Table of Contents

I. General Requirements
II. Stakeholder Convening Support
III. Project Evaluation
IV. Review Process
V. How To Apply
VI. Applicant Resources
VII. Questions

Submit a Letter of Intent (LOI)

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) plans to award up to $25 million in fiscal year 2022 as part of the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards. These awards are for research support projects. This program does not fund research studies.

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

The Engagement Awards program is now accepting Letters of Intent (LOIs) for the Engagement Award: Stakeholder Convening Support funding opportunity. This opportunity aims to support projects that include multi-stakeholder convenings, meetings, and conferences that align with PCORI’s mission and facilitate expansion of PCOR/CER through collaboration around such efforts.

PCORI strongly encourages applicants to acquaint themselves with PCORI’s definition of PCOR/CER prior to submitting an application to the Engagement Awards. All proposed projects under this opportunity must facilitate expansion of PCOR and CER through the project activities.

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PCORI 2022 and Beyond: Opportunities for Funding and Involvement in Patient-Centered Research: February 2, 2022, 1-1:30pm ET

Applicants may propose projects for up to one year in duration and up to $100,000 in total costs.

  • For the April 2022 Engagement Awards funding cycle, the contract start date should be planned for no earlier than December 1, 2022, and no later than May 1, 2023.

Within this announcement, we express three special areas of interest: (1) consideration of the full range of outcomes data, (2) intellectual and developmental disabilities, and (3) maternal morbidity and mortality. Please see below for further detail.

PCORI reminds prospective applicants that special areas of interest exist to encourage submissions on a topic, not to limit submissions to that topic only. PCORI welcomes Engagement Award: Stakeholder Convening Support LOIs for convenings on all topics with a clear focus on and commitment to PCOR/CER that fall within the guidelines of the program.

Key Information for the Engagement Awards April 2022 Funding Cycle:

  • At this time, PCORI strongly discourages all in-person convening activities, and encourages applicants to consider alternative plans for any in-person convening activities within applications for future awards. More information on application requirements can be found in the Submitting a Successful Application section of this PFA. Additionally, please consult PCORI’s Applicant and Awardee FAQs Related to COVID-19 to ensure your proposed project adheres to PCORI’s guidance related to applicant pre-award concerns.
  • PCORI is aware that there is an evolving context around the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to working with awardees to adapt projects and processes to the evolving context during this time so that deliverables are implemented fully as per the executed contract.
  • As in previous cycles, applicants should keep personnel costs below 50 percent of the total project budget. In this funding cycle, additional guidance for project budget development is included in the Submitting a Successful Application section of this PFA.

Key Dates

Online System Opens:
Letter of Intent Deadline:
Earliest Start Date:

Funds and Project Period

Total Costs

Award total costs may not exceed $100,000 (Direct + Indirect Costs)

Maximum Project Period

1 year

A promo image for the Building Effective Multi-Stakeholder Research Teams resource showing a group of people of different ethnicities seated at a table for a discussion.

I. General Requirements for Engagement Awards

This section includes language that is specific to PCORI’s requirements for programmatic responsiveness under this funding announcement. Applicants should use this section as guidance when preparing their LOIs and full proposals. For information related to administrative and technical requirements for LOI and full proposal submission, please consult the Engagement Award Submission Instructions.

Engagement Award Priorities

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 the PCOR/CER process from topic generation to dissemination and implementation of results. We are committed to using and widely sharing this information. Please see the PCORI Engagement Tool and Resource Repository for examples of what this can look like.

Responsiveness Review

PCORI conducts rigorous review of the LOI and proposals it receives. Note that PCORI may withdraw LOIs/proposals from the review process for administrative or programmatic reasons (e.g., nonresponsiveness). An LOI/proposal may be administratively withdrawn if it is incomplete, submitted past the stated due date and time, or does not meet the formatting criteria outlined in the Engagement Award Submission Instructions, in the PCORI templates, and in PCORI Online. An LOI/proposal may be withdrawn for programmatic nonresponsiveness if it does not address the specifications described in this PFA, includes a formal cost-effectiveness analysis of alternative approaches to providing care, or otherwise does not meet PCORI programmatic requirements.

