PCORI believes that meaningful patient and other stakeholder engagement is a critical component of patient-centered outcomes research and comparative effectiveness research. The primary difference between the engagement requirements in the Broad PFAs and those in the PCS and Targeted PFAs is the timing and scale of the engagement. The topics around which the PCS and Targeted PFAs are drafted were identified through a lengthy, multi-stakeholder process, underscoring the importance and relevance of these topics to the patient and stakeholder community. Applicants applying to the PCS and Targeted announcements must demonstrate how, upon receiving a contract for funding, they will engage their relevant patient and stakeholder partners as described in the PFAs found in the Funding Center. Conversely, the Broad PFAs are not oriented around a previously-prioritized and identified topic and therefore applicants must demonstrate active patient and other stakeholder partnership and support for the topic idea, research gap, and decisional dilemma at the time of proposal submission.
The other key distinction between these funding announcements is the scope and scale of the awards, with the PCS and Targeted PFAs being significantly larger in size and dollar amount. The engagement costs are thus much greater for the PCS and Targeted PFAs than for the Broad PFAs. We heard from applicants that the cost of engaging patients and stakeholders on a national or regional scale prior to award was cost-prohibitive and the revised engagement requirements allow for the cost of engagement to be covered fully by the contract. Additionally, it prevents attempts to form partnerships for applications that may not be funded and, thus, result in financially unsustainable engagement activities.
To support our Broad PFA applicant community, we have the Pipeline to Proposal Awards program, a competitive funding opportunity that provides three tiers of engagement funding for patients, researchers, and other stakeholders interested in potentially submitting a PCORI research proposal. More information about that program can be found here.