PCORI Help Center

Merit Review Process

Will the applications for SDM have to go through merit review?

Yes. PCORI conducts rigorous merit review of the full applications it receives. Note that applications may be eliminated from the review process for administrative reasons (e.g., non-responsiveness). An application may be administratively withdrawn if it is incomplete; is submitted past the stated due date and time; or does not meet the formatting criteria outlined in the Submission Instructions (formerly known as Application Guidelines), in the PCORI templates, and in PCORI Online.

Who is involved in the merit review process?

As part of “research done differently,” PCORI includes patients, caregivers, and other healthcare stakeholders in reviewing funding applications. In merit review panels, each reviewer’s score weighs equally to ensure that patients’ and other stakeholders’ perspectives are heard. See Merit Review Process for more information.

Do patients and stakeholders participate in the review process?

Yes. The SDM merit review process includes patient, stakeholder, and scientific reviewers. 

What’s the difference between the summary statement from merit review and the Associate Editor (AE) synthesis letter from PCORI peer review? How will each play into my application processing?

The merit review summary statement is an evaluation of your SDM Implementation application submission, and includes the assigned merit reviewers’ (pre-discussion) written evaluations of your application, a summary of the panel’s discussion of your application, and the final average overall application score from the full panel (multiplied by 10). The merit review summary statement does not reflect comments that may be raised during PCORI’s peer review of your submitted DFRR. These comments will be communicated to you separately via the AE synthesis letter.

To whom should I address my questions?  

Send all technical questions related to PCORI Online to pfa@pcori.org. Send all questions related to programmatic fit to disseminationquestions@pcori.org.

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