Categories of Nonresponsiveness

Applications will be considered nonresponsive for an Engagement Award if they propose:

  • Projects or meetings without a clear focus on patient-centered outcomes research/comparative clinical effectiveness research (PCOR/CER)
  • Projects designed to support engagement in research that do not specifically involve patient-centered outcomes research/comparative clinical effectiveness research (PCOR/CER)
  • Projects solely intended to increase patient engagement in healthcare or healthcare systems rather than healthcare research
  • Projects to design or test healthcare interventions
  • Activities that involve the use of a drug or medical device
  • Development of clinical practice guidelines, care protocols, or decision support tools
  • Development of coverage, payment, or policy recommendations or guidelines
  • Projects related to quality measures, quality improvement, or engagement around quality measures
  • 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 not created through a PCORI-funded project
  • Writing research proposals or completing grant applications, grantmaking
  • Projects focused solely on social determinants of health, with no focus on patient-centered outcomes research/comparative clinical effectiveness research (PCOR/CER)
  • Planning for dissemination or dissemination initiatives without including PCORI-funded research or PCORI-funded related research products
  • Implementation of PCORI findings in a clinical practice setting (PCORI funds dedicated implementation efforts through the Limited PCORI Funding Announcement: Implementation of PCORI-Funded Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Results.)
  • Engaging in any activities that are for the purpose of directly or indirectly influencing any federal, state, or local laws, regulations, judicial decisions, or the like including, preparation or planning activities, research, and other background work related to or in contemplation of lobbying activities
  • Organization or establishment of an independent corporation (nonprofit or for-profit), limited liability company, partnership, or other legal entity.

Avoiding Redundancy

PCORI encourages potential applicants to review funded Engagement Award projects at pcori.org. We intend to balance our funded portfolio to achieve synergy and avoid redundancy where possible.

Required Education of Key Personnel on the Protection of Human Subject Participants

PCORI requires that all applicants adhere to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy on education in the protection of human subject participants. This applies to all individuals listed as key personnel in the application. The policy and frequently asked questions (FAQs) are available on the NIH website.

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information

PCORI-funded activities are expected to comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations of any applicable jurisdiction governing the privacy and security of health information, including, if applicable, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and its implementing regulations. Resources and tools to learn more about specific requirements may be available through federal or state sources, and PCORI encourages institutions to consult such resources for more information as appropriate.

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II. Stakeholder Convening Support

The Engagement Awards program is now accepting LOIs for the Engagement Award: Stakeholder Convening Support, a research support funding opportunity, for projects up to one year in duration, and up to $100,000 in total costs. This program does not fund research studies.

  • For the April 2022 Engagement Awards funding cycle, the contract start date should be planned for no earlier than December 1, 2022, and no later than May 1, 2023.

Funding Priorities

Through this award, PCORI seeks to fund projects designed by organizations and communities to hold multi-stakeholder convenings, meetings, and conferences that include a combination of patients, caregivers, researchers, clinicians, purchasers, payers, health system leaders, and/or other stakeholders. PCORI is receptive to applications encompassing a wide range of research support project topics. These convenings must have a focus on, and commitment to, supporting collaboration around PCOR/CER. 

Convenings supported under this funding opportunity should be designed with the active collaboration and partnership of patients, community groups, and/or other stakeholder organizations. Projects should bring together diverse stakeholders around a central focus or shared priority that unifies stakeholders (e.g., geography, health condition, population) to explore issues related to PCOR/CER or communicate PCORI-funded research findings to targeted end-user audiences.

This funding opportunity is not intended to support the implementation of a capacity building initiative. (For capacity building initiatives, please see the Engagement Award: Capacity Building funding announcement.) Instead, the Stakeholder Convening Support opportunity is intended to fund one or more convenings with a focused agenda that facilitate conversations around PCOR/CER, share engagement methods, disseminate PCORI funded evidence, and/or plan for future PCOR/CER, as described in detail below.  

