PCORI Help Center

Letter of Intent

Are Letters of Intent (LOI) required?
Yes. All applicants must submit an LOI before they submit an application. Beginning January 2017, the D&I LOI review will be competitive: only applicants whose LOIs are deemed most responsive to this PFA will be invited to submit a full application.

What information is required for the LOI?

The LOI for the proposed project should contain the following information:

The LOI for the proposed project should contain the following information:

  • Title of proposed implementation project
  • The original PCORI research award number, PFA under which the original research award was funded, project title, and the name of the original PI.
  • Anticipated date results will be ready (i.e., when the PCORI draft final research report will be accepted for entry into PCORI’s peer-review process or a manuscript reporting PCORI results for implementation will be formally accepted for publication by a peer-reviewed scientific journal)
  • Indication of whether the proposed project is a collaborative project
  • Clear identification and a description of the research findings to be implemented, including a clear description of the statistical and clinical significance/meaningfulness of the results that justifies interest in implementing them
  • Description of how the research findings contribute to the existing body of evidence and significantly improve upon currently available information
  • Objective and specific aims of the proposed implementation project
  • A clear description of the implementation strategy and approach, including any translation or adaptations needed to promote accessibility, use, and uptake of the research findings
  • A description of who will be involved in the delivery of all essential components of the project
  • A description and estimate of the number of people whose care experience and health outcomes are expected to ultimately change as a result of the project
  • A logic pathway that shows how the proposed implementation activities will lead to changes in knowledge, behavior, and, ultimately health outcomes
  • Clear identification and a description of the setting(s) in which implementation will occur and of the participants who will be involved
  • Description of how implementation sites and partners have demonstrated their commitment to using the PCORI results and meaningfully participating in the project, at both the site leadership level and at the level of those responsible for carrying out the implementation activities
  • A description of the evaluation plan, including an appropriate balance of measurable outcomes that document both the successful performance of implementation activities in getting the intervention into practice and the impact of these activities on outcomes such as behavior change, healthcare utilization, and health
  • Stakeholder engagement in the planning and execution of this implementation effort
  • Indication of whether the proposed project is a resubmission

How much can the protocol proposed in my application differ from that initially described in my LOI?

Applicants should not make major changes to their application, including to the implementation approach, specific aims, institution, or PI without prior approval from the D&I program. LOIs are invited to apply based on the information provided. If you need to change any of this information or have any questions, email pfa@pcori.org.

Can I list a different PI in the final application than was listed in the LOI?
No; if the PI changes between the LOI phase and the application phase, applicants must speak with a Program Officer before the deadline to obtain approval. Failure to obtain written approval prior to the deadline may result in the application being rejected.

If I do not submit an LOI, can I still submit an application? (I missed the deadline to submit an LOI. Can I still submit an application?)
No, only applicants who submit an LOI can submit an application.

Can the PI submit the LOI via his or her account, or does the LOI need to be submitted by the institutional Administrative Official?
The PI should submit the LOI for the project, as the PI will be serving as our main point of contact. An Administrative Official is required to submit the full application.

Can multiple people access the LOI?
Yes. The PI may assign a “PI Designee” to access and edit the LOI. Only one person may work on the application in PCORI Online at a time.

What budget information is required for the LOI? How detailed does it need to be?
Only a budget estimate is required to complete the LOI. PCORI will advise applicants who are invited to submit a full application as to the acceptability of the budget proposed in their LOI.

What if I need more time or funding than is allowed for this PFA?

PCORI encourages projects that will be completed within a 2-year project period, at the level of $350,000 in direct costs, but will accept applications requesting up to $1,000,000 and requests for a longer project period up to 3 years with clear and adequate justification. Applicants will indicate the funds requested and intended project period when submitting their LOI. PCORI will advise applicants who are invited to submit a full application as to the acceptability of the budget and project period proposed in their LOI.

In general, applications requesting budgets larger than $500,000 in total costs are expected to demonstrably and significantly increase the reach (i.e., the total number of individuals expected to be reached through the proposed implementation project), generalizability (applicability of intervention across different groups, systems, or settings), uptake (use and adoption among more systems, settings, or sites), and overall impact of the evidence proposed for implementation.

PCORI will not consider projects requesting funds in excess of $1,000,000 direct costs and/or time greater than three years for this PFA.

How soon after I submit my LOI can I begin my application?
Only applicants whose LOIs are deemed most responsive to this PFA will be invited to submit a full application. Invited applicants may begin the application process as soon as they receive their LOI feedback, about a month after the LOI due date. However, the PCORI draft final research report must be submitted prior to the application deadline.

How should I format my LOI using the template PCORI provides?
All LOIs are required to use Calibri font size 11 and single spacing. Replace the italicized gray and any instructional text with your response. You must retain the bold headings and question numbers and write your response directly after the bold heading. Applicants are also required to use half-inch margins (the header may fall within the top margin, but the body text should not begin closer than a half-inch from the edge of the page). You do not have to provide spaces between questions. Please view the LOI sample template.

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