Table of Contents

  1. What You Need to Know to Apply
  2. Eligibility
  3. Review Process
  4. Applicant Templates
  5. Applicant Resources
  6. Questions

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) plans to award $1.6 million for this Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award special project funding announcement. These awards are research support rather than a research funding opportunity.

The Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards support projects that encourage active integration of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders as integral members of the patient-centered outcomes research/clinical effectiveness research (PCOR/CER) enterprise.


Download Full Announcement

Key Dates

Online System Opens
October 1, 2019
Letter of Intent Deadline
November 15, 2019
Application Deadline
January 1, 2020
Earliest Start Date
Project start date should be no sooner than eight months from LOI submission deadline

Funds and Project Period

Total Costs

Award total costs may not exceed $100,000

Maximum Project Period

1 year

I. What You Need to Know to Apply

Step 1: Learn What We Fund

The Engagement Award program supports PCORI’s Engagement Imperative—defined in our Strategic Plan—and provides a platform to increase engagement in research, that is, the meaningful involvement of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders throughout the research process. We expect projects selected for an Engagement Award to result in tools and resources that may be useful to other awardees for increasing patient and/or other stakeholder engagement in PCOR and CER, PCORI, and the broader PCOR community. We are committed to using and broadly sharing this information. 

Step 2: Learn What We Don't Fund

LOIs and applications will be considered nonresponsive for an Engagement Award if they propose:

  • Projects solely intended to improve patient engagement in healthcare service delivery, patient self-care, or patient-centeredness of care (e.g., shared decision making)
  • Projects intended to increase the number of patients who agree to be research subjects or participants
  • Research projects (PCORI funds these through other opportunities.)
  • Planning or pilot studies
  • Projects designed solely to validate tools or instruments
  • Delivery of health care
  • Development of registries
  • Recruitment of research or registry participants
  • Development of decision support tools or clinical practice guidelines
  • Meetings that don’t focus on PCOR or CER
  • Full-fledged projects to translate PCORI research findings into products and/or disseminate PCORI research results (Engagement Awards are for the purpose of capacity and infrastructure development; PCORI will fund dedicated dissemination efforts through the Limited PCORI Funding Announcement: Dissemination and Implementation of PCORI Funded Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Results and Products in Real World Settings and/or may fund them through other funding announcements)
  • Projects proposed by PCORI-funded investigators to prepare for applying (i.e. “bridge funding”) to the Limited PCORI Funding Announcement: Dissemination and Implementation of PCORI Funded Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Results and Products in Real World Settings.

Step 3: Select the Funding Opportunity that Best Aligns with Your Proposed Project

Engagement Award: Accelerating the Adoption of Tools and Resources provides support for projects that give organizations and community groups the opportunity to scale up or adopt meaningful engagement tools and processes with more communities, stakeholders and patients with the intent to further build capacity/skills for PCOR/CER.

Engagement Award: Community Convening Around Patient-Centered Outcomes Research provides funding to organizations and community groups to hold multistakeholder convenings that include patients, researchers, clinicians, purchasers, payers, health system leaders, and other stakeholders. These convenings will have a focus on, and commitment to, supporting collaboration around PCOR/CER.

Step 4: Apply for an Engagement Award

Applying for an Engagement Award is a two-stage process. A Letter of Inquiry must be submitted and an organization must be invited to submit a full application. Specific requirements and guidance to complete a successful LOI and subsequent full application are found in the full funding announcement, application guidelines, and application checklist.

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II. Eligibility

Applications may be submitted by any private or public-sector organization, including any non-profit or for-profit organization or any unit of local, state, or federal government. All US applicant organizations must be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Non-domestic components of organizations based in the United States and foreign organizations may apply, as long as there is demonstrable benefit to the US healthcare system, and US efforts in the area of patient-centered research can be clearly shown. Organizations may submit multiple applications for funding. Individuals are not permitted to apply.

Funding Priorities


This Engagement Award will provide funding to organizations and community groups to hold multistakeholder convenings that include patients, researchers, clinicians, purchasers, payers, health system leaders, and other stakeholders. These convenings will have a focus on, and commitment to, supporting collaboration around patient-centered outcomes research and clinical comparative effectiveness research (PCOR/CER).


PCORI seeks to fund convenings designed by organizations and communities that bring diverse stakeholders together to provide an opportunity for collaboration around an identified, unifying area or health topic of interest. These convenings should increase the involvement of communities underrepresented in PCOR/CER, taking into account the real-world circumstances or historical factors that may hinder communities typically not engaged in research. 

Submitting a Successful Application

Convening Priorities/Focuses

Proposed convenings may focus on any of the following:

  • Transferring knowledge about engagement methods and best practices to wider audiences
  • Sharing information about health condition- or population-specific areas in the PCORI-funded research portfolio (active or completed) to solicit feedback and suggestions for future research
  • Identifying studies of interest for dissemination and developing strategies for future targeted dissemination
  • Active dissemination of PCORI-funded research results to targeted end users to support the uptake of evidence
  • Fostering multistakeholder collaborations focused on PCOR/CER by developing partnerships for future engagement in PCOR/CER and/or exploring new opportunities for engagement, knowledge transfer, dissemination, and/or implementation 

Convening Themes

Convenings must have a central focus or theme that unifies stakeholders, examples of which are listed below:

  • Geography (e.g., state or regional focus, etc.)
  • Health condition (e.g., mental/behavioral health, reproductive and perinatal health, etc.)
  • Population (e.g., LGBTQ+, rural, veterans, etc.) 

