Click on the links below to read questions and answers about the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards.
Is PCORI a federal agency?
No. PCORI is an independent, nonprofit, nongovernmental organization.
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), an independent nonprofit, nongovernmental organization located in Washington, DC, was authorized by Congress in 2010. PCORI’s purpose, as defined by the law, is to help patients, clinicians, purchasers, and policy makers make better-informed health decisions by “advancing the quality and relevance of evidence about how to prevent, diagnose, treat, monitor, and manage diseases, disorders, and other health conditions.”
How does the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards funding differ from other types of contracts or grants?
PCORI funds projects through contracts rather than grant awards in which PCORI programmatic involvement with the awardees is expected throughout the post-award process. The contracts are milestone and deliverables driven. A sample PCORI Engagement Awards Contract Services Agreement is available, upon request.
What is PCORI’s data-sharing policy?
We reserve the right to request a complete, clean, de-identified copy of final data sets used in projects. The data set should be made available within two months of the request but no sooner than the end of the project period.
Who is eligible to apply for PCORI Engagement Awards?
PCORI accepts applications from any private or public-sector organization, including any non-profit or for-profit organization or any unit of local, state, or federal government, including any:
- Nonprofit organization
- For-profit organization
- Laboratory or manufacturer
- University or college
- Hospital or healthcare system
- Unit of local, state, and federal government
Are foreign organizations eligible for funding?
Yes. Foreign organizations may apply, but their application should clearly demonstrate the benefits of their research to the US healthcare system, US residents, and US patient-centered research. Foreign organizations should enter 999-99-9999 in the EIN field in the online letter of inquiry (LOI)/application.
Can an individual apply for funding?
No. Individuals may not apply for funding. We accept applications only from any private- and/or public-sector organization, including nonprofit and for-profit organizations; research organizations, universities, colleges, hospitals, laboratories, and healthcare systems; and units of state, local, and federal governments. All US applicant organizations must be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Foreign organizations and nondomestic components of organizations based in the United States may also apply; their application should clearly demonstrate the benefits of their research to the US healthcare system, US residents, and US patient-centered research.
Does PCORI make special provisions for new or early-stage investigators?
No. However, we welcome applications from a range of project leads including new and early-stage investigators, as well as patient investigators. We are also interested in applications from organizations that engage groups not previously involved with PCORI's work.
Can an organization submit more than one LOI or proposal for an Engagement Award in one cycle?
Yes. Organizations may submit more than one LOI/application in a cycle. However, if an organization submits multiple LOIs or applications, they must ensure that the proposed engagement projects or meetings/conferences are distinct.
NOTE: An individual may only serve as a Project Lead on one LOI/application per cycle. The individual may be listed and serve in another role, e.g., co-Lead, on other LOIs/applications during the same cycle.
Can applicants who have applied for previous PCORI awards also apply for the Engagement Awards?
Yes. Organizations may submit applications for Engagement Awards funding regardless of whether they have either applied for or received previous awards from PCORI. In their application, organizations should note any other applications concurrently submitted to PCORI or projects currently funded by PCORI so our staff can confirm that there is no overlap between projects.
NOTE: Applicants that have previously received PCORI funding will be reviewed competitively with all other applications. A prior PCORI award does not determine or guarantee an applicant’s future acceptance for funding.
Organizations that have previously received an Engagement Award are eligible to apply if their current/former project is being expanded, the content will be delivered in new formats, and/or the geographic breadth and/or audience reach will be broadened.
Can an application be submitted for a project that is under review by a federal agency or organization?
Yes. However, if your project is awarded funding from a federally funded agency or organization, please notify PCORI immediately to withdraw your application.
Are multiple project leads permitted on one application?
Yes. We allow project co-leads, however, PCORI requires that one person be listed as a project lead and point of contact in the PCORI Engagement Awards Online Application System.
How many individuals can be included as key project personnel?
Up to five individuals can be listed in the project personnel section of the application not including a project co-lead. We recognize that there may be changes in key personnel between application submission and the start of a project. In such instances, applicants can make necessary changes, as needed. Key personnel are any individuals who contribute to the project in a substantive or measurable way. The contribution is independent of financial compensation.
Is preliminary research/study or a pilot project required to apply?
No. PCORI will consider funding applicants who have not conducted preliminary research/study or a pilot project.
Does IRB approval have to be obtained before applicants learn whether their project has been funded?
No. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval does not need to be obtained prior to submitting an application. After the project lead is notified of the award, he or she can then begin requesting IRB approval, if applicable.
What stakeholder groups or populations of interest does PCORI want to address with its funded projects?
