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A photo of PCORI Executive Director Nakela L. Cook, MD, MPH, for the Leadership Perspective

As I reflect on PCORI’s accomplishments in 2023, I see so much to celebrate, and so much to build on in the year ahead. As the leading funder of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER), PCORI awarded approximately $550 million in fiscal year 2023 for nearly 200 research, dissemination and implementation, and infrastructure projects — the highest amount we have ever awarded in a single year. As 2024 gathers momentum, PCORI is advancing progress on our overarching goals, the National Priorities for Health, and making meaningful contributions to a more patient-centered system of health.

At the start of each year, it can be helpful to look at the challenges and opportunities ahead. Growing numbers of people face mental health and substance use problems. Rising rates of chronic disease require new treatment options and likely a greater focus on prevention. The nation continues to experience profound health inequities, often exacerbated by challenges to achieving equitable representation in clinical trials. The list goes on.

As 2024 gathers momentum, PCORI is advancing progress on our overarching goals, the National Priorities for Health, and making meaningful contributions to a more patient-centered system of health.

There is so much to be hopeful for as well. Artificial intelligence (though we must be cautious in managing issues of bias and privacy) is increasing efficiency in clinical care and helping patients and clinicians monitor health status, assess risk and recommend treatments. Telehealth and telemedicine, greatly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, show tremendous potential to increase access to care and reduce the spread of infectious diseases. The recent Food and Drug Administration approval of landmark gene therapies for treatment of sickle cell disease may be just the tip of the iceberg for a class of therapies that holds incredible promise for so many diseases and conditions.

What's in Store in 2024

For PCORI, these challenges and opportunities help to sharpen our focus as we anticipate issuing funding opportunities across a wide range of award types and sizes — and welcome applicants working in settings ranging from large academic medical centers to small community organizations.

In 2024, we will continue to increase both the breadth and number of our funding opportunities, with some novel funding opportunities being offered for the first time, and a larger number of total opportunities than ever before. Guided by our Topic Themes, and enriched by proposals initiated by research teams that seek to answer important CER questions, we have a wonderful opportunity to issue funding across a broad range of conditions simultaneously and make substantial progress toward achieving the National Priorities for Health.

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Foundational Expectations for Partnerships in Research
Explore our new engagement guidance.

This year we are also taking another important step in advancing the practice and science of engagement — through a significant update of our engagement guidance, renamed the Foundational Expectations for Partnerships in Research and released just last week. The revised guidance reflects the evolution of the field and growing body of evidence over the past decade. The six foundational expectations provide the building blocks for effective and meaningful engagement and include extensive examples, lessons learned and resources to guide research teams.

One of the expectations is for research teams to formally assess the effectiveness of the engagement approaches used in CER studies, which will complement our Science of Engagement initiative in building the evidence base on engagement in research. The Foundational Expectations will also accelerate our efforts to help move the locus of health research out of the ivory tower closer to the community by encouraging, and dedicating resources to, full partnership and co-leadership of community and research organizations, similar to the model built into our Partner funding opportunity.

Guided by our Topic Themes, and enriched by proposals initiated by research teams that seek to answer important CER questions, we have a wonderful opportunity to issue funding across a broad range of conditions simultaneously and make substantial progress toward achieving the National Priorities for Health.

We also look forward to awarding funding for the first set of implementation awards to health systems participating in our Health Systems Implementation Initiative, an innovative project designed to leverage the capacity of health systems to rapidly implement findings from PCORI-funded research to enhance care delivery and improve health outcomes.

In all of these ways, PCORI seeks to mobilize the power of people and communities from all backgrounds — coming together to enhance research and provide the evidence we all need to make informed health and healthcare decisions.

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PCORI-2024-and-Beyond-Webinar-020724-Main-Promo-1600x1000
Watch the replay of "PCORI 2024 & Beyond" to learn what's in store for this year.

To learn more about PCORI’s plans for 2024, I encourage you to view the recent 2024 & Beyond webinar, in which we share planned funding opportunities for CER, engagement, dissemination and implementation, and research infrastructure — as well as the many ways you can get involved with PCORI.

Addressing the most pressing health and healthcare issues facing our country will take all of our collective experience, expertise and perspectives to be successful. As always, we look forward to working with all of you this year to bring more people into the world of patient-centered CER, fund high-quality research on topics that matter most to patients and improve the health of all.

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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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