Potential Convening Focus Areas

All convenings, regardless of topic, should include one or more of the following priority or focus areas:

  • Facilitating Discussion Around Development of Research Topics, Questions, and Engagement Plans for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
    • Addresses issues of major importance in the field of PCOR/CER engagement or facilitates development of new approaches.
    • Explores or identifies potential topics for PCOR/CER with patients, caregivers, researchers, or other relevant stakeholders. Convening organizers must identify a clear audience for the topic identification exercise.
  • Sharing Engagement Methods and Fostering Partnerships
    • Transfers knowledge about effective and/or evidence-based engagement methods in PCOR/CER to wider audiences.
    • Fosters PCOR/CER-focused multi-stakeholder collaborations by developing partnerships for future engagement in PCOR/CER and/or exploring new opportunities for knowledge transfer, dissemination, and/or implementation.
  • Dissemination of Research Findings
    • Through a convening, communicates findings from PCORI-funded studies—on their own or as part of the body of existing evidence relevant to the PCORI-funded research findings—to a targeted, essential end-user audience. Convening organizers must address the proposed convening activities as part of an essential strategy for increasing the uptake of findings that have important potential impact on clinical practice, including the important role of the proposed target end-user audience.
    • Identifies studies of interest for dissemination and developing strategies for future targeted dissemination.
    • Promotes active dissemination of PCORI-funded research findings to targeted end users to support the uptake of evidence (See Convening Around Dissemination of Research Findings: Evidence Available section below).
    • Shares 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.
    • Unlike the dissemination opportunities offered under the Engagement Award: Dissemination Initiative funding announcement, these activities under the Engagement Award: Stakeholder Convening Support funding announcement are focused principally on a convening or series of convenings as the primary method for actively disseminating the research findings.

Patient and Stakeholder Involvement

A diverse array of relevant patient and community stakeholders who have a connection to, expertise in, or lived experience related to the focus area and PCOR/CER should attend the convenings, and projects should include integrated multi-stakeholder leadership and planning teams.

It is expected that representatives of 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. We also encourage applicants to identify PCORI awardees and/or project partners who can share the project and its results, as well as PCOR/CER and engagement strategies to further expand the network of stakeholders knowledgeable and equipped to participate in PCOR/CER efforts.

Letters of support from patient and/or stakeholder communities are strongly encouraged and may be submitted with the full proposal.

Project Outputs

All convenings must produce at least one deliverable that seeks to move collaborators closer to participation in and/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 and objectives developed through the convening. Some examples of appropriate deliverables are listed below:

  • Strategic plans and/or roadmaps for charting future directions and PCOR/CER priorities as related to the convening’s goals, objectives, and key findings
  • Stakeholder engagement approaches for continuing to actively engage in or partner around PCOR/CER beyond the project period
  • Summaries of research topic identification and/or prioritization processes, as well as research agendas
  • Dissemination strategies for research evidence and demonstrated success of proposed efforts

Examples of Project Ideas

Examples of projects of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • A convening of a consortium of institutions proficient in engagement methods to share their usage and adaptations and to train other institutions in the methodology. For example, institutions proficient in the engagement studio method may wish to hold a mock engagement studio with actual participants from previously held engagement studios 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. For example, a coordinator of engagement activities for several funded studies focused on Latinx 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 or how this could be done better.
  • A convening of a group that specializes in engaging LGBTQ+ communities around health and research to plan for the dissemination of study results of interest. PCORI-funded researchers and stakeholder partners are invited, plus professional societies and payers. Deliverables produced include the topic or study prioritization processpresentation materials, 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 or study prioritization processpresentation materials, activity guides for dissemination sessions(s), and train-the-trainer resources for replication in other geographic regions.

Projects may also include activities that support the adoption or expansion of existing engagement tools and resources whenever possible, rather than develop new products and tools. Projects may implement available tools, processes, or programs, alone or in combination, in a new population or geographic area—for example, a new network of clinicians, patient advocates, and academic researchers.

  • If this project is using a PCORI-funded engagement tool/resource, applicants should identify the existing engagement tool/resource that this project will be scaling or adopting by listing the: (a) Tool Name, (b) Project Title, (c) Project Lead Name, (d) URL to project page. Applicants will be required to secure a letter of support from the tool/resource originator should a full proposal be invited (see Submitting a Successful Application section for more information).
  • Applicants should identify and describe all tools/trainings/programs that will be used as part of the project, as well as share the evidence base for the resources that will be used.
  • Applicants may wish to consider utilizing PCORI’s Research Fundamentals, a free, on demand, comprehensive training that offers different ways to learn about the health research process and how to become involved in patient-centered outcomes research. Applicants do not need to submit a letter of support to use the Research Fundamentals training.
  • Applicants may wish to consider utilizing PCORI’s Building Effective Multi-Stakeholder Research Teams, a website that provides information and resources to help you succeed in conducting research in multi-stakeholder teams. It addresses two key areas – engaging stakeholders to become active members of the team and working together as a productive team. Applicants do not need to submit a letter of support to use the Building Effective Multi-Stakeholder Research Teams website.