PCORI recognizes that doing research differently will require input and involvement from all communities across the healthcare continuum. PCORI is interested in investing in stakeholders who believe in the promise of PCOR/CER but may not have had the opportunity to engage actively in research in the past. PCORI views ideal applicants and project proposals that touch upon a broad spectrum, including but not limited to the following stakeholder categories and populations of interest:
PCORI Populations of Interest
Caregiver/Family Member of Patient
Patient/Caregiver Advocacy Organization
Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups
Residents of Rural Areas
Individuals with Special Healthcare Needs, Including Individuals with Disabilities, Individuals with Multiple Chronic Diseases, Individuals with Rare Diseases, and Individuals Whose Genetic Makeup Affects Their Medical Outcomes
Patients with Low Health Literacy/Numeracy and Limited English Proficiency
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Persons
Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces and their families
What are the PCORI Engagement Awards?
The Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award program, named in honor of the first chair of PCORI’s Board of Governors, is intended to bring more patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders into the research process. The goal is to support projects that will build a community that is better able to participate in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER), and to serve as channels to disseminate study results. This is central to PCORI’s mission to fund useful CER that will help patients and those who care for them make better-informed healthcare decisions.
Engagement Awards are not research awards. Accordingly, we cannot provide support for projects that attempt to answer research questions or test hypotheses, study causal links, or test a new, modified, or previously untested intervention, service, or program. Nor do we fund the development of research proposals.
Many organizations, including patient groups and research institutions, have developed and implemented successful PCOR-focused trainings and programs, and there is a growing body of literature in this field. Unfortunately, successful methods and best practices for increasing patient and stakeholder engagement in research are not currently being disseminated at a pace consistent with the demands for patient-centered CER.
Additionally, it is vital that PCORI support organizations to lay the groundwork to actively disseminate PCORI-funded research findings to potential users of the information. Disseminating and promoting the uptake of research findings is part of PCORI’s legal mandate to improve the quality and relevance of evidence available to help patients, caregivers, clinicians, employers, insurers, and policy makers make better-informed health decisions.
Below are the three Engagement Award funding announcements:
- Engagement Award: Capacity Building funds projects that build a community of individuals and organizations better able to participate in PCOR/CER, and/or develop infrastructure and partnerships to disseminate PCORI-funded research results.
- Engagement Award: Dissemination Initiative provides support for initiatives (not conferences) to disseminate evidence and PCORI-funded published findings.
- Engagement Award: Conference Support provides support for conferences, workshops, and other organized and formal meetings where individuals gather to explore issues related to PCOR/CER or communicate PCORI-funded research results to targeted end-user audience.
What information does the application guidelines include? Where can I find the guidelines?
The guidelines include:
- General application requirements, including eligibility and budget requirements, with examples where possible.
- Details on how to submit a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) and application.
- An application checklist, which serves as a final assurance that applications are complete and comply with all criteria and requirements.
- A glossary of key terms.
Are there any requirements prior to submitting an LOI or application in the online application system?
Yes. In order to submit an LOI, you will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN). If necessary, you can apply for an EIN. International applicants should enter 999-99-9999 in the EIN field in the online LOI/application.
How do I submit an LOI and application?
To submit an LOI or application you must access the PCORI Engagement Awards Online Application System. You must register for the online application system, regardless of whether you have applied for PCORI funding in the past.
What information is asked for in the LOI and application?
In general, both the LOI and application ask for information about the applicant’s organization and project lead, project, key project personnel, collaborators/partners, anticipated budget, and patient and stakeholder engagement plan. In addition, a number of required templates must be completed and uploaded as part of the application, including budget information, a project plan and timeline, project deliverables/milestones, as well as information about an organization’s leadership.
My PCORI Engagement Awards Online Application System account is locked. How do I get back in?
On the login page, click “Forgot your password,” and you will be prompted to enter your account information to reset your password.
Who can I contact for technical assistance?
Contact us at email@example.com or (202) 370-9312 for all technical assistance with the online application system.
Are there any resources that will help me navigate PCORI Engagement Awards Online System?
Yes. See the Online User Manual: Submitting a Letter of Inquiry.
Do I need to submit an LOI before I can I submit a full proposal? Yes. For an Engagement Award: Capacity Building and Engagement Award: Dissemination Initiative applications, approval of an LOI submission is required in order to receive an invitation to submit a full proposal. An LOI is not required for the Engagement Award: Conference Support; only requires a full proposal submission.
Can multiple people access the LOI? Does the same team member who submits the LOI need to submit the final proposal? Can an administrator complete the LOI?
The project lead may authorize multiple people to access the LOI; however, there can be only one user name/account for the purpose of LOI submission. The contact information indicated in the Organization and Project Lead section must be for the project lead.
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. The budget estimate can include the anticipated breakdown of project costs by category. A full budget with a justification will need to be completed at the full proposal application stage.
Are indirect costs allowed as a part of the budget for approved Engagement Awards? If so, are they limited to a certain percentage?
Yes U.S. institutions may apply an approved indirect rate of up to 40%, while international institutions may only apply an indirect rate of 10% to the project’s direct cost base.
