PCORI Help Center

What is a Study Advisory Committee (SAC)?

For Targeted PFAs and Pragmatic Clinical Studies (PCS), the SAC described in the PFA is to ensure that a broad spectrum of patients and other stakeholders advise and assist the research team with refining the study questions, outcomes, and protocols. These patients and other stakeholders must include national or regional organizations that represent, at a minimum, patients, caregivers, clinicians, policy makers, and other healthcare system stakeholders. Additional representation may be recommended in collaboration with PCORI, including individual patients with lived experience and other relevant stakeholders, such as scientific and methodological experts. However, PCORI understands that engagement structures and approaches vary widely. Other engagement approaches, such as forming stakeholder groups, panels, task forces, working groups, and other bodies, or involving individual patient and other stakeholder partners in various ways are also permissible to employ—either in addition to or instead of—the formation of the SAC. The SAC provision is not meant to require that a separate governance or advisory entity be established beyond the study governance and advisory structure the awardee has planned, if an applicant already has an approach for including the relevant and required patient and other stakeholder partners. For clarification in your application materials and merit review purposes, please indicate which body or structure is filling the SAC requirements, including the requirements for in-person meetings at least two times per year, and appropriate budgeting.  Please note that formation of an SAC is not required in Broad PFAs.

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