The purpose of the Pipeline to Proposals Initiative is to cultivate the development of proposals with sound scientific rigor and robust patient engagement. PCORI expects the Pipeline to Proposals project will help individuals form new collaborations that can produce meaningful research proposals. The emphasis in all three funding tiers is to actively integrate patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders as members of the patient-centered outcomes research/comparative effectiveness research (PCOR/CER) process. In the Independent Tier III, applicants must be research partnership teams who have identified a comparative effectiveness research question and would benefit from increasing their partnership to craft a CER proposal.

For Independent Tier III, the specific CER question must be specified at the point of applying for Independent Tier III – Proposal Development Projects: Up to $50,000 for up to Nine-Month Project Term.

  • Independent Tier III awards are not research awards.
  • Independent Tier III awards are targeted at those applicants who are not appropriate for the standard progression through established the pipeline. Instead, because they have an already identified their partners and have a CER research question, they can enter the “pipeline” farther along the continuum.
  • Independent Tier III awards will go to well-established partnerships, including at least one patient and one researcher. The researcher should have a track record of successful research and have already identified a research question.
  • Independent Tier III awards will give partnerships, which are “almost there,” the opportunity to receive training, as needed, on patient engagement and research methodology.
  • Teams that have previously submitted proposals for PCORI research funding and received recommendations to strengthen their engagement plans are encouraged to apply for an Independent Tier III award.

Pipeline to Proposal Awards are for capacity building, community engagement, formation of partnerships, and other preparations to lay the groundwork for a later research proposal. The activities taking place might include workshops, roundtables, conferences, meetings, and other information-sharing tasks.

Activities should NOT include:

  • Conducting a small research study
  • Conducting a pilot study
  • Conducting a formal evaluation of a program, tool or intervention
  • Validating a program, tool or intervention
  • Gathering pilot data
  • Activities requiring IRB approval or the informed consent of participants

Many applicants have been denied funding because they proposed to carry out activities that do not fit within the parameters of the Pipeline to Proposal program.

Examples of the types of activities that are NOT fundable through the Pipeline to Proposals are:

  • Implementation or measurement of care delivery interventions
  • Pilot projects
  • Product or app development or improvement
  • Recruitment for clinical trials
  • Raising awareness for a given disease or health issue
  • Standalone conferences or training activities that are not related to a broader effort to form a partnership and later build a PCOR proposal

While Pipeline to Proposal Awards do not fund research, successful awardees should ensure that their area of focus—the idea that they will eventually build a PCOR proposal around—does not fall outside of PCORI’s research funding programs.

  • Cost effectiveness
  • Efficacy (Studies that ask “Does this work?” rather than “Which of these options works better?”)
  • Causes of disease or descriptive studies
  • Social determinants of health
  • Development of clinical practice guidelines

Learn more: Pipeline to Proposal Awards Initiative.

PCORI Blog: New Pipeline to Proposal Funding Opportunity Available to Research Partnerships

The application acceptance period for Pipeline to Proposal Awards Independent Tier III is now closed.