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Washington, D.C. (Feb. 5, 2014) – The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) today issued eight new PCORI Funding Announcements (PFAs) offering up to $206 million in support for a range of patient-centered comparative effectiveness research (CER) projects.

The funding opportunities include the latest two to focus on specific high-impact topics and PCORI’s first call for proposals through its new Pragmatic Clinical Studies Initiative. This initiative will fund large, patient-centered pragmatic clinical studies, or large simple trials, that compare two or more interventions in real-world settings in an effort to more rapidly and efficiently produce evidence that is generally applicable to a wide spectrum of patients' needs and clinical care settings.

“We’re dramatically increasing  the amount of funding we’re investing in patient-centered CER and expect to commit roughly $1 billion over the next two years to support this work,” said PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, MD, MPH. “Having put in place the foundations necessary to promote patient and stakeholder engagement and to conduct and disseminate high-quality CER, we’re prepared to make substantial investments in a range of projects, including the kinds of bigger, longer comparative studies that can address complex questions and provide more definitive answers.”

PCORI’s first Pragmatic Clinical Studies PFA will provide up to $10 million in direct costs each to support six to nine studies for a total of up to $90 million. Unlike traditional randomized controlled trials, large pragmatic studies address the practical questions faced by patients, clinicians, and other decision-makers, and tend to involve patients and care interactions in typical hospital and clinical practice settings, rather than specialized research settings. They typically include a greater diversity of patients, including those with multiple health problems. Although these many variables can make the data analysis somewhat more complex, they also better reflect actual care situations, making the results more applicable to patients' and healthcare providers' experiences.

Research topics of priority interest include treatment strategies or options for back pain, migraines, opioid substance abuse, and migraines; management of ductal carcinoma in situ; proton beam therapy for certain cancers; and integration of mental  and behavioral health services into primary care. PCORI plans to issue another call for applications through this initiative later this year.

Interested applicants must submit Letters of Intent (LOIs) by no later than 5 p.m. ET Friday, March 7. The LOIs will be reviewed and those invited to submit full applications will be notified on Monday, April 7; applications will be due Friday, Aug. 8.

PCORI also is accepting applications through a PFA focused on obesity. It will provide up to a total of $20 million to fund as many as two pragmatic, randomized trials that will compare the effectiveness of obesity treatment options delivered in primary care settings to underserved adults, such as individuals with low socioeconomic status or who live in rural areas.

In addition, PCORI will provide up to $15 million to fund a comprehensive study of which clusters of transitional care services work best at reducing preventable hospital readmissions and improving outcomes among at-risk patients, such as those with limited caregiver support. The study will also determine which services are most effective in various healthcare settings and payment contexts.

Competitive LOIs for both the transitional care and obesity PFAs are also due by 5 p.m. ET Friday, March 7, and those invited to submit full applications will be notified on Friday, March 21.

Along with these new calls for proposals, PCORI is accepting applications in its latest round of funding for projects under its five broad National Priorities for Research. PCORI will make up to $81 million total available to support projects in the Spring 2014 cycle of funding. This total includes $5 million, through our funding announcement on improving methods, for studies focused on the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS®) of the National Institutes of Health. Required LOIs for these broad PFAs are due by 5 p.m. ET March 7, but any applicant who submits an on-time LOI may submit a full application.

PCORI has added several new resources to its application process that are designed to help applicants meet all criteria. These include a new rubric designed to guide applicants in developing the required patient and other stakeholder engagement plan and revised budget templates that will enable easier completion and entry into the application system. Applicants can also learn more through informational “town hall” webinars for each funding announcement.

Information and key dates related to all of PCORI’s funding opportunities can be found in the Funding Center on PCORI’s website. PCORI has awarded more than $464 million to support 279 patient-centered research projects since it began funding research in 2012.



The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continuously seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work.

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