This month, the Patient Centered Outcome Research Institute (PCORI) released its latest program funding announcements (PFAs) and guidelines for up to $76 million available during the Fall 2014 funding cycle.
This latest round of funding includes a number of changes from previous cycles – including a lengthier and competitive letter of intent (LOI) process. The LOI submission for this round is considerably more extensive than in past rounds with required fields for specific aims, burden of condition or issue to be studied, research priorities, patient description, description of outcomes, sample size, real-life applicability of strategies, engagement plan, and study design – among others. Furthermore, all LOIs will be screened by PCORI staff for responsiveness to the PFA and the associated program goals, with only a subset invited to submit a full application.
This new LOI process is intended not only to streamline the costs of merit review but also to save applicants time by ensuring all applications are at least within the realm of responsiveness to the PFA, to ensure that all LOI submissions are serious, and to help recruit reviewers with expertise in the areas identified in the LOIs.
PCORI has also launched a new formal programmatic inquiry system in which applicants are invited to submit both technical and non-technical questions about the application process. PCORI has also indicated that this process may be used to launch discussions with staff about which PFA may be the best fit.
Finally, PCORI has indicated that they are interested in providing geographic priority to states that have not yet received PCORI funding – including Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
As in previous cycles, PCORI remains interested in having a strong patient engagement strategy that is well articulated in the LOI and application – with patients involved in all aspects of the research from formulation to dissemination.
PFAs are available in each of the following areas:
- Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options
- Improving Healthcare Systems
- Communication and Dissemination Research
- Addressing Disparities
- Improving Methods for Conducting Patient-Centered Outcomes Research
While the types of PFAs remain unchanged from previous cycles, there have been changes within the priority areas of each. A summary of the specific changes in each of the PFAs can be found here.
PCORI is hosting online town halls this week. Letters of Intent are due by September 5th with notification from PCORI by September 19th. If invited, full applications are due by November 4, 2014.