• For Research Awardees: Click here to access the Research Enhancement Funding Opportunity.
  • For Engagement Awardees: Click here to access the Engagement Enhancement Funding Opportunity.


Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, otherwise known as COVID-19, is a novel respiratory illness that causes complications that can compromise lung function and lead to severe illness or death. COVID-19 imposes significant burdens for patients and their families and has led to acute disruptions in the US healthcare system due to its high incidence, low testing rates, challenging management options, and unknown long-term health implications. As of April 10, 2020, there were more than 427,000 confirmed cases and 14,696 deaths in the United Statesi and as many as 1.6 million cases worldwideii. Emerging reports of racial and ethnic disparities in the US death tolliii increase the complexity in developing a patient-centered response to address the pandemic.

Rooted in our mission to help people make informed healthcare decisions and improve healthcare delivery and outcomes, PCORI is poised to support work to provide answers to the challenging COVID-19-related dilemmas facing patients, caregivers, providers, health systems, and policy makers through targeted investments in extending our Research, Engagement Awards, and Dissemination and Implementation activities.

PCORI seeks investigator-initiated proposals to address the COVID-19 public health crisis with enhancements to currently funded PCORI Dissemination and Implementation awards. Only PCORI-funded investigators or project leads with active Dissemination and Implementation Award contracts are eligible to submit a proposal in response to this announcement.

PCORI has a strong interest in addressing dilemmas facing patients, clinicians, health systems, and other stakeholders and entities battling the novel coronavirus pandemic in the United States. We are interested in supporting work that can be initiated quickly to mitigate the outcome of the current pandemic by using existing teams with ongoing working relationships with PCORI. Taking advantage of natural experiments in health system, state, and provider responses is encouraged.

Please note: This announcement is not intended to solicit requests for modifications intended primarily to enable projects to achieve original, planned project goals and activities. We understand that current Dissemination and Implementation awards may require adjustments to enable the projects to proceed successfully, and we are committed to facilitating appropriate modifications. We suggest that awardees consult PCORI’s COVID-19 FAQs for guidance and contact the Dissemination and Implementation Team to address these types of modifications and any related questions.

Scope of Enhancements

Proposed enhancements should boost the existing Dissemination and Implementation project’s overall impact and do so by responding to needs evolving or emerging in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such needs include, but are not limited to, challenges to mental health and well-being of healthcare workers, social support for vulnerable populations experiencing isolation or restrictions in mobility, prevention and treatment of COVID-19, and health system adaptations to compensate for shortages of personnel and supplies.

A range of project enhancements will be considered, including those that expand reach of interventions to different patient populations or sites, adapt interventions to new clinical realities, or otherwise promote the uptake of evidence in the context of current care-delivery challenges. For example, an enhancement might:

  • Support modifications to, or the effective implementation of, a healthcare delivery adaptation such as telemedicine, that is the focus of an implementation project, for a population newly vulnerable in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Extend infrastructure developed to reach out to a community or to deliver a primary care intervention to include measures to address prevention, treatment, or follow up care for COVID-19

Enhancements may include additions to goals and activities or may be an adjunct project related to the currently funded Dissemination and Implementation award. (The goals of work undertaken through the enhancement need not be directly in service of the original project goals.) Evaluation components of proposed enhancements must inform further uptake of interventions implemented in the project.

Review and Approval Process

Enhancement proposals will be considered on a rolling basis. Following receipt of awardee-initiated proposals, PCORI staff will complete review of proposals. You may be contacted by your assigned Program Officer for additional information as part of PCORI’s review.

For Dissemination and Implementation Enhancements, determinations will be made using the criteria below:

  • Past performance on current PCORI-funded project
  • Enhancement increases the project’s overall impact
  • Enhancement leverages existing project activities, project personnel expertise, and infrastructure (Additional personnel are allowable but require justification)
  • Enhancement responds to needs evolving or emerging in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • First deliverables can be completed within three months
  • Enhancement does not increase project timeline by more than 12 months
  • Budget is reasonable in the context of the other expenses for this project and general reasonable cost designations

Key Dates

Application Deadline
July 17, 2020, 12:00 AM
Earliest Start Date
May 1, 2020, 12:00 AM

Funds and Project Period

Total Costs

$500,000 limit (direct and indirect costs) for Dissemination and Implementation Project Award Enhancements— higher amounts will be considered on a case-by-case basis, based on applicant's justification of the proposed amount.

Maximum Project Period

Enhancement may not increase project timeline by more than 12 months

To Apply for this Opportunity

  1. Read the full funding opportunity above.
  2. Contact your assigned Program Officer (PO) to briefly discuss whether your proposed enhancement fits within the scope of this announcement.
  3. If authorized by the assigned PCORI PO, the recipient/awardee institution Administrative Official must submit completed copies of the application (see Applicant Resources below) to [email protected], copying your PO and assigned Contract Administrator.
  4. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis per the criteria and process noted above under “Review and Approval Process."

Applicant Resources

  1. COVID-Related Enhancement (D&I Award) Proposal Template
  2. COVID-Related Enhancement (D&I Award) Budget Summary
  3. COVID-Related Enhancement (D&I Award) Budget Justification

i Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), United States, 2020. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/cases-in-us.html#2019coronavirus-summary

ii Johns Hopkins University. (2020) Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, 2020 https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

iii Stafford K., Hoyer M. and Morrison A. Outcry over racial data grows as virus slams black Americans. The Associated Press, 2020 https://apnews.com/71d952faad4a2a5d14441534f7230c7c