PCORI Help Center

Merit Review Process

Will the applications for D&I 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., nonresponsiveness). An application may be administratively withdrawn if it is incomplete, is submitted past the stated due date and time, or does not meet the formatting criteria outlined in the Submission Instructions (formerly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 Review Funding Applications for more information.

Do patients and stakeholders participate in the review process?

Yes. The merit review process for implementation projects 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 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. PCORI will communicate these comments to you separately via the AE synthesis letter.

Who approves Implementation awards for funding?
After the in-person meeting, PCORI program staff evaluate final merit review panel scores and comments, identify duplication or synergy among funded projects, and consider the fit of applications within the programmatic vision.

PCORI staff then recommend projects to the Office of the Chief Engagement and Dissemination Officer for funding approval. Projects with total budgets of $500k and over are also presented to the Engagement, Dissemination, & Implementation Committee for endorsement and to the Board of Governors for funding approval. The Engagement, Dissemination, and Implementation Committee, which is a subcommittee of PCORI’s Board of Governors, governs the D&I program (including its funded projects portfolio).

Who should I address my questions to?
Send all technical questions related to PCORI Online to pfa@pcori.org. Send all questions related programmatic fit to disseminationquestions@pcori.org.

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