What Does It Take to Become a Reviewer? 

PCORI reviewers share a commitment to patient-centered research and an interest in helping PCORI fulfill its promise of funding research that can help patients, clinicians, and other stakeholders to make health care decisions.  Patient, stakeholder, and scientist reviewers bring an important, diverse, and unique perspective to PCORI’s merit review process. This community of reviewers is essential to helping PCORI identify and fund the best research to improve the quality and relevance of evidence available to patients, caregivers, clinicians, employers, insurers, and policy-makers to help make informed health decisions. On Merit Review Panels, scientific, patient, and other stakeholder reviewers are represented and each reviewer’s scores are equally weighted to ensure that all perspectives are heard.

Patient and Stakeholder Reviewers Scientist Reviewers

Patient and Stakeholder Reviewers are required to have experience with one or more of the following:

  • Experience with health and health care as a patient, practitioner, payer, policymaker, or member of representative organizations.*
  • Firsthand experience in service, advocacy, policy setting, or other similar activities in the healthcare system or with a healthcare-related organization.
  • Involvement in community-based initiatives involving representation of the interests and perspectives of patients; family; caregiver; advocates (e.g., service on Boards or committees); relevant publications or presentations.
  • Past participation in decision-making bodies at a national, state, or local level.

Scientist Reviewers are required to:

  • Have an advanced educational degree (e.g., Ph.D., DPhil, EdD, DNP, MD, MPH, MS, etc.); 
  • Have significantly contributed to multiple publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals in the past 5 years; and/or
  • Lead research activities (e.g., PI, Co-PI, Site PI, etc.) on a current or recent research grant/contract.

*To find more information about our various Stakeholder Reviewer Communities, please click here.

Qualities of PCORI Reviewers

  • Ability to succinctly summarize complex information in writing and through oral presentation.
  • Ability to identify and present key concepts efficiently and clearly.
  • Ability to speak, read, write, and understand English.
  • Access to reliable high-speed internet and email, as well as ability to download documents and use online programs.
  • Appreciation of the benefits of including gender and geographic diversity; underrepresented patient populations; ethnic and racial groups; and individuals from socially, culturally, economically, or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds in any study involving human participants.
  • Experience writing and/or reviewing research applications.


Posted: February 9, 2016; Updated: August 2, 2016

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