PCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs) seek applications for patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research projects on a variety of topics that address needs of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders. Below is an overview of each PFA and a video highlighting some of the Merit Review Criteria.

Broad Pragmatic Studies PFA

PCORI seeks to fund applications that can inform current, consequential, and critical decisions facing patients and caregivers, clinicians, policy makers, and healthcare system leaders which occur in the absence of sound evidence about the comparative effectiveness of alternative approaches and should offer insight about the benefits and harms of the options and provide information on outcomes that are important to patients.

This new PFA covers the following four priority areas:

  • Addressing Disparities
  • Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options
  • Communication and Dissemination Research
  • Improving Healthcare Systems

Targeted PFAs

Targeted PFAs seek applications on specific, high-impact topics selected in response to input from patients and other stakeholders through multiple sources, including our Advisory Panels and public workshops. Projects focus on improving care for diseases and conditions that impose a substantial burden on individuals, their families, and the healthcare system.

The following 2 focus areas are identified for Cycle 2 2022:

  • Improving Postpartum Maternal Outcomes for Populations Experiencing Disparities
  • Health System Strategies to Address Disparities in Hypertension Management & Control

Improving Methods PFA

Limitations in the design, implementation, and analysis of clinical research may produce biased study results that can have serious consequences for patients. PCORI seeks to fund projects that address important methodological gaps and lead to improvements in the strength and quality of evidence generated by patient centered outcomes research/comparative effectiveness (CER) studies.

This PFA has identified the following four priority areas:

  • Methods to Improve the Use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning 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

Implementation PFAs

PCORI seeks to fund implementation projects that incorporate active strategies to promote the integration of PCORI-funded evidence into real-world practice settings. Projects will increase the reach, generalizability, uptake, and overall impact of clinically meaningful PCORI-funded research findings.

These PFAs cover the following three areas:

  • Open Competition PFA: Implementation of Findings from PCORI’s Research Investments 
  • Limited Competition PCORI Funding Announcement: Implementation Awards
  • Implementation of Effective Shared Decision-Making (SDM) Approaches in Practice Settings 


With the Phased Large Awards for Comparative Effectiveness Research (PLACER) PFA, PCORI seeks to fund individual-level or cluster randomized controlled trials of significant scale and scope, which should address important decisional dilemmas that require new evidence about the comparative effectiveness of the available interventions and should compare interventions that already have established evidence of efficacy or are in widespread use. 

Science of Engagement PFA

PCORI aims to fund studies that address high-priority gaps in the science of engagement in research. The long-term goal is to build an actionable evidence base that clearly identifies the methods and approaches that lead to effective engagement; how they should be modified and resourced for different contexts, settings, and communities to ensure equity in engagement and research; and how engagement supports patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR).

This PFA has identified the following two priority areas:

  • Measuring Engagement
  • Developing and Testing Engagement Methods

Click here to learn more about individual funding opportunities.

About PCORI's Merit Review Criteria

Full applications submitted to PCORI are reviewed against six merit review criteria. The evaluation of how well the application addresses these criteria help determine which applications have the greatest potential to provide evidence that will help patients and other stakeholders make better healthcare decisions. See the video for more information.

Posted: February 15, 2019; Updated: July 26, 2022

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The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute sends weekly emails about opportunities to apply for funding, newly funded research studies and engagement projects, results of our funded research, webinars, and other new information posted on our site.

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