We expect that projects selected for an Engagement Award will further PCORI’s goals of promoting the relevance of PCOR/CER to target audiences and the uptake of research results by end users. We are committed to using and sharing successful approaches.

The information and learnings generated by Engagement Award projects must be transferrable; they must be of interest or use not just to the applicant organizations but to others doing related work. The learnings and information will be made public so they can have a broader impact. Please see the PCORI Engagement Tool and Resource Repository for examples of what this can look like.

To discuss the funding announcement that best fits your project idea, please email [email protected]. We would be happy to schedule a program fit call with you.

Convening Around Dissemination of Research Findings: Evidence Available

The intent of convening around dissemination of research findings is to disseminate the results of PCORI-funded studies.

Prior to proposing evidence for dissemination under this funding opportunity, review the study details and findings closely for applicability, relevance, and potential impact of dissemination to your stakeholders. Consider what the key messages for dissemination are and be sure to include those in your application. Compatibility between the key messages from the study and the proposed project concept and population are a critical element of a successful application.

Only the following sources of PCORI-funded research findings may serve as the basis for convening around dissemination of research findings under this award. All evidence proposed from the sources below will be considered by reviewers in the context of the proposed project concept. Not all evidence proposed may be found acceptable by reviewers.

  • PCORI-funded Comparative Clinical Effectiveness Research (CER) Results. Papers published in a peer-reviewed journal resulting from PCORI-funded research studies that present primary comparative clinical effectiveness research results.
    • Note: This link goes to a pre-filtered list of published primary CER results. Only those publications already listed on the page with the “CER Results” filter in place are eligible. Please do not reset the filter on the results.
  • PCORI-funded Systematic Reviews and Systematic Review Updates. Evidence around specific clinical questions produced by analyzing published and unpublished results from all relevant studies on a given topic.
  • PCORI Evidence Updates. Briefs highlighting some of the important findings from PCORI-funded research studies in a plain-language format for patients and other stakeholders.

All eligible PCORI-funded research findings proposed for convening around dissemination of research findings must have been published in a peer-reviewed journal (primary CER results) or posted on PCORI’s website (systematic reviews and evidence updates) by the LOI submission deadline.

In the LOI and full proposal submissions, applicants who plan to convene around the dissemination of PCORI-funded CER results must identify:

  • The title of the eligible PCORI-funded CER results publication
  • The hyperlink to the publication on PCORI’s website
  • The name of the principal investigator (PI) on the related PCORI-funded project (this information can be found at the bottom of the publication page on PCORI’s website and the PI may not necessarily be the lead author on the publication).

In the LOI and full proposal submissions, applicants who plan to convene around the dissemination of PCORI-funded Systematic Reviews, Systematic Review Updates, or PCORI Evidence Updates must identify:

  • The title of the Systematic Review, Systematic Review Update, or Evidence Update
  • The hyperlink to the Systematic Review, Systematic Review Update, or Evidence Update on PCORI’s website.

Applicants who plan to convene around dissemination of research findings will be required to include as part of their full proposal (if invited) a letter of support demonstrating acknowledgment and/or support from the PIor another member of the original research team who played a significant roleof each PCORI-funded CER study whose published primary CER findings are being disseminated in the project (applicable for the dissemination of PCORI-funded CER results only).

Please contact the Engagement Award program at [email protected] for questions regarding evidence eligibility.

Related Opportunities

For applicants interested in projects to build capacity and skills for PCOR/CER on a larger scale and not centered around a convening, please see the Engagement Award: Capacity Building funding opportunity.

For applicants interested in projects focused on building capacity for disseminating and implementing PCORI-funded research findings, or actively disseminating PCORI-funded research findings, please see the Engagement Award: Dissemination Initiative funding opportunity.

