Where do I find the correct Letter of Intent (LOI) Template? 

Download the PCORI Funding Announcement (PFA)-specific LOI Template from the PCORI Funding Opportunities page. All PFAs have their own PFA-specific LOI Template. 

Do I need to include the names of all key personnel in the LOI? 

No, you are not required to list all key personnel at the LOI stage. However, we encourage you to provide detailed information within your LOI on your team’s experience and ability to conduct the research that you are proposing. Personnel information may be updated when the full application is submitted. 

Can multiple individuals from an applying organization access the LOI? 

Yes. The principal investigator (PI) may assign up to two PI Designees to access and edit the LOI. Only one person may work on the application in PCORI Online at a time. 

Can the PI listed in the final application differ from the PI listed in the LOI? 

Changes in the PI or institution between the LOI and application phase require prior approval from PCORI’s Program staff prior to submitting the full application. Submit the request to [email protected] and include a rationale for the change, letter of support from the intended PI and a CV or biosketch for the replacement PI. Failure to obtain written approval prior to the deadline may result in the application being rejected.

Can the PI submit the LOI via his or her account in PCORI Online, or does the LOI need to be submitted by the institutional administrative official? 

The PI should submit the LOI for the project, as the PI will be serving as our main point of contact. However, a PI Designee may also submit the LOI. An administrative official is required to submit the full application. 

Can the research proposed in an application differ from the research initially described in the LOI? 

PIs should not make any major changes – such as research question(s), study design, specific aims, comparators, institution or PI – to their application. LOIs go through a competitive process and PIs are invited to apply based on the information provided. If you need to change any of this information, you must have prior written approval from PCORI. If you have any questions, email [email protected]

Do I need to submit biosketches with my LOI? 

No. Do not submit any supporting documents with your LOI. Biosketches are required only as part of full applications. 

Do you expect partnerships to be established by the time of LOI submission? 

In general, it is not required, but there may be PFA-specific requirements where it might be required. Applicants should not submit Letters of Support or supporting documentation at the time of LOI submission. However, the LOI should include information about the types of partnerships that the applicants will be seeking, names of the organizations that have committed to participating and the stage of contact with other potential partnering organizations.  

How are applicants notified after a Letter of Intent (LOI) is submitted? 

Applicants will receive a confirmation email once the LOI is successfully submitted via PCORI Online. PCORI staff screens LOIs for programmatic fit and administrative noncompliance. Approximately five weeks after the LOI deadline, PCORI will notify applicants via email whether or not they have been invited to submit an application. PCORI encourages prospective applicants to contact us if they have any questions prior to the deadline. 

Additionally, one-time funding announcements may have special guidelines regarding LOI submission and screening. Applicants should carefully read the related PFA to learn about and follow all guidelines. 

How many pages are required for the LOI submission? Can a PI add additional information? 

The LOI submission length is determined by your PFA. Please determine the length of your LOI based on the LOI template provided for your PFA. PIs should follow the instructions on the LOI template carefully to understand what information is required and how to best provide information required in the pages allotted. Please view the Submission Instructions for your PFA. 

How soon after I submit my LOI can I begin my application? 

Applicants will be notified approximately four weeks after submission of the LOI if they are invited to submit a full application. Applicants who are invited to submit an application can begin the application process immediately. 

How will LOIs be evaluated? 

LOIs will be reviewed by PCORI program staff for responsiveness to this PFA and fit to program goals. Letters will be evaluated based on responses to all items listed in the LOI Template, including whether the proposed topic addresses the priority research question identified in the funding announcement; importance of the specific research question; study design, including having an appropriate, well justified sample size; and prior relevant research experience. The LOI must also comply with requirements in this funding announcement and adherence to the administrative and formatting requirements listed in the Submission Instructions, specifically the page limit (excluding references) for the LOI. Prospective applicants who submitted LOIs to this funding announcement will be notified by the dates specified in each PFA about whether they have been selected to submit a full application. PCORI will accept full applications from only the selected LOIs. 

If I am resubmitting an LOI, do I need to revise my LOI based on feedback received from my previous summary statement? 

LOIs that are resubmissions must incorporate a brief description of planned modifications related to moderate and/or major weaknesses noted in prior review, while adhering to the page limitations of the LOI.  

Please note: Prior acceptance of an LOI or application does not guarantee acceptance of future LOIs on the same topic. A resubmission letter is only required at the application stage. 

Is it possible to submit an application without submitting the LOI? 

No, only applicants who are invited to submit applications can do so. 

My research question could fall under two PFAs. Can I submit the same project to multiple PFAs? 

Applicants may submit multiple Letters of Intent within the same PCORI Funding Announcement (PFA) or across multiple PFAs provided the proposed LOIs do not exhibit significant scientific overlap. Moreover, an individual listed as a PI on one LOI may be listed as and serve in another role (e.g., co-investigator, or consultant) on other LOIs within the same PFA during the same cycle. If a PI submits multiple LOIs under a singular PFA or to other PFAs offered within a given cycle, LOIs that exhibit scientific overlap or that appear to be duplicate submissions will be disqualified. PCORI will contact the PI to choose which LOI should advance to review. The restriction on overlapping or duplicate submissions applies to single- and dual-PI submissions. 

What budget information is required for the LOI? How detailed does it need to be? 

Only a budget estimate is required to complete the LOI. A full budget with a justification will need to be completed at the application stage. 

What information does a PI need to submit for the LOI portion of the application process? 

An LOI is required for new and resubmitted applications: 

  • New applicants can submit an LOI by logging into PCORI Online, completing the required LOI fields for the PFA, and uploading the completed PFA-specific LOI template into the system. 

  • Submitting an LOI is a requirement of resubmissions. Applicants who are resubmitting must complete the LOI fields for the PFA and upload a completed LOI Template to PCORI Online. 

Posted: September 1, 2023

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