How does a PCORI contract award differ from other types? 

PCORI funds research projects through contracts, rather than grants. The contracts are milestones- and deliverables-driven.

Is PCORI a federal agency? What is PCORI’s Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)? 

No, PCORI is not a federal agency. PCORI is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010. Since PCORI is not a federal agency, it does not have a CFDA. 

What are my responsibilities as Principal Investigator (PI) of a contract award? 

A PI is expected to be his/her institution’s primary contact person throughout the lifecycle of the contract award. To ensure staying on target and within budget, a PI must: 

  • Serve as the project lead in charge of research integrity. 
  • Manage the research project while ensuring compliant and efficient progress. 
  • Review and approve all activities and work completed by assigned project staff, consultants and subcontractors on the project. 
  • Submit expenses according to contracted milestones and the approved budget. 
  • Submit all required reports related to project performance in a timely manner. 

What are PCORI’s sources of funding? 

The only source of PCORI funding is the PCOR Trust Fund (PCORTF). There are two contributory sources to the PCORTF, none of which is considered agency-specific appropriation dollars:   

  • The Treasury’s General Fund, which contains some federal appropriations that are not tied to a specific agency. 
  • The PCOR Fee. – A portion of the PCOR fee assessed on private health insurance plans and self-insured plans also supplements the PCORTF. 

What terms and conditions must an awardee receiving PCORI funding follow? 

Awardees must follow the terms and conditions in the contract award. Awardees are expected to observe their institution’s applicable rules, regulations and requirements for their institution’s type and previously established administrative policies and procedures (e.g., each organization will follow their applicable Office of Management and Budget Circulars and Federal Acquisition Regulation). However, and to the extent permissible by law, PCORI terms and conditions are not subject to change. 

How do you update authorized users? 

Please remember that each project can have the following authorized users: 

  • PI. 
  • Administrative official (AO). 
  • Financial officer. 
  • Contract manager. 
  • Up to two PI-designees. 

These users have view and edit access to an application/contract through PCORI Online. Refer to the User Access Cheat Sheet for descriptions of each authorized user. 

How to update your project’s authorized users: 

  1. All users must set up their own accounts in PCORI Online. 
  1. It is PCORI’s policy to have the PI or the currently listed AO submit the authorized user request. 

The PI/AO must complete this form and attach it to their email.  

Important Notes: 

  • Any requests for access that are not submitted directly to PCORI by the AO or PI will be denied. 
  • Dual PIs affiliated with institutions other than the awardee may be granted authorized user access as a PI designee 1 or 2 if permitted by the awardee institution. Any requests for such authorized user access must be submitted to PCORI by the AO. Any other requests to grant access to a non-affiliated dual PI will be denied. No other non-affiliated users will be allowed. 
  • If a change in PI is being requested, PCORI must be consulted in advance. 

When are reports due? 

Due dates are specified in the milestone schedule of the fully executed contract, as well as the reporting section. As stipulated in the contract, PCORI reserves the right to change the frequency in which it asks for reports from the prime recipient. 

Are funds in PCORI contract awards considered federal funds? 

No; PCORI is not a federal agency. PCORI is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010. 

Is an awardee receiving PCORI funding subject to federal audit requirements in relation to that particular PCORI award? 

The awardee, at its own discretion, may choose to include a PCORI award in the Uniform Guidance Single Audit or other audit testing. Nevertheless, PCORI awards are not required to be included in the Single Audit testing. 

Is PCORI subject to the Uniform Guidance Single Audit, Subpart F? 

No. PCORI, and its awards, are not subject the Uniform Guidance. However, PCORI does contract an outside firm to conduct annual, independent financial audits of its records. PCORI also receives programmatic and financial oversight through the Government Accountability Office. 

Whom do I contact with questions about my award? 

Please refer to the contract terms and conditions for contact details. 

What should I do if I want to make changes to my project? 

Ongoing discussions regarding the rate of progress, obstacles, challenges etc., should be held with your PCORI program officer throughout the period of the project. If the changes are mutually agreeable and enhance the overall research initiative, then your PCORI Program Officer will contact the Contracts Management and Administration office to consult on the needed documentation, budgets, scope changes and justification. 

Proposed changes to the project may require prior PCORI approval. Please see the administrative requirements section of your contract for complete details for required prior approvals. All documentation should be submitted to the PCORI Contracts Management and Administration department as soon as possible to process the request. All requests must be submitted on formal letterhead and submitted by the institution’s AO. Funded recipients should not implement any proposed project changes before receiving PCORI approval. 


Posted: November 9, 2023

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