To discuss the funding announcement that best fits your project idea, please email [email protected].

Special Area of Interest: Consideration of the Full Range of Outcomes Data

Please Note: PCORI reminds prospective applicants that special areas of interest exist to encourage submissions on a topic, not to limit submissions to that topic only. PCORI welcomes Engagement Award: Stakeholder Convening Support LOIs for convenings on all topics with a clear focus on and commitment to PCOR/CER that falls within the guidelines of the program.

PCORI’s authorizing law, as amended by the 2019 reauthorizing legislation, includes a provision requiring PCORI-funded research to consider, as appropriate, the full range of outcomes data, including potential burdens and economic impacts. Consistent with this mandate, PCORI has adopted Principles for the Consideration of the Full Range of Outcomes Data in PCORI-Funded Research (PCORI Principles). Thus, PCORI is particularly interested in applications under this funding announcement for convenings focused on defining appropriate and relevant burdens and economic impact data, identifying sources of data or gaps in data, and opportunities to advance the rigor and standards when conducting research that considers the full range of outcomes data, consistent with the PCORI Principles. Advancing the fundamental basis of data collection and methodology in this area is critical to ensuring that PCORI-funded research is appropriately considering the full range of outcomes data.

PCORI is seeking applications from organizations engaged in advancing patient-centered care, specifically as it relates to defining appropriate and relevant patient-centered burden and economic impact data and/or refining methodologies to capture and consider patient-centered perspectives and preferences in PCOR/CER. PCORI is particularly interested in applications from organizations seeking to build collaborations or partnerships with diverse stakeholders to advance consideration of patient-centered burdens and economic impacts in PCOR/CER and/or other healthcare decision making.

For organizations considering submitting an LOI for an Engagement Award: Stakeholder Convening Support focused on topics related to the full range of outcomes data, please review PCORI’s Principles for the Consideration of the Full Range of Outcomes Data in PCORI-Funded Research for additional context and implementation goals. More guidance on developing a responsive application is included on our Engagement Awards Special Area of Interest: Consideration of the Full Range of Outcomes Data webpage. We strongly encourage applicants for this special area of interest to consider requesting a program fit call while developing the LOI. Questions and requests for a program fit call may be directed to [email protected].

Special Area of Interest: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Please Note: PCORI reminds prospective applicants that special areas of interest exist to encourage submissions on a topic, not to limit submissions to that topic only. PCORI welcomes Engagement Award: Stakeholder Convening Support LOIs for convenings on all topics with a clear focus on and commitment to PCOR/CER that falls within the guidelines of the program.

PCORI’s reauthorizing legislation in 2019 included two new research priority areas, one of which centers on intellectual and developmental disabilities. This priority area provides more focused support for engaging diverse stakeholders and facilitating PCOR/CER, which are critical for understanding and addressing the needs of those impacted by issues related to this topic. Because of our national priorities, LOIs focused on intellectual and developmental disabilities are of particular interest to PCORI.

For organizations considering applying for an Engagement Award focused on topics related to intellectual and developmental disabilities, please review the information available on the Engagement Awards Special Area of Interest: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities webpage.

Special Area of Interest: Maternal Morbidity and Mortality

Please Note: PCORI reminds prospective applicants that special areas of interest exist to encourage submissions on a topic, not to limit submissions to that topic only. PCORI welcomes Engagement Award: Stakeholder Convening Support LOIs for convenings on all topics with a clear focus on and commitment to PCOR/CER that falls within the guidelines of the program.

PCORI’s reauthorizing legislation in 2019 included two new research priority areas, one of which centers on maternal mortality. This priority area provides more focused support for engaging diverse stakeholders and facilitating patient-centered outcomes research and comparative clinical effectiveness research (PCOR/CER), which are critical for understanding and addressing the needs of those impacted by issues related to this topic. Because of our national priorities, LOIs focused on maternal morbidity and mortality are of particular interest to PCORI.

For organizations considering applying for an Engagement Award focused on topics related to maternal morbidity and mortality, please review the information available on the Engagement Awards Special Area of Interest: Maternal Morbidity and Mortality webpage.

