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Engagement Award: Capacity Building

Grants to USA Nonprofit, For-Profits, Agencies, and IHE Hospitals
to Improve Research Capacity and Healthcare Outcomes

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/10/22 5:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA nonprofit and for-profit organizations, government agencies, and university hospitals and healthcare systems to promote healthcare outcomes and clinical effectiveness research. A letter of intent must be submitted prior to applying. Funding is intended to support projects that encourage active, meaningful involvement of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders as integral members of the patient-centered outcomes research/comparative clinical effectiveness research (PCOR/CER) enterprise. This program provides funding for research support rather than for research studies.

The Engagement Award program supports PCORI’s Engagement Imperative—defined in the Strategic Plan—and provides a platform to increase engagement in research, that is, the meaningful involvement of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and other healthcare stakeholders throughout the research process. Projects selected for an Engagement Award are expected to result in tools and resources that may be useful to other awardees for increasing patient and/or other stakeholder engagement in PCOR/CER, PCORI, and the broader PCOR community. PCORI is committed to using and widely sharing this information. 

There are two special areas of interest: (1) intellectual and developmental disabilities and (2) maternal morbidity and mortality.

Funding Priorities:

This funding announcement offers an opportunity for organizations and community groups to build capacity and skills for patient-centered outcomes research and comparative clinical effectiveness research (PCOR/CER). PCORI is receptive to applications to the Engagement Award: Capacity Building encompassing a wide range of research support project topics.

In the context of the Engagement Awards program, capacity building to support research refers to the following types of projects:

  • Projects that support organizations with strong ties to patients, caregivers, clinicians, and/or other stakeholders who have a connection to, expertise in, or lived experience related to the focus area to equip them to engage as partners in PCOR/CER. These projects will focus on building the knowledge, competencies, and abilities of their community to be meaningful partners with researchers throughout the research process from topic selection through design and conduct of research to dissemination or implementation of results.
  • Projects that strengthen the skills of researchers to be better partners with patients and other stakeholders involved in PCOR/CER.
  • Projects that support the adoption or expansion of existing engagement tools and resources whenever possible, rather than develop new products and tools. Projects may implement available tools, processes, or programs, alone or in combination, in a new population or geographic area—for example, a new network of clinicians, patient advocates, and academic researchers.

More about the types of projects can be found at

More about the special areas of interest can be found at

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180287

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants may propose projects for up to $250,000 in total costs.

Term of Contract:

Applicants may propose projects for up to two years in duration.

For the October 2021 Engagement Awards funding cycle, the contract start date should be planned for no earlier than June 1, 2022, and no later than November 1, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications may be submitted by any private-sector organization, including any nonprofit or for-profit organization; any public-sector organization, including any university or college hospital or healthcare system; or any unit of local, state, or federal government. The Internal Revenue Service must recognize all US applicant organizations. Organizations may submit multiple funding applications. Individuals are not permitted to apply. Nondomestic components of organizations based in the United States and foreign organizations may apply, as long as there is demonstrable benefit to the US healthcare system, and US efforts in the area of patient-centered research can be shown clearly.

PCORI requires that all applicants adhere to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) policy on education in the protection of human subject participants. This applies to all individuals listed as key personnel in the application.

These awards are for research support projects; this program does not fund research studies.

For Categories of Nonresponsiveness, see here:

Pre-proposal Conference:

This virtual "office hour" will provide applicants an opportunity to ask questions and connect with members of the PCORI Engagement Awards Team about this Engagement Award funding opportunities cycle.
- Applicant Office Hours Session 1: August 23, 2021, 1-1:30 pm (ET):
- Applicant Office Hours Session 2: September 15, 2021, 1-1:30 pm (ET):

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates:
- Online System Opens: August 2, 2021
- Applicant Webinar: Available August 19, 2021 (Recorded)
- Applicant Office Hours Session 1: August 23, 2021, 1-1:30 pm (ET)
- Applicant Office Hours Session 2: September 15, 2021, 1-1:30 pm (ET)
- LOI Deadline: October 1, 2021, by 5 pm (ET)
- LOI Status Notification: Within 60 calendar days of LOI deadline
- Full Proposal Deadline: January 10, 2022, by 5 pm (ET)
- Earliest Project Start Date: June 1, 2022

Letters of Intent (LOI) must be submitted by the stated deadline. LOIs will be screened for responsiveness to the call for applications and fit to program goals. PCORI will review LOIs within 60 calendar days of submission.

Full proposal submissions are by invitation only, after review and approval of the LOI, and must be submitted by the stated deadline. PCORI may request additional information from the applicant after the initial review of the full proposal. PCORI aims to provide a final programmatic approval decision on the full proposal, via email, within 90 calendar days of the submission deadline. If the full proposal is programmatically approved, a PCORI staff member will coordinate arrangements to begin budgetary review and contracting negotiations. Typically, contract negotiations take about six-to-eight weeks.

To select high-quality patient-centered projects, PCORI’s Engagement and Contract Management and Administration teams, and internal and external subject-matter experts (as necessary) will review all LOIs and full proposals.

Engagement Awards FAQs:

Webinar recording:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application portal:

If you have any additional questions or would like to schedule a program fit call, please contact PCORI at or (202) 370-9312. PCORI will respond within three business days.

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
1828 L St. NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-827-7700
Fax: 202-355-9558

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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