Interactive PCORI Workshops Provide Key Insights to PCORnet Researchers

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is optimizing its health research funding process by connecting directly with applicants through interactive workshops designed to offer tips for engaging patients and developing competitive funding applications. PCORI, which is known across the research community for its innovative and ambitious National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network (PCORnet), also uses its funding workshops as an opportunity to get to know PCORnet and listen to feedback about how to improve and simplify its application process. Although the suggested tips and tactics to secure PCORI funding may vary depending on the research specifics, one central theme is key across every workshop: in all PCORI-funded research, patients’ needs come first.

“PCORI is an excellent funding source for researchers who are likewise committed to patient centricity across the study lifecycle,” said Alex Alexander, co-principal investigator and program director for the National Alzheimer’s & Dementia Patient & Caregiver-Powered Research Network (AD-PCPRN) and senior project manager, Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery at the Mayo Clinic. “These workshops offer clarification of important steps in the funding application process, like how to navigate the application system and the best approach to prioritizing letters of support.”

Alexander went on to explain that networking was an unintended benefit of joining the workshops in his case. In fact, his participation in PCORI’s first funding workshop led him to connect with the PCORI Engagement Team and guide one of AD-PCPRN’s partner organizations, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, to collaborate toward a successful PCORI award application. To date, Alexander has attended two PCORI funding workshops—not only to learn, but also to share insights on his success in receiving funding from PCORI and experiences working on PCORI-funded projects, as well as to offer tips to PCORI for improvement of the application experience.

“PCORI places patient involvement at a very high value when determining the need for project funding. If an investigator can bring patients into the study from its inception, study outcomes will have a more significant impact,” said Tammy Kester Engel, Mayo Clinic’s Grant Specialist for PCORnet’s Patient-Centered Network of Learning Health Systems (LHSNet) and AD-PCPRN programs. “I was able to pass on the information that I learned in the workshop regarding PCORI’s patient-focused process to the investigators that I support. Together, we work to identify the best ways to bring to life PCORI’s suggestions for embedding patients into our research practices.”

The next PCORI funding workshop is coming up this summer, and it is set to provide a comprehensive overview of PCORI and its current submission process, all the way from project selection through merit review, to ensure applicants are equipped with the necessary resources and knowledge to create a standout application. Stay tuned to the PCORI Applicant Training calendar to learn more about how you can attend future funding workshops and other opportunities.



The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010. Its mission is to fund research that will provide patients, their caregivers, and clinicians with the evidence-based information needed to make better-informed healthcare decisions. PCORI is committed to continually seeking input from a broad range of stakeholders to guide its work. More information is available at

About PCORnet

PCORnet, the National Patient-Centered Clinical Research Network, is an innovative initiative of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). The goal of PCORnet is to improve the nation’s capacity to conduct clinical research by creating a large, highly representative network that directly involves patients in the development and execution of research. More information is available at