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The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) plans to award $20.5 million in fiscal year 2018 as part of the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards. 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.
This new Engagement Award will give organizations and communities the opportunity to propose meaningful dissemination projects aimed at spreading awareness and increasing knowledge of new evidence from PCORI-funded research, targeted directly to patients, clinicians, and others who can use this information to inform healthcare decisions.
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 increase patient engagement in health care or health care systems rather than health care research
- Projects to design or test health care interventions
- Activities that involve the use of a drug or medical device
- Development of clinical practice guidelines or care protocols
- Projects to recruit and enroll patients for clinical trials
- Projects that only involve patients as subjects (individuals enrolled into a study as participants)
- Research studies including randomized controlled trials, observational studies and pragmatic clinical studies
- Development or maintenance of a registry, or recruitment to participate in a registry
- Projects designed solely to validate tools or instruments
- Writing research proposals or completing grant applications, grantmaking
- Projects focused on social determinants of health, with no focus on patient-centered outcomes research, or comparative clinical effectiveness research
- Planning for dissemination or dissemination initiatives without including PCORI-funded research or related products
- Conferences that are scheduled to occur less than 6 months from the application due date
- Projects or meetings without a clear focus on patient-centered outcomes research, or comparative clinical effectiveness research
Step 3: Select the Funding Opportunity that Best Aligns with Your Proposed Project
Engagement Award: Dissemination Initiative for organizations and communities to actively disseminate PCORI-funded research findings.
Engagement Award: Capacity Building projects to build a community of individuals and organizations better able to participate in PCOR/CER, and/or develop infrastructure and partnerships to disseminate PCORI-funded research results.
Engagement Award: Conference Support for meetings to explore issues related to PCOR/CER, or communicate PCORI-funded research results to targeted end-user audiences.
Step 4: Apply for an Engagement Award
Applying for an Engagement Award is a two-stage process. A Letter of Intent 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. Please note that the Engagement Award: Conference Support has a separate application process and that funding announcement is available here.
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.
The dissemination of research findings to targeted end users is an important part of promoting the uptake of these findings. In many cases, the role of a “trusted source” in raising awareness of new evidence or placing it in an appropriate context is critical to enabling the incorporation of this evidence into practice.
Through this award, PCORI seeks to fund projects designed by organizations and communities with established relationships with end users to disseminate the findings from PCORI-funded studies - on their own or as part of the body of existing evidence relevant to the PCORI-funded research findings. For the purposes of this award, we define dissemination as the intentional, active process of identifying target audiences and tailoring communication strategies to increase awareness and understanding of evidence and to motivate its use in policy, practice, and individual choices1.
Award funds are intended to allow organizations and communities to bring relevant findings to users in ways that will command their attention and interest, encouraging incorporation of this information in decision making. Successful applications will address:
- Why the end users proposed as the target for dissemination are important for PCORI to reach
- The organization’s relationship to the targeted end users, and its experience and track record in bringing evidence to them
- Which findings will be disseminated, and why the findings are relevant to the specific end users proposed as the target for dissemination
- The potential impact of uptake of these findings by the targeted end users
- The specific strategies proposed for dissemination to these end users, and justification of the choice of strategies
- The reach of the proposed strategies (i.e., the number of people in each targeted group whose awareness and knowledge of the evidence disseminated will be meaningfully increased)
- Evaluation metrics for assessing the success of the dissemination strategies
Strategies proposed for disseminating PCORI results will vary based on the results being disseminated, the groups identified as key users of the information, and the goals of the dissemination effort. Systematic reviews of research on dissemination have outlined a range of dissemination approaches that accomplish these goals (McCormack et al., 2013). These include strategies to:
- Increase the reach of evidence. These strategies purposefully distribute evidence to different targeted audiences and settings to increase the reach of information using different communication channels, such as mail, email, phone, text message, TV, radio, print, social media, webinar, and mobile apps.
- Increase people’s motivation to use and apply evidence. These strategies focus on increasing interest in the evidence among targeted audiences and within targeted settings, using local champions, community leaders or groups, thought leaders or groups, or experts to actively endorse or promote the evidence being disseminated.
- Increase people’s ability to use and apply evidence. These strategies enhance people’s ability to understand, use, and apply evidence, generally providing additional resources (how-to materials, training, etc.) relevant to the evidence.
These types of strategies may be used together—in combination or in sequence—to increase the reach of evidence, and motivate and facilitate its use. Successful applicants will draw on these approaches, as well as on their own experience and creativity, in proposing dissemination strategies most likely to be successful with their target audience. Equal consideration will be given to novel approaches—such as contests and challenges promoting awareness—if relevant for a particular target audience and accompanied by a sound rationale.
This funding opportunity is intended to support the active dissemination of findings; PCORI will not support projects that propose passive, untailored, and untargeted dissemination strategies, such as untargeted mass mailing, publication of study findings, and untargeted presentations to heterogeneous groups.
