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WASHINGTON, DC — The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) this week shared details about a forthcoming $63 million funding opportunity for comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER) studies to reduce inequities in maternal health care and outcomes.

The Partnering Research and Community Organizations for Novel Health Equity Research: Addressing Health Systems Factors and Social Determinants of Maternal Health Targeted PCORI Funding Announcement, or Partner Targeted PFA, will focus on comparing multicomponent, multilevel interventions that simultaneously address clinical conditions and social determinants of health to improve maternal health outcomes, a high-priority research focus for PCORI. This funding opportunity also is part of PCORI’s commitment to supporting initiatives that further progress toward achieving health equity, one of the overarching priorities that guide PCORI’s work.

“Eliminating the significant disparities in maternal outcomes that persist in the United States requires evidence-based solutions that comprehensively address both the social and clinical needs of communities disproportionately experiencing adverse outcomes,” said PCORI Executive Director Nakela L. Cook, M.D., M.P.H. “This is why PCORI intends to fund CER studies in which community organizations are full partners in the work, providing leadership alongside researchers from study ideation through planning and conduct of the research.”

PCORI is sharing details about the funding opportunity in a pre-announcement to allow potential applicants ample notice to engage; obtain stakeholder input on potential CER study questions and designs; and gather other information and resources to develop responsive, high-quality proposals. PCORI will begin accepting Letters of Intent from prospective applicants to the Partner Targeted PFA in January 2023.

Among the details provided in the pre-announcement, PCORI shared that studies may focus on pre- and/or postnatal care and should include at least one of each of the following types of interventions: health system strategies to address disparities in maternal health outcomes and strategies to address social determinants of health.

PCORI will seek proposals from applicants with established researcher-community partnerships. Community organizations may include, for example, those that provide social services to address specific needs such as housing, food, and transportation; faith-based organizations; or organizations with relevant community data.

“Community-based organizations bring deep knowledge of residents’ lived experience as well as needs and factors that affect their health, access to care, and ability to take advantage of available care options,” Cook said. “This knowledge and experience are crucial to designing and conducting studies with greater chances of success to improve maternal outcomes and help move us toward a health system that eliminates inequities for all.”

Each awardee under the Partner Targeted PFA will have the opportunity to conduct one or more CER studies with their funds. This flexible structure will enable awardees to address more than one priority issue in their community. Each award will have a total funding opportunity of up to $21 million.

In addition to research costs, research funding will support mentoring opportunities for investigators from populations and communities traditionally underrepresented and underserved in health research, and awardees’ participation in a learning network across awardees.

Learn more about this pre-announcement and register for a town hall scheduled for interested applicants on October 24.


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is the nation’s leading funder of patient-centered comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER). By comparing two or more health or healthcare approaches, CER generates evidence that helps people make better-informed decisions and improves healthcare delivery and outcomes. PCORI takes a holistic approach to its work, ensuring that patients and other health decision makers are engaged as partners throughout the research process, supporting dissemination and implementation of results in practice and strengthening clinical research infrastructure to advance patient-centered CER. PCORI is an independent, non-profit organization authorized by Congress.

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