If an applicant organization’s federally-negotiated, or independently audited, indirect rate is less than 40% (domestic) or 10% (international), then the applicant must apply the lower negotiated rate to the allowable direct cost base.
If an applicant organization has multiple rates, then it should choose the rate that complies with the conditions of the approved IDC rate agreement. Typically, this is the rate that applies to where the PI conducts the research.
What if an awardee does not have a federally negotiated or privately audited indirect cost rate?
If an institution has a negotiated NICRA, then PCORI will accept the NICRA until its time of expiration.
Institutions without a federally negotiated or audited rate can request a de minimus rate of 10 percent of the allowable direct costs. See the Application Guidelines and PCORI Cost Principles for a description of allowable direct costs under a PCORI award. In no event shall PCORI be invoiced for any expenses related to establishing such rate, be it through an independent audit, or activities in preparation for a federally-established rate.
Where can I find a list of allowable costs for a PCORI award? Refer to PCORI Cost Principles for a description of allowable direct costs under a PCORI award.
Do the character limits indicated on the LOI form include spaces?
Yes. (Embedded question mark icons in the system instructions for each question provide guidelines for character limits.) More detailed information about the LOI and application requirements can be found in the PCORI Engagement Awards Application Guidelines.
How are the PCORI Engagement Awards LOIs and applications reviewed?
The PCORI Engagement Team, PCORI Contracts and Management Administration, and other subject matter experts (as necessary) will conduct PCORI’s Engagement Awards review. Additional information regarding the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards review process can be found here. LOIs and applications are scored using the following criteria:
How well does the application demonstrate program fit or how well does the application proffer an innovative idea that supports the organization’s mission?
Proposed Project Plan
How reasonable is the applicant’s project plan? Are there any concerns that the applicant has not provided a reasonable set of activities to achieve the objectives and outcomes in the project plan?
Project Lead Previous Experience and Organizational Capabilities
Do the qualifications of the project lead align with the scope of the project? Does the applicant demonstrate sufficient background/organizational capabilities for related projects that are aligned with an emphasis on patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and/or comparative effectiveness research (CER)?
Patient and Stakeholder Engagement Plan
Is there an adequate plan described for engaging patients and other stakeholders in the conduct of the proposed project? Are the proposed collaborators meaningful and appropriate based on aligning the interest, expertise, and scope of work of patients and other stakeholders involved in the project? Are there any concerns about the ability of the collaborators to work together?
How well does the applicant’s budget proposal demonstrate reasonable cost designations?
How will I be notified of a funding decision?
PCORI will notify you via e-mail if your LOI has been approved to progress to a full proposal and if your full proposal is selected for funding. Applicants will also be notified by email if they are not invited or awarded. If you have additional questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 202-370-9312.
I have a question concerning the suitability of my specific proposed project. Can I speak with someone at PCORI?
Yes. Applicants are encouraged to carefully review the application and program guidance materials provided online before contacting PCORI. For outstanding questions, please contact PCORI at email@example.com or (202) 370-9312. PCORI will provide a response within three business days.
Are all health-related content areas open for consideration for potential Engagement Awards, or do these awards focus on priority areas?
The PCORI Engagement Awards do not focus on specific diseases or conditions. Instead, they are intended to build the capacity of patients and other stakeholders to participate meaningfully in PCOR/CER processes, and to disseminate PCOR/CER results.
What kinds of projects do you not fund?
Engagement Awards are not intended to support:
- Projects solely intended to improve patient engagement in healthcare service delivery, patient self-care, or patient-centeredness of care (e.g., shared decision making)
- Projects intended to increase the number of patients who agree to be research subjects or participants
- Research projects (PCORI funds these through other opportunities.)
- Projects designed solely to validate tools or instruments
- Delivery of health care
- Development of registries
- Recruitment of research or registry participants
- Development of clinical practice guidelines
- Meetings that don’t focus on PCOR or CER
Is it important to have patient engagement as part of the proposed projects?
Yes. We seek to support projects that include authentic involvement of patients and other stakeholders throughout the planning, conduct, and dissemination of the proposed projects.
How can potential applicants see more examples of Engagement Awards projects?
Engagement Award project summary pages are located in the Explore Our Portfolio section under Research and Results; please filter by Project Type: Research Support Project and Research Support Award: Engagement Award. We will post additional summaries on our website as projects are funded; the outputs from the projects will also be posted on these pages.
How will PCORI disseminate the results of its Engagement Awards projects?
The tools and information generated by Engagement Award projects will be made public so they can have a broader impact.
How does PCORI select which deliverables are posted on Engagement Award project pages?
All tools, resources, and meeting event information posted on awardee pages have been vetted, reviewed and approved by the Program Officer and Engagement Awards Director.
Posted: February 12, 2014; Updated: April 17, 2018