Key Dates

  • Letter of Intent (LOI) Deadline:
    Apr. 4, 2024; 5 p.m. (ET)
  • LOI Status Notification:
    Within 60 calendar days of LOI deadline
  • Application Deadline:
    Jul. 10, 2024
Apply Here

This Engagement Award: Capacity Building funding opportunity aims to build the capacity and skills of patients and stakeholders to engage in all phases of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER).

All proposed projects must show how they will help to build capacity for patient-centered CER. (Previous funding announcements used the term “PCOR/CER.”)

You may propose projects that will last up to two years and cost up to $300,000.


Engagement Award: Capacity Building, Cycle: April 2024, LOI deadline: April 4, 2024. Award Total Costs Up to $300,000, Maximum project period up to 2 years

This recording introduces the April 2024 Cycle Engagement Award: Capacity Building funding announcement. To view or download the slides, click here.

Engagement Award Program Information

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) plans to award up to $25 million in fiscal year 2025 as part of the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award Program. This program supports projects that encourage active, meaningful involvement of patients, caregivers, clinicians and other healthcare stakeholders as integral members of the patient-centered CER enterprise. This program is not a research funding opportunity.

About Patient-Centered CER
  • Comparative clinical effectiveness research, or CER is is research which compares two or more medical treatments, services or health practices to help patients and other healthcare stakeholders make better-informed decisions. Comparing two or more interventions distinguishes CER from other types of clinical research.
  • Patient-centered CER compares outcomes that matter most to patients and other healthcare stakeholders. Engaging patients, caregivers, clinicians, insurers and other healthcare community members throughout the research process is at the core of PCORI’s patient-centered approach. (In previous funding announcements, the term “PCOR/CER” was used.)

Capacity Building Funding Opportunity Overview

The Engagement Award: Capacity Building funding opportunity focuses on capacity building for patient and/or stakeholder engagement in patient-centered CER. This refers to projects that:

  • Help patients and/or stakeholders who are not researchers engage as partners in patient-centered CER. These projects will help the various stakeholder communities partner in a meaningful way with researchers throughout the patient-centered CER process. 
  • Strengthen the skills of researchers to be better partners with patients and other stakeholders involved in patient-centered CER.
  • Allow prior Engagement Award Program awardees returning as applicants to grow the impact of their work building capacity for patient-centered CER.

Projects must build capacity for patient and/or stakeholder engagement in patient-centered CER. Projects must also show:

  • An understanding of patient-centered CER basics.
  • A need for additional patient and/or stakeholder capacity to take part in future patient-centered CER.
  • A connection to future opportunities to take part in patient-centered CER.
  • The organization’s relationship to the population.
  • The organization’s track record in engagement.
  • Commitment from the patient and/or stakeholder communities to be involved in the project and clear patient and/or stakeholder involvement/leadership in all stages of the project from beginning to end.
  • Transferable information and learnings to be generated by the project; they must be of interest or use to the applicant organizations and to others doing related work. PCORI is committed to using and sharing successful approaches. See the PCORI Engagement Tool and Resource Repository for examples.

Projects should use existing engagement tools and resources when possible, rather than develop new products and tools. These tools, processes or programs can be used alone or combined; they may also be used in a new population or geographic area.

Patient and Stakeholder Engagement

Stakeholders include patients, their families, caregivers, organizations that represent patients, clinicians, community members, healthcare purchasers, payers, industry, hospital and other health systems, policy makers and training institutions.

PCORI Communities

Patients and other stakeholders who have a connection to, expertise in or lived experience related to the focus area and patient-centered CER should be partners in the project. Projects should include shared leadership and planning teams. The stakeholder groups must be engaged throughout the project. This includes developing the LOI and full proposal planning and participating in the project and evaluating and sharing project results.

You must submit letters of support from partners, including patients and/or stakeholders, with your full proposal.

National Priorities for Health and Topic Themes

PCORI’s funding announcements align with our National Priorities for Health and Topic Themes. The goal is to make sure funded projects address the health and healthcare challenges facing the nation today and in the years ahead. PCORI welcomes Engagement Award LOIs on any topic that meets the Engagement Award Program guidelines, but please be aware of the following National Priorities for Health, Topic Themes and Special Areas of Interest when developing your application:

  • National Priorities for Health. These are PCORI’s goals that focus on impact, guiding our research funding and other initiatives to improve patient care and health outcomes. The priorities were developed with input from stakeholders. 
  • Topic Themes. These address specific populations, health behaviors and health conditions. Populations of interest include older adults, children and youth. The Topic Themes also address health conditions, including cardiovascular health, mental and behavioral health, pain management and sleep health as well as health behaviors, such as substance use and violence and trauma. Four ongoing themes are preventing maternal morbidity and mortality, improving outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, addressing COVID-19 and addressing rare disease.
  • Applicant-Initiated Topics: This funding opportunity is not limited to the topics described above. PCORI welcomes all applications that meet Engagement Award Program guidelines. Topics should address healthcare issues important to patients, families, caregivers, and the broader health and healthcare community.

Application Review

Applying for funding through this PFA is a two-step process. First you submit a Letter of Intent (LOI). Then you must be invited to submit a full proposal.

PCORI conducts rigorous review of the LOIs and full proposals it receives. PCORI may opt to withdraw LOIs and full proposals from the review process if they:

  • Are incomplete, are late or do not meet the criteria in the Engagement Award Submission Instructions, the PCORI templates and PCORI Online.
  • Do not follow the requirements in this PFA, include nonresponsive activity or do not meet PCORI’s programmatic criteria.

More information is available on the Engagement Award Review Process.

Related Engagement Award Opportunities

For applicants interested in projects focused on building capacity for disseminating PCORI-funded research findings, please see the Engagement Award: Dissemination Initiative funding opportunity. Further explanation of the difference between these two opportunities is available on PCORI's Funding Opportunities for Disseminating Evidence webpage.

For applicants interested primarily in multi-stakeholder convenings, meetings and conferences that have a focus on, and commitment to, supporting collaboration around PCOR/CER, please see the Engagement Award: Stakeholder Convening Support funding opportunity.


Read the full announcement and Engagement Award Submission Instructions before you apply. Direct any questions to

To discuss a project idea with PCORI staff, submit a request for an EA Applicant Virtual Office Hours session.

PCORI aims to respond to all questions within two business days. However, it cannot promise a response within two business days before a deadline. Plan accordingly; please submit the LOI or full proposal by the deadlines.

Download Full Announcement

Key Dates

Online System Opens
Jan. 16, 2024
Letter of Intent Deadline
April 4, 2024, by 5 pm (ET)
Application Deadline
By invitation only; full proposals are due July 10, 2024, by 5 pm (ET)
Earliest Start Date
Dec. 1, 2024

Funds and Project Period

Total Costs
Award total costs may not exceed $300,000 (direct + indirect costs)
Maximum Project Period
Two years

To Apply for This Opportunity

  1. Read the full funding announcement.
  2. Follow the process outlined in the Submission Instructions
  3. Submit an LOI.
  4. Submit a full proposal (if invited).

Applicant Resources

April 2024 Cycle Resources

Preparing Your LOI

Preparing Your Full Proposal

Required Full Proposal Templates

Additional Applicant Resources