PCORI's mission is to help people make better-informed healthcare decisions and improve healthcare delivery and outcomes. To generate the high-quality evidence needed to support these decisions, the PCORI Methodology Committee prepares a set of standards for patient-centered outcomes research.


PCORI supported the development of this academic curriculum to help researchers gain knowledge and skills to apply the standards to the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of research. The instructional materials are also appropriate for a diverse audience, including graduate students as well as healthcare stakeholders and decision makers.

The curriculum’s structure is based on the 2013 version of the PCORI Methodology Standards, which were organized into 11 categories. For each category, lectures are available in video and audio-only format and as printable handouts. In addition, there are four audio interviews and a teaching guide that includes self-assessment questions. Faculty at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine developed this curriculum under the direction of PCORI’s Methodology Committee.

Note: Although PCORI has updated the Methodology Standards since the 2013 version (most recently in February 2019), this version of the academic curriculum remains a relevant resource for explaining important scientific concepts and methodological issues in patient-centered outcomes research.


PCORI would like to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of the following individuals in the compilation of the PCORI Methodology Standards Academic Curriculum (MSC). Without their continued commitment, support, and close collaboration, this project would not have been possible.

MSC Project Management (Johns Hopkins University)

Jodi B. Segal, MD, MPH (Principal Investigator); Thomas Lynch, PhD, MA (Project Manager); Rohini Vanchiswaran, MS (Instructional Designer); Nancy Kass, ScD (Ethical Oversight)

MSC Academic Content (Johns Hopkins University Faculty)

Eric B. Bass, MD, MPH; Zackary Berger, MD, PhD; Clifton O. Bingham III, MD; Dan Ford, MD, MPH; Hadi Kharrazi, MD, PhD; Alison Klein, PhD, MHS; Tianjing Li, MD, PhD; Martin Makary, MD, MPH; Najlla Nassery, MD, MPH; Gary Rosner, ScD; Dan Scharfstein, ScD; Jodi B. Segal, MD, MPH; Elizabeth Stuart, PhD; Ravi Varadhan, PhD; Chenguang Wang, PhD; Albert W. Wu, MD, MPH; Scott L. Zeger, PhD

MSC Technical Production and Development (Center for Teaching and Learning, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)

Rohini Vanchiswaran (Instructional Designer); Sara Fisher (Lead Technical Writer); Tom Juhasz (Technical Writer); Mary Munoz (Technical Writer); Renee Dutton-O’Hara (Audio Producer); Ned Boyle (Audio Producer); Jamie Cerniglia (Audio Producer); Charles Jamison (Production Coordinator); Ron Spencer (Lead Audio Editor); Cal Dykes (Audio Editor); Kenneth Herron (Audio Editor); Karin Corl (Lead Web Developer); Brian Klaas (Web Developer); Susan Leibtag (Quality Control)

PCORI Methodology Committee (For reviewing drafts of the curriculum and providing invaluable comments and suggestions)

Robin Newhouse, PhD, RN (Chair); Steven Goodman, MD, MHS, PhD (Vice-Chair); Naomi Aronson, PhD; Ethan Basch, MD, MSc; David Flum, MD, MPH; Cynthia Girman, DrPH; Mark Helfand, MD, MS, MPH; Robert Kaplan, PhD; Michael S. Lauer, MD; David O. Meltzer, MD, PhD; Brian S. Mittman, PhD; Sally C. Morton, PhD; Neil R. Powe, MD, MPH, MBA; Sebastian Schneeweiss, MD, ScD; Mary Tinetti, MD; Adam Wilcox, PhD; Clyde Yancy, MD, MSc

PCORI Staff (For contributing to the scientific oversight, review, comment, and contract and production support of this curriculum project)

Science: Allison Ambrosio, MPH; Kimberly Bailey, MS; Geeta Bhat, MPH; Fatou Ceesay, MPH; Yen-pin Chiang, PhD; Katie Hughes, MA; Jana-Lynn Louis, MPH; Jessica McCreary, MPH; Jess Robb, MPH; Daniel Tisch, MS; and Kara Odom Walker, MD, MPH, MSHS

Communications and Information Technology: Tommesha Allen; Marla Bolotsky; James Convery; Amy Grossman, MA; Lila Guterman, MS; Liue Neway; Julie Miller, PhD, MA; Santosh Rao, MA; Bill Silberg; Angela Smith; and Blake Whitney

Procurement: Jason Holloway, Fiona McEachran, Michael Medlock, Tom Ringwood

Posted: February 2016; Updated: July 28, 2017

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