Step 1: Learn What We Fund

PCORI funds projects that answer patient-centered questions about health and health care. By highlighting comparisons and outcomes that matter, we expect research findings to inform decisions by patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders.

We are looking for projects that assess the benefits and harms of interventions related to preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, or palliative care or the healthcare delivery system.

In most research projects that we fund, researchers partner with patients and other stakeholders from the planning stages through the final dissemination of findings. (We recognize that in some highly technical and methodological projects, patients may not make appropriate partners.)

Our Funding Center lists all open funding announcements, as well as upcoming and past opportunities.

Step 2: Learn What We Don't Fund

PCORI doesn't fund:

  • Research aimed primarily at developing and validating an instrument
  • Cost-effectiveness analysis measuring dollar-cost per quality-adjusted life-year
  • Comparisons that focus on the relative costs of care as the primary criterion for choosing between alternatives
  • Most projects that do not include patients or other healthcare stakeholders throughout the research process, unless they are highly technical or methodological projects

Step 3: Select the Funding Opportunity that Best Aligns with Your Proposed Research

Funding announcements are posted on our website approximately four weeks before the Letter of Intent (LOI) deadline. Specific deadlines for LOIs and Applications can be found in the Funding Center. PCORI offers several types of funding opportunities:

  • Broad PCORI Funding Announcements (PFA) seek investigator-initiated applications for patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) projects aligned with our five priority areas for research. An announcement in each area is posted twice a year. We are looking for your best ideas to address needs of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders in making personalized clinical decisions across a wide range of conditions, populations, and treatments.
  • Targeted PCORI Funding Announcements seek applications on specific, high-impact topics selected in response to input from patients and other stakeholders through our Advisory Panels and public workshops. These are one-time opportunities.
  • Pragmatic Clinical Studies PCORI Funding Announcements seek applications for pragmatic clinical trials, large simple trials, or large-scale observational studies that compare two or more alternatives for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, or management of a disease or symptom; improving health care system–level approaches to managing care; or eliminating health or healthcare disparities.
  • Engagement Program Awards, primarily our Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards, are not research awards, but they encourage better integration of patients and other stakeholders into the research process. Our Pipeline to Proposal Awards Program, which is no longer active, also sought to provide funding to build research partnerships.
  • Special One-Time Funding Opportunities

Step 4: Apply for a Research Award​

Applying for funding from PCORI is a two-stage process. Please note each funding announcement has a distinct set of requirements and application templates that must be followed for your application to be reviewed and funded.

A Letter of Intent must be submitted and an organization must be invited to submit a full application. Specific requirements and guidance to complete a successful LOI and subsequent full application are found in the full funding announcement, application guidelines, and application checklist for each specific funding opportunity.


Posted: September 10, 2014; Updated: December 11, 2020

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