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 website's Funding Opportunities section 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

(Scroll down for Step 3 and Step 4)

Videos on Preparing a Responsive Letter of Intent

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 Funding Opportunities. PCORI offers several types of funding opportunities:

  • Broad Pragmatic Studies PCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs): For the 2023 opportunities, PCORI's National Priorities for Health and Topic Themes have been incorporated. All applications must align the proposed research with at least one of the four National Priorities for Health described within the PFA. Applicants also have the option to choose up to three of 12 Topic Themes, based on how their proposed research aligns with the themes. However, aligning with the indicated Topic Themes is not required. The National Priorities for Health and Topic Themes will assist PCORI in determining the optimal review pathway for the proposed research.
  • Targeted PFAs: These PFAs seek applications on specific, high-impact topics selected in response to input from patients and other stakeholders through our Advisory Panels and public workshops.
  • PCORI’s Dissemination and Implementation Program currently offers three Implementation PFAs to support projects that actively facilitate the uptake and integration of evidence from PCORI-funded studies, in the context of related evidence, into real-world practice.
  • Engagement awards, primarily our Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award Program awards, are not research awards, but they encourage better integration of patients and other stakeholders into the research process.
  • 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 2014; Updated: February 2023

What's Happening at PCORI?

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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