With this PCORI Funding Announcement (PFA), PCORI aims to fund studies that address high-priority methodological gaps in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and clinical comparative effectiveness research (CER).

PCORI seeks to fund projects that address important methodological gaps and lead to improvements in the strength and quality of evidence generated by PCOR/CER studies.

For the Cycle 2 2021 Methods PFA, PCORI has identified the following areas as programmatic priorities:

  • Methods to Improve the Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) in Clinical Research
  • Methods to Improve Study Design
  • Methods to Support Data Research Networks
  • Methods Related to Ethical and Human Subjects Protections Issues in PCOR/CER

The programmatic priority for artificial intelligence and machine learning replaced the priority for "Methods to Improve the Use of Natural Language Processing (NLP)" as of Cycle 3 2020. This change signals PCORI’s broader interest in funding methodological research that seeks to improve how massive amounts of data from a variety of sources can be: (1) appropriately analyzed and integrated into clinical care and health care delivery systems, and (2) facilitate population health models and social determinants of health analyses. Proposals should address mechanisms seeking to improve equitable, inclusive data collection and aggregation. NLP-related proposals will still be considered.

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Key Dates

Online System Opens
January 5, 2021, 12:00 AM
Letter of Intent Deadline
June 1, 2021, 12:00 AM
Application Deadline
August 31, 2021, 12:00 AM

Funds and Project Period

Funds Available Up To

$12 million

Total Direct Costs


Maximum Project Period

3 years


Award Types