On-Time Submission

PCORI requires that applications for funding be submitted through PCORI Online no later than the published due date and time, and expects applicant organizations and Administrative Officials (AO) to implement back-up plans for a timely submission, as needed. Application due dates and times are listed on the Funding Opportunities page. PCORI encourages all applicants to submit their application at least one day before the stated deadline. Applicants are required to use PCORI Online when submitting both LOls and applications. LOls and applications and are considered on-time if successfully submitted by the published due date and time. PCORI will not accept LOIs or applications submitted through the mail or sent via email to the Helpdesk or other PCORI email accounts.

The Right to Accept Late Submissions

PCORI reserves the right to assess and consider late submissions for individual applicants as a result of extenuating circumstances on a case-by-case basis. Additionally, PCORI reserves the right to modify the application deadline for all applicants in order to meet its business needs. Changes to the application deadline will be posted on the Funding Opportunities page and PCORI Online.

Reasons for late applications being accepted may include:

  • Validated PCORI Online system issues (see below)
  • Natural disaster
  • Sudden acute severe illness of the Principal Investigator (Pl) / Administrative Official (AO) or an immediate family member within 24 hours prior to application submission
  • Death of an immediate family member of the Principal Investigator (Pl) / Administrative Official (AO) immediately prior to application submission

It is important to note that the examples listed above are for illustrative purposes only. All issues are subject to review and approval by PCORI on a case-by-case basis.

Reasons for late applications being rejected may include:

  • Failure to complete required registrations in advance of the due date
  • Competing responsibilities or other deadlines
  • Personal events
  • Non-severe acute health conditions
  • PCORI Online issues not verified by PCORI (see below)

Requesting an extension:

All extension requests must be submitted to [email protected] within 24 hours of the specified submission deadline by the PI, CC’ing the institutional AO listed on the application. PCORI will provide a written response within two business days from receipt of such requests. Due to PCORI’s accelerated Merit Review schedule, the maximum post-deadline extension PCORI may allow is 24 hours (24 hours from the time approval is granted), with the exception of natural disasters, which will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Requests from the PI or AO must be submitted to [email protected] and include the following information:

  • PCORI Request Number (application number)
  • PCORI Funding Announcement (PFA)
  • Full name of the submitting institution, including department or functional unit
  • Full contact information for the Pl (name, address, phone, and email)
  • Full contact information for the AO (name, address, phone, and email)
  • Thorough explanation of why an extension is warranted

Of note, requests for extension may only be authorized in writing by the designed staff in Program Operations. Extension requests will not be granted over the phone or in-person.

PCORI Online System Issues

In rare cases, late applications will be considered when there is clear evidence of a PCORI Online system error.

PCORI will not penalize applicants who experience confirmed PCORI Online system issues that are beyond their control and that cause an inability to submit a research application on-time. PCORI Online system errors identified by the applicant user must be reported to PCORI at [email protected] (or, [email protected] in some instances) before the submission deadline.

Events that may not be considered systems errors include:

  • Failure to follow funding opportunity instructions
  • Failure to follow application guideline instructions
  • Failure to follow PCORI Online instructions
  • Failure to complete the required organizational and investigator registrations
  • Entry of incorrect investigator and / or organizational contact information (e.g., wrong AO listed in PCORI Online)
  • Failure to correct PCORI Online validation errors/warnings by the deadline
  • Local internet, hardware, or software problems at institution
  • Problems with local submission systems (e.g., system-to-system solution)
  • Forgotten credentials or using wrong credentials
  • Application image issues resulting from file conversion at the applicant institution
  • Failure to notify the PCORI Online Help Desk of submission issues by the posted deadline
  • Accidental withdrawal of an application
  • Not receiving PCORI Online generated notifications, but status is available in PCORI Online for viewing (e.g., pending AO approval notification)

Notifying PCORI of System Issues

Email PCORI’s Helpdesk at [email protected] of any systems issues prior to the deadline. Of note, emailing PCORI’s Helpdesk prior to the deadline does not exempt the applicant from submitting the application on-time. PCORI makes every attempt to respond to Helpdesk tickets within 48 hours. However, during peak submission times, PCORI may not be able to respond to all tickets prior to the deadline. PCORI cannot overstress the importance of assembling the application early and submitting the application before the deadline.

If you encounter difficulty when preparing your application, we suggest the following steps:

  1. Refer to the PCORI Funding Announcement (PFA) and Application Guidelines: These two documents outline all of the required documents and fields. Additionally, instruction on how to properly upload attachments is listed in both the Application Guidelines and PCORI Online system manual.
  2. Refer to the PCORI Online system manual: This manual provides screenshots of PCORI Online and additional guidance on how to navigate the system.
  3. Contact the Helpdesk: If you are unable to resolve your issue, email the Helpdesk at [email protected].

To ensure a timely response, include the following information:

  • PCORI application number
  • PCORI Funding Announcement (PFA)
  • Full name of the submitting Institution, including department or functional unit
  • Pl name and contact information (name, address, phone, and email)
  • Detailed explanation of the issue(s), including screenshots as appropriate

Using PCORI's Help Desk

PCORI provides applicants both administrative and technical support through its Helpdesk ([email protected]). PCORI responds to Helpdesk tickets Monday - Friday during normal business hours (8:30 am-5:30 pm ET).

To expedite response time, applicants are asked to only submit one ticket per issue. Please only reply to the email chain you started if additional guidance is needed, rather than creating new emails. This will help PCORI track applicant concerns within the system, and expedite resolution. Having multiple project team members contact PCORI regarding the same issue will slow the response time or result in conflicting information.

Authorized Users

It is important to note that PCORI can only share application information with the Pl, AO, and Pl Designee.

PCORI cannot alter an application at the request of collaborators, co-Investigators, consultants, etc. PCORI personnel cannot submit an application at the request of the AO, or Pl, over the phone. Once an application has been submitted, only the Pl or AO may request that it be rescinded, and the request must be made in writing (received via postal mail service or official email). Only the PI or AO may submit a PCORI application and request an extension.

Posted: January 2, 2014; Updated: November 8, 2023

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