Stakeholder Engagement

Convenings must include a diverse array of relevant community stakeholders who have a connection to, or expertise in, the focus area and PCOR/CER

Projects should include integrated multistakeholder leadership teams comprising, at minimum:

  • PCORI awardees and/or project partners who can share their work, talk about their engagement strategies, and speak to PCOR/CER broadly
  • Representatives from at least three different stakeholder groups 

It is expected that representatives of all stakeholder groups involved will be engaged throughout the duration of the project period including development of the proposal, planning the event, participating in the convening, evaluation, and dissemination.

Project Outputs

All convenings must produce at least one deliverable individually, or in partnership with others involved in the convening, that will move collaborators closer to participation in, or dissemination of, PCOR/CER. In addition, applicants are expected to develop and share a summary of the convening that will provide direction for future action. Finally, it is expected that sustainability plans will be developed to further the goals produced at the convening. Some examples of appropriate deliverables are listed below:

  • Roadmap or strategic plan for continuing to engage in/partner for PCOR/CER
  • Train-the-trainer resource development and diffusion plan with focus on sustainability
  • How-to guides/tip sheets/videos

Post Meeting: Project Evaluation and Sharing Findings

All proposals should contain a description and justification of the methods used to conduct the convening, as well as evaluation plans. PCORI will provide a set of standardized metrics for all awardees under this initiative (see PCORI Engagement Awards Reporting Tool). Any supplementary evaluation focused on knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer is allowable and encouraged.

It is expected that efforts to share convening learnings and deliverables will comprise all of the following dissemination-focused activities/considerations:

  1. Strategies to distribute the outcomes of the meeting as well as any outputs developed as a result of the meeting within and beyond the contract period
  2. Use of evidence-based methods for effective communication and uptake of findings
  3. Stakeholder involvement in sharing outcomes and outputs to their community through self-determined channels
  4. Academic and community-relevant network focus for these efforts

Examples of Project Ideas

  • A convening of a consortium of institutions proficient in the Engagement Studio method (or other engagement methods) to share their usage and adaptations and to train other institutions in the methodology. A mock engagement studio with actual participants from previously held engagement studies may be presented as part of the training. Deliverables produced include a report and any related resources (videos, tip sheets) on how they approached sharing and transferring knowledge about engagement methods to wider audiences, including methods for how knowledge transfer is evaluated with participants.
  • A convening of engagement coordinators on funded projects focused on preparing under-represented communities to participate as partners in research. A coordinator of engagement activities for several funded studies focused on Latino health convenes a meeting with other engagement coordinators and their stakeholder partners to train them to lead future engagement efforts. Deliverables produced include proceedings and next steps (a road map), a facilitation guide for holding this type of discussion, recruitment/outreach guidance for gathering this type of group, train-the-trainer resources for replication in other stakeholder communities, and reflections on what went well/how this could be done better.
  • A convening of a group that specializes in engaging LGBTQA+ communities around health and research to plan for the dissemination of study results of interest. Invited are PCORI-funded researchers and stakeholder partners, plus professional societies and payers.  Deliverables produced include the topic/study prioritization process, presentation materials and activity guides for dissemination sessions(s), and train-the-trainer resources for replication in other stakeholder communities.
  • A convening of patients, clinicians, and regional representatives of medical societies and payer organizations located in a region or state to review findings from PCORI-funded studies and identify channels to promote dissemination and uptake. Three regional meetings with different local leaders are held within the area. Deliverables produced include the topic/study prioritization process, presentation materials and activity guides for dissemination sessions(s), and train-the-trainer resources for replication in other geographic regions.

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III. Review Process

Letters of Inquiry (LOI) should be submitted by the application deadlines. Full proposal submissions are by invitation only, after review and approval of the LOI. Letters of Inquiry will be screened for responsiveness to the call for applications and fit to program goals. Only those selected will be permitted to submit full applications. LOIs will be reviewed within 40 days of submission. A full proposal, submitted upon invitation only, should be submitted within 40 days of receiving the invitation. PCORI may request additional information from the applicant after the initial review of the full proposal. PCORI aims to provide a final decision on the full proposal, via e-mail, within 90 days of receipt. If the full proposal is awarded, a PCORI staff member will coordinate arrangements to begin contracting negotiations. Typically contracts negotiations take about eight weeks.

To select high-quality patient-centered projects, PCORI’s Engagement and Contract Management and Administration teams, and internal and external subject matter experts (as necessary) will review all Letters of Inquiry (LOI) and applications.

Review Criteria:

  1. Program Fit
  2. Project Plan and Timeline
  3. Qualifications of the Project Lead
  4. Personnel and Collaborators
  5. Past Performance
  6. Budget/Cost Proposal

For additional details on the review process click here.

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IV. Applicant Templates

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​V. Applicant Resources


Web Resources:

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​VI. Questions?

If you have any additional questions, please contact PCORI at [email protected] or (202) 370-9312. PCORI will provide a response within three business days.

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