PCORI Help Center

What to include in the application

Can I change information from the LOI stage to the application stage? 

Yes. However, you are invited to submit an application based on the information provided in the LOI. Any changes to the following require PCORI's written approval before submission:

  • PI
  • Institution
  • Implementation approach
  • Specific aims
  • SDM approach

If you need to change any of this information or have any questions, email pfa@pcori.org. Due to the volume of requests PCORI receives, applicants should submit the request early. 

PCORI provides templates for certain portions of the application. Do I have to use these templates or may I create my own?

PCORI requires applicants to use the templates provided for the current funding cycle. Templates are available in the Funding Center. Please use the templates for the specific PFA and cycle to which you are applying because they might vary from PFA to PFA and cycle to cycle. Additional information can be found in the Submission Instructions (formerly known as Application Guidelines).

Do I need to use the PCORI D&I Framework to guide my Project Plan?

No. Applicants are required to propose a Project Plan and associated evaluation strategy that is informed and guided by an established conceptual model or framework, but PCORI does not prescribe which model or framework should be used. There are many D&I models and frameworks that have been established in the literature.

You might find the following resources helpful as you decide upon an appropriate evaluation framework to use in your proposed project:

Tabak, RG; Khoong, EC; Chambers, DA; and Brownson, RC. 2012. Bridging research and practice: models for dissemination and implementation research. Am J Prev Med. 43(3): 337–350. Dissemination and Implementation Models in Health Research and Practice website

What are the page-formatting requirements that I should follow when submitting an application? To complete an application, you’ll need to enter information into fields within PCORI Online, complete and upload PCORI-provided templates, and create and upload documents. Please follow the formatting requirements below.

Documents that are uploaded (excluding Letters of Support) must be formatted as follows:

  • Header: Include the PI’s full name in the top-left corner of the page header.
  • Margins: Use at least half-inch margins. The header may fall within the top margin, but the body text should not begin closer than one half-inch from the edge of the page.
  • Font: Use size 11 Calibri for the main body of the text. Figures and captions may be size 8 font.
  • Page Numbering: Consecutively number each section, starting with page 1 (e.g., Research Strategy 1–20).
  • Spacing: Use single spacing.
  • Document Format: Upload all attachments in PDF format.

The Submission Instructions (formerly known as Application Guidelines) and PCORI templates note additional instructions, including page or length restrictions (when applicable).

How does the Technical Abstract differ from the Project Summary?

Both summaries should describe the proposed project. The Technical Abstract should be written for a scientific audience and can include more technical language. The Project Summary, however, is meant to be published on our website when awards are announced. This is how information about your proposal will be understood by the general public, and it should describe your project using nontechnical language that the general public will understand.

What can be removed from the PCORI templates? 

You may delete instructional text boxes, but you must keep each section header. 

What should be included for milestones in the Milestones tab?

Milestones described within the Milestones tab should include project objectives and deliverables that will be accomplished at specific times during the proposed project. 

What is required in the Project/Performance Site(s) and Resources sections of the People and Places Template?

The Project/Performance Site(s) section should contain a list of addresses for all of the places where you will conduct the work described in the Project Plan. This list must include the organizational name, full physical address, city, county, state, Zip code, and congressional district. List the primary implementation site first and follow with the others as needed. Demonstrate that the proposed facilities have the appropriate resources required to conduct the project as planned, within budget, on time, and successfully. 

What is required in the Project Personnel and Environment portion of the Project Strategy section of the Project Plan Template?

Describe how your team members contribute to the probability of success because of their skills, expertise, connections, etc. This should not duplicate biosketch information. Use this section to describe how this group of individuals will succeed as a team. 

What information should be included in the Professional Profile/Biosketch?

Professional Profiles/Biosketches (limit five pages each) must include the person’s name, title, degrees, and the following information, where relevant:

  • Personal statement
  • Education and training
  • Employment and positions held
  • Honors
  • Selected peer-reviewed publications and other publications
  • Public speaking or presentations
  • Research support

Who needs to have a Professional Profile/Biosketch?

Any individual contributing to the project in any substantive way is expected to have a complete Professional Profile/Biosketch. Patients and stakeholders should also have one. PCORI recognizes that not all sections of a Professional Profile/Biosketch will be applicable to patient and stakeholder members of the research team; therefore, applicants are encouraged to fill out the Patient/Partner Biosketch instead. 

Are biosketches required for patient and other stakeholder partners?

Biosketches are required for all key personnel, whether they are researchers, patients, or other stakeholders. Patient partners have a wealth of experience and wisdom, and we would like them to have an opportunity to provide that background, just as researchers or other stakeholders do. Please use the PCORI template developed specifically for patient and stakeholder partners. 

If a project team member has an NIH biosketch, can he or she use this as his or her PCORI Professional Profile?

Yes, you may use a current NIH biosketch as a professional profile instead of the PCORI Professional Profile, but it must not exceed five pages. 

Can I list a different PI in the application than was listed in the LOI?

Changes to the PI or institution between the LOI and application phase require prior approval from PCORI’s program staff before submitting the full application. Submit the request to pfa@pcori.org and include a rationale for the change, Letter of Support from the intended PI, and a cover letter or Professional Profile/Biosketch for the replacement PI. 

Who should write the Letters of Support and to whom should they be addressed?

Each person listed as key personnel should write a Letter of Support. Any group or individual willing to speak for or recommend the implementation project is also encouraged to complete a letter. Letters of Support should be addressed to the PI, consolidated into a single PDF, and uploaded into PCORI Online.

A Letter of Support is also required from the PI of the original PCORI-funded research project if he or she is not the proposed PI of the current application.

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