PCORI releases funding announcement to support methodology research, prioritizes research topics for future funding

PCORI will award $12 million for contracts that collaborate with patients and stakeholders, address knowledge gaps and advance the field of comparative clinical effectiveness research

On Nov. 16 the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) released a funding announcement (PDF, 701 KB) to support research that addresses methodological gaps in patient-centered outcomes research. The institute will award $12 million for up to 14 contracts that collaborate with patients and stakeholders, address knowledge gaps and advance the field of comparative clinical effectiveness research. This PCORI Funding Announcement (PFA) corresponds to PCORI's fifth priority area, Accelerating Patient-Centered and Methodological Research, from its National Priorities for Research and Research Agenda. The results of these studies will inform future iterations of the PCORI Methodology Report and its standards. (At their Nov. 19 meeting the PCORI Board of Governors adopted the revised Methodology Standards recommended by PCORI’s Methodology Committee. A full narrative report providing context for the standards is expected in spring 2013.) 

PCORI is hosting two workshops next week on Dec. 4-5 to discuss research topics suggested by patients and stakeholders and to develop a methodology for prioritizing specific research topics, and free live webcasts of the events will be available. Members of the public are encouraged to suggest a research question for PCORI to consider as part of a multi-step process to identify specific topics for research funding. Each question will be considered at the final workshop on Dec. 5. 

PCORI is also hosting a free special webinar next week on Dec. 3 on research funding opportunities for new and community-based medical schools and practice-based research networks, featuring PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby, PCORI Director of Contracts Management Martin Dueñas, American Association of Medical Colleges Chief Scientific Officer Ann Bonham and current PCORI-funded researchers. The webinar is targeted to medical school leaders, research administrators and potential faculty applicants.

On Nov. 12 PCORI released a request for information to gather input on research networks (PDF, 475KB), with responses due Jan. 4. The institute hopes to learn more about the infrastructure landscape and “discover previously unappreciated opportunities that could facilitate meaningful high quality PCOR.” PCORI also issued a related request for proposals this month, for which the deadline to respond has already passed, for a Comprehensive Inventory of Research Networks (PDF, 305KB). See PCORI Executive Director Joe Selby's recent blog post for more background on PCORI's work to build research infrastructure.

PCORI hosted its first patient engagement workshop at the end of October, where participants provided input to help the institute establish procedures for identifying research questions, reviewing research proposals for funding and ensuring patient participation throughout the research process. Ideas at the workshop included the concept of ‘micro-grants’ for building partnerships between patients and researchers and tools for matching researchers with patient partners. An archived webcast of the workshop is available online, along with a blog post about the workshop from PCORI's Director of Patient Engagement Sue Sheridan.