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What are the PCORI Engagement Awards?

The Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Award program, named in honor of the first chair of PCORI’s Board of Governors, is intended to bring more patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders into the research process. The goal is to support projects that will build a community that is better able to participate in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) and comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER), and to serve as channels to disseminate study results. This is central to PCORI’s mission to fund useful CER that will help patients and those who care for them make better-informed healthcare decisions. 

Engagement Awards are not research awards. Accordingly, we cannot provide support for projects that attempt to answer research questions or test hypotheses, study causal links, or test a new, modified, or previously untested intervention, service, or program. Nor do we fund the development of research proposals. 

Many organizations, including patient groups and research institutions, have developed and implemented successful PCOR-focused trainings and programs, and there is a growing body of literature in this field. Unfortunately, successful methods and best practices for increasing patient and stakeholder engagement in research are not currently being disseminated at a pace consistent with the demands for patient-centered CER. 

Additionally, it is vital that PCORI support organizations to lay the groundwork to actively disseminate PCORI-funded research findings to potential users of the information.  Disseminating and promoting the uptake of research findings is part of PCORI’s legal mandate to improve the quality and relevance of evidence available to help patients, caregivers, clinicians, employers, insurers, and policy makers make better-informed health decisions

Below are the three Engagement Award funding announcements:  

  • Engagement Award: Capacity Building funds projects that build communities prepared to participate in PCOR/CER and serve as channels for disseminating study results. It also focuses on offering organizations and community groups the opportunity to scale up or adopt meaningful engagement tools and resources with more communities, stakeholders, and patients, with the intent to further build capacity/skills for PCOR/CER. 
  • Engagement Award: Dissemination Initiative funds initiatives (not conferences) to disseminate PCORI-funded research evidence and published findings, systematic reviews, and evidence updates targeted directly to patients, clinicians, and others who can use this information to inform healthcare decisions. The emphasis should be on active dissemination strategies, rather than on passive dissemination or material/partnership development for future dissemination.
  • Engagement Award: Stakeholder Convening Support provides support to organizations and community groups to hold multi-stakeholder convenings, meetings, and conferences that include a variety of stakeholder groups. The convenings supported under this funding opportunity should be designed with the active involvement of patient and community groups and organizations to bring diverse stakeholders together around a central focus or theme that unifies stakeholders (e.g., geography, health condition, population), explore issues related to PCOR/CER, or communicate PCORI-funded research results to targeted end user audiences. This award was previously known as Engagement Award: Conference Support.
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