The development of messages or materials to be disseminated—including evidence summaries, print materials, and modules—may be an essential part of an Engagement Award dissemination project. These activities may be supported under this mechanism. However, the primary purpose of dissemination efforts must be to accomplish an increase in knowledge and awareness among a substantial group of targeted end users—not simply create materials that could be used for this purpose. As such, materials development should not be the main focus of proposed projects, nor should they command the primary use or allocation of personnel, time, effort, or budget.
Targets for Dissemination
Targeted end users are those who will ultimately use the findings from research to inform their health or healthcare decisions. For example, patients may use information to decide on a treatment; community members may use evidence to decide on wellness approaches; clinicians may use research findings to update their recommendations or discussions with patients; or clinic administrators may use evidence to choose among peer-support programs.
Dissemination projects should target end users directly, although the focus of the dissemination activity may be on an intermediary. For example, training of providers who will communicate information to patients is within the scope of a dissemination activity.
Evidence Available for Dissemination
The following PCORI-funded research evidence sources may serve as the basis for dissemination activities under this award:
- PCORI-funded Primary Research Results. These are articles published in peer-reviewed research journals that are based on work done by PCORI-funded projects.
- PCORI-funded Systematic Reviews and Systematic Review Updates. These compilations provide answers to specific clinical questions by analyzing published and unpublished results from all relevant studies on a given topic.
- PCORI Evidence Updates. These briefs highlight some of the important research findings from PCORI-funded projects in a plain-language format for patients and other stakeholders.
- PCORI CME/CE. These continuing medical education/continuing education activities contain information that support healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers, and other stakeholders in putting key findings from PCORI-funded projects into practice.
- Applicants must identify the specific PCORI-funded research evidence that will be the focus of the dissemination initiative in the LOI and application.
- All evidence that is the focus of a dissemination initiative must have been published (primary research results) or posted on PCORI’s website (the other sources) by the LOI receipt date.
At a minimum, evaluation plans should document the reach (in absolute numbers) of their dissemination effort among the targeted end users and settings. Depending on the project, it will also be appropriate to document dissemination success, such as increases in knowledge or awareness of evidence among the target population. Dissemination projects aiming to increase motivation, use, and application of evidence should propose appropriate evaluation strategies for understanding the extent to which these goals were accomplished, using validated measures where available in, for example, pre- and post-tests, surveys, or interviews.
Augmenting Existing Initiatives
In anticipation of the arrival of findings from PCORI-funded studies, the Engagement Award program has been funding projects to build a community of individuals and organizations better able to participate in PCOR/CER, and/or develop infrastructure and partnerships to disseminate PCORI-funded research results. The focus has been on laying the groundwork for the active dissemination of PCORI-funded research studies. While the Engagement Awards will continue to offer the opportunity for organizations to build capacity for dissemination, this proposed initiative will provide funding for communities and organizations to actively disseminate PCORI-funded published findings and products.
The proposed Dissemination Initiative Engagement Award complements a body of activity occurring within PCORI’s Dissemination and Implementation (D&I) program. The focus of D&I program initiatives has been to promote the sustainable integration of evidence generated from PCORI research investments in practical decision-making settings (i.e., the uptake and implementation of these findings in practice). The D&I program also supports initial steps in targeted dissemination, through PCORI-initiated continuing education activities and evidence updates to promote awareness of selected findings. The Dissemination Initiative Engagement Award offers a broader, stakeholder-initiated opportunity for dissemination of an increasing number of findings, one that will draw on the experience and expertise of organizations and communities in reaching specific end users of information and in capitalizing on a history of trust.
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. Full proposals will be reviewed within 40 days of submission. If the full proposal is awarded, a PCORI staff member will coordinate arrangements to begin contracting negotiations. Typically contracts negotiations take about six 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.
Letters of Inquiry will be reviewed using the criteria below:
- Program Fit
- Project Plan and Timeline
- Qualifications of the Project Lead
- Personnel and Collaborators
- Past Performance
- Budget/Cost Proposal
For additional details on the review process click here.
- Biosketch Template
- Board of Directors Template
- Budget Justification Template
- Budget Template
- Organizational Summary Worksheet Workplan Template
- Project Deliverables/Milestones Template
- Project Workplan and Timeline
- Application Checklist
- Application Guidelines
- Engagement Award LOI Questions (Please note: this is only for the Engagement Award: Dissemination Initiative LOI)
- PCORI Online: Pre-award User Guides
- Applicant FAQs
- Review Process
- Blog Post: Refreshing the Engagement Awards Program
- Funded Projects Portfolio: Engagement in Research
- Webinar: Program Updates and Information for Applicants
- Presentation Slides: Program Updates and Information for Applicants
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.