Since 2013, the Pipeline to Proposal program has awarded about $8 million to projects in more than 35 US states and territories. These projects involve partnerships with various stakeholders focused on a cadre of health issues affecting their communities with the aim of increasing and advancing PCOR in their communities and beyond.

In January 2017, we streamlined the structure of the program from three tiers to two tiers to reduce the total time commitment from the start of partnership development to the end of proposal preparation. This change is described in more detail here. All new awards will be made through the two-tiered program. We also introduced a one-time funding opportunity, Independent Tier III Awards, to help already-established partnerships develop proposals that include patient engagement and adhere to the PCORI Methodology Standards.

Pipeline to Proposal Awards funded during fiscal year 2016 and earlier will continue to progress through the three-tiered program. Find out more about these projects:

Two-Tiered Program

Projects awarded in 2017 and later participate in a two-tiered funding mechanism. It supports concentrated partnership development in Tier A and proposal development in Tier B. Each tier is designed to help patients and communities take another step toward producing community-led PCOR proposals.

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Pipeline to Proposal Tier A, Tier B, to PCOR Research Proposal

Tier A awards provide seed money to individuals and groups that have healthcare research ideas and an interest in patient-centered research. These awards will develop research capacity, create new partnerships, and build the infrastructure needed to conduct research.

Tier A awards are open to any individual patient, other healthcare stakeholder, or researcher—or group of patients, other stakeholders, or researchers—with interest in a specific health issue. The awardees will generate a list of questions for CER that addresses that issue.

Please see our first Tier A funding announcement that opened on March 1, 2017.

Tier B awards are intended to provide funding to help partnerships create high-quality research proposals that can be submitted for PCOR funding. We are particularly interested in supporting development of the patient-engagement component of the study design. During Tier B, project teams will prepare and submit a letter of inquiry for a PCORI research funding announcement. However, the team may submit its proposal to another funder.

Tier B awards are open to all partnerships that include at least one researcher and one patient, clinician, or other healthcare stakeholder. Tier A awardees are invited to apply for Tier B funding, but Tier B awards are not guaranteed. We also welcome teams that have previously submitted proposals for PCORI research funding and received recommendations to strengthen their proposed engagement processes.

The awards are managed by five Pipeline Award Program Offices (PAPOs) that assist patient, stakeholder, and research group awardees and build strong multi-stakeholder communities.

If you are a patient, caregiver, researcher, or other healthcare stakeholder with a compelling idea for a research project—or an important clinical issue that you would like to explore—the current two-tiered Pipeline to Proposal Awards program may provide a valuable opportunity.

Independent Tier III Awards

In April 2017, the Pipeline to Proposal program made awards to four Independent Tier III projects for a nine-month period. This one-time opportunity provided funding for the development of a scientifically rigorous, patient-centered outcomes research proposal. Awardees are already-established research partnerships—each including at least one patient and one researcher—that will have the opportunity to receive training, as needed, on patient engagement and research methodology to help them develop their proposal for comparative clinical effectiveness research. To find out more about these projects, click here.


Posted: October 15, 2013; Updated: August 1, 2017

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