Submitting a Successful Application

Applicants must consider the following guidance:

  • At this time, PCORI strongly discourages all in-person convening activities, and encourages applicants to consider alternative plans for any in-person convening activities within applications for future awards. When submitting a full proposal, the Workplan and Budget Justification applicant templates must include a detailed contingency plan for activities and costs related to travel and in-person meetings should the COVID-19 pandemic interfere with travel-related activities. PCORI expects all applicants to implement the most stringent safety protocols as determined by all applicable public health authorities, state, and local guidelines.
    • Please consult PCORI’s Applicant and Awardee FAQs Related to COVID-19 to ensure your proposed project adheres to PCORI’s guidance related to applicant pre-award concerns.
    • PCORI is aware that there is an evolving context around the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to working with awardees to adapt projects and processes to the evolving context during this time so that deliverables are implemented fully as per the executed contract.
    • Successful contingency plans will consider different meeting structures, facilitation techniques, engagement strategies, and budgetary line items for both virtual and in-person convenings.
    • In response to the coronavirus pandemic, many awardees from the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award Program have pivoted from in-person engagement events to virtual settings. Awardees created videos to offer valuable lessons and insights with the greater PCORI community about successful ways to shift or implement virtual PCOR/CER engagement event. These videos are available here.
  • If using or adopting a PCORI-funded engagement tool or resource:
    • Include a description of the engagement tool(s) or resource(s) selected and justification for its continued and expanded use. Provide information about prior use or implementation of the tool(s) or resource(s), including any data on its effectiveness to build capacity for patient and stakeholder engagement in PCOR/CER.
    • Secure and provide approval to use and, if applicable, adopt tool(s) and resource(s) from the relevant copyright or other intellectual property rights owner of the tool(s) and/or resource(s) in the form of a written letter of support with the full proposal submission. This will typically be from the awardee institution of the original PCORI award (it is up to the applicant to determine from whom to receive such support). The relevant owner must grant the applicant rights to the engagement tool(s)/resource(s) sufficient to carry out the project.
      • The purpose of this letter to ensure that (1) an applicant will be able to fulfill the proposed project and avoid any roadblocks that may prevent fulfillment, and (2) past PCORI awardees are made aware that their tool/resource is being used in another PCORI project.
      • If an applicant is unable to secure such a letter of support or otherwise receive a preliminary license to the intellectual property, the applicant shall notify PCORI prior to the full proposal submission deadline with a determination as to whether (1) the proposed project must be modified to work without such rights, or (2) the proposed project must be abandoned.
      • All letters of support must be attached to the full proposal and submitted no later than the stated full proposal submission deadline.
      • Any revisions to the proposed project due to failure to secure a letter of support must be completed prior to the stated full proposal submission deadline.

To be considered responsive, applications must include:

  • A clear focus on facilitating expansion of patient-centered outcomes research/comparative clinical effectiveness research (PCOR/CER).
  • The following required milestones/deliverables:
    • Convening Date
      • This milestone should be entered with the date of the planned convening. Enter multiple milestones if the proposed project has multiple convenings planned.
    • Draft Meeting Materials
      • This deliverable should be submitted one to three months prior to the convening. Draft meeting materials may include agendas, participant lists, and presentations.
    • Final Meeting Materials
      • This deliverable should be submitted at the time of the convening or during the month after the convening. Final meeting materials may include agendas, participant lists, and presentations.
    • Lay Conference Summary
      • This deliverable is required to be submitted within 90 days after the convening. The applicant is required to provide a two- to three-page meeting summary report, written in lay terms, for posting on the PCORI website.
    • All convenings must also produce at least one deliverable that seeks to move collaborators closer to participation in and/or dissemination of PCOR/CER.
  • Intended impact of the proposed project.
  • Organization’s relationship to the population and pertinent context of the relationship.
  • 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 LOI development to dissemination of project results. Letters of support for the project and/or commitment to participate from patient and/or stakeholder communities are strongly encouraged and may be submitted with the full proposal.
  • A budget that reflects the time and contributions of all partners, including patients and stakeholders. Fair financial compensation demonstrates that patients, caregivers, and patient/caregiver organizations’ contributions to the project, including related commitments of time and effort, are valuable and valued. (See our Financial Compensation of Partners Framework and Budgeting for Engagement Activities for more information. Though these documents discuss compensation in research, the concepts are relevant for Engagement Award projects.) Budgets should account for all costs associated with proposed activities and note any in-kind support or external funding. Budgets should include any expenses for translation or interpretation services that may be required. Applicants should keep personnel costs (applicant
    organization/institution staff) below 50 percent of the total project budget. However, higher personnel costs may be considered with strong justification included in application documents.
  • Evaluation metrics for assessing the success of engagement strategies.
  • Plans for sustainability and next steps after the project period has ended. Future funding from PCORI should not be assumed. If the project does not lend itself to sustained activities after the project period concludes, provide justification.
  • If convening around active dissemination of research findings, include:
    • Only eligible evidence for dissemination as defined under the section “Convening Around Dissemination of Research Findings: Evidence Available” above.
    • At the time of full proposal submission, a letter of support demonstrating acknowledgment and/or support from the PI—or another member of the original research team who played a significant role—of each PCORI-funded CER study whose published primary CER findings are being disseminated in the project (applicable for the dissemination of CER study results only).
    • For proposed evidence for dissemination, a critical review of the study details and findings for applicability, relevance, and potential impact of dissemination to your stakeholders.
    • 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 intended impact of uptake of these findings by the targeted end users.
    • The key messages and 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).
      • Reach should be contextualized as best as possible so that the overall impact is clear to reviewers.
    • Evaluation metrics for assessing the success of the active dissemination strategies.

