within the context of other evidence.
Applicants must also clearly explain how they intend to sustain the infrastructure and relationships that they develop. They should also indicate whether the project has potential to reach beyond the group engaged in the project and whether the project could be a vehicle for disseminating and implementing additional PCOR/CER findings.
Continuing Partnership Support
Even though we are giving more emphasis to dissemination, we continue to fund projects to enable organizations with strong ties to patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other stakeholders to engage them as partners in PCOR/CER. These projects must focus on building knowledge and competency of patients and other stakeholders to be meaningful partners in all stages of research, from topic selection to dissemination and implementation of results. As before, these projects may also fund activities to strengthen researchers’ skills of partnering with patients and other stakeholders.
We’ve clarified our guidance on this type of award. Applicants must clearly explain how the capacity that their proposed award develops will apply to existing or planned PCOR/CER partnership opportunities. Applicants must also identify and describe any tools, trainings, or programs that they will use, as well as provide the evidence base underlying such resources. We encourage applicants to use or adapt available resources whenever possible, rather than develop new products and tools.
We are now placing a greater emphasis on supporting communities that will help move the results of patient-centered research into clinical practice.
What Don't Engagement Awards Fund?
We have found that many applicants propose projects that fall outside the scope of the Engagement Awards program. Because we want applicants to be successful, we’d like to clarify that these awards don’t fund
- Projects intended to improve patient engagement in non-research activities, such as healthcare service delivery, patient self-care, or patient-centeredness of care (e.g., shared decision making)
- Research studies (PCORI funds these studies through other opportunities.)
- Development of research proposals
- Development of interventions
- Validation of tools or instruments
- Development of registries
- Projects intended to increase the number of patients who participate in research studies or registries
- Development of decision aids or clinical practice guidelines
- Meetings that don’t focus on PCOR or CER
Finally, while the Engagement Awards support organizations in building their ability, infrastructure, or capacity to bring PCORI research results to their constituents, PCORI is directly funding dissemination and implementation activities through other opportunities.
The Engagement Awards support organizations in building their ability, infrastructure, or capacity to bring PCORI research results to their constituents.
Meeting and Conference Support
The Engagement Award program also supports meetings and conferences where individuals assemble to exchange information or explore issues or areas of knowledge related to PCOR/CER. The Engagement Award Initiative Notice for Research Meeting and Conference Support now caps the total support at $50,000 and project period at one year.
Please join us for a webinar June 27 at noon (ET) to learn more about the updates to the Engagement Award program. The next application deadline is September 29, 2017. A second webinar on July 11 at 2 pm (ET) will provide information about both the Engagement Award program and the Dissemination & Implementation Limited Competition Awards. We strongly encourage interested applicants to review the new application guidelines and email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.