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III. Post Meeting: Project Evaluation and Sharing Findings

All proposed projects should detail a description and justification of the methods used to conduct the convening, as well as evaluation plans. PCORI offers a set of standardized metrics for all awardees under this initiative to consider for inclusion in their project plans (see Evaluation Reporting Tool). Supplementary evaluation focused on knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer is allowable and encouraged.

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

  • 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
  • Use of evidence-based methods for effective communication and uptake of findings
  • Patient and stakeholder involvement in sharing outcomes and outputs to their community through self-determined channels
  • Academic and community-relevant network focus for these efforts

Applicants must include a completed Evaluation Reporting Tool as a deliverable at the end of the project period. The Evaluation Reporting Tool provides a template to collect information about Engagement Awards that can help with evaluation of our portfolio, as well as evaluation of individual projects. This reporting tool should be taken into consideration during proposal development and uploaded at the end of the project period as a final deliverable. Awardees may use a different evaluation framework if there is one more aligned with their project proposal, subject to PCORI approval. Applicants adopting such an approach must identify the proposed alternate evaluation framework in their application.

The goal of this reporting tool is to ensure a standard set of reported information for Engagement Awards. Given the difficulty in applying metrics and a standard set of indicators around engagement best practices, this tool provides a baseline of outcomes to report on in Engagement Award projects.

At a minimum, evaluation plans should document the reach (in absolute numbers) of the engagement effort among the relevant stakeholders and settings.

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IV. Review Process

Letters of Intent (LOI) must be submitted by the stated deadline. LOIs will be screened for responsiveness to the call for applications and fit to program goals. PCORI will review LOIs within 60 calendar days of submission.

Full proposal submissions are by invitation only, after review and approval of the LOI, and must be submitted by the stated deadline. PCORI may request additional information from the applicant after the initial review of the full proposal. PCORI aims to provide a final programmatic approval decision on the full proposal, via email, within 90 calendar days of the submission deadline. If the full proposal is programmatically approved, a PCORI staff member will coordinate arrangements to begin budgetary review and contracting negotiations. Typically, contract negotiations take about six-to-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 LOIs and full proposals.

Review Criteria:

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

For additional details on the review process, click here.

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V. How To Apply

  1. Read the full funding announcement.
  2. Follow the process outlined in the Submission Instructions
  3. Submit a Letter of Intent.
  4. Submit a Full Proposal (if invited)

Submit an LOI

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VI. Applicant Resources

April 2022 Cycle Resources

Preparing Your LOI

Preparing Your Full Proposal

Required Full Proposal Templates

Additional Applicant Resources

VII. Questions?

If you have any additional questions or would like to schedule a program fit call, please contact PCORI at [email protected] or (202) 370-9312. PCORI will respond within three business days.

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Research Fundamentals: Preparing You to Successfully Contribute to Research (A free on-demand training package on PCORI.org)

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