Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards

The healthcare research process traditionally includes only scientists and other research-related professionals. PCORI believes that engagement of nontraditional stakeholders—from topic selection through design and conduct of research to dissemination of results—can influence research to be more patient centered, useful, and trustworthy, and ultimately lead to greater use of research results by patients and the broader healthcare community.

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 stakeholdersinto the research process. The goal is to support projects that will build a community better able to participate in patient-centered research (PCOR) and comparative clinical effectiveness research (CER), as well as serve as channels to disseminate study results. This is central to our mission to fund useful CER that will help patients and those who care for them make better-informed healthcare decisions.

The Engagement Award program supports PCORI’s Engagement Imperative—defined in our 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. We expect projects selected for an Engagement Award to result in tools and resources that may be useful to other awardees for increasing patient and/or other stakeholder engagement in PCOR and CER, PCORI, and the broader PCOR community. We are committed to using and broadly sharing this information.

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.

The projects include…

  • Defining Patient-Centered Metrics for Low Value Care Phase I: Establishing Priorities
  • Facilitating Male Trauma Survivors’ Meaningful Involvement in Health Research
  • Facilitating Patient and Stakeholder Engagement through Partnerships
  • Engaging Stakeholders for a Patient-Centered Research Agenda for Chronic Kidney Disease in Delaware


The Engagement Awards Program is accepting applications and funding projects in the following award categories which are intended to give an idea of the types of projects that we are interested in supporting. Please note that projects can include elements of more than one award category; however, as part of the application process, you will need to select a primary category.

Knowledge Awards. These projects will produce information to increase understanding of what patients and other stakeholders need in order to make informed healthcare decisions. They will provide insight into the decisions patients and other stakeholders face when seeking healthcare treatments, and will help us better understand where there are gaps in usable, understandable information about healthcare treatments. These projects will also generate findings and build a knowledge base about how patients and other stakeholders want to participate in PCOR/CER and/or receive PCOR/CER findings, as well as how they can make use of findings to reach health and healthcare decisions.

Training and Development Awards. These capacity-building projects will build a community of patients, caregivers, and other stakeholders equipped to engage in PCOR/CER.

  • Training Awards are intended for projects that will equip these individuals, teams, and organizations with the skills necessary to meaningfully participate in PCOR/CER as partners throughout the research process. The PCORI Engagement Rubric outlines ways that engagement in research can occur. At this time, the Engagement Award program does not provide support for projects that focus on training related to the science of, and methods for, PCOR/CER.
  • Development Awards are intended for projects seeking to develop meaningful patient and other stakeholder relationships, as well as promote new partnerships. They can also stimulate new, innovative, and replicable activities meant to encourage previously unlikely collaborations for the purpose of PCOR/CER.

Dissemination Awards. These projects are designed to provide support for organizations with strong ties to end-user audiences to prepare to disseminate and implement PCOR/CER results. They are intended for projects focused on strengthening the infrastructure and relationships necessary to actively disseminate and implement research results or products derived from PCORI studies or other high-quality PCOR/CER findings consistent with PCORI’s research priorities. View funded projects.

Examples of projects that would be of interest include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Identify existing or emerging PCOR/CER findings highly relevant to your target population. Place the research results within the context of the existing body of evidence in the topic area identified. Develop, demonstrate, and evaluate the processes necessary to incorporate research results from the studies you have identified into decision-making settings.
  • Establish multi-stakeholder collaborations to identify effective pathways and approaches for reaching a common target audience, or for reaching multiple audiences for disseminating a set of PCOR/CER research results on a topic relevant to your organization’s mission. Propose and develop a set of strategies and the tools necessary to implement them. Test and refine the strategies.
  • Design innovative approaches to actively disseminate PCOR/CER findings that are oriented to your target population. Demonstrate that these approaches are capable of reaching your target audience and describe a strategy for how these approaches would be used to actively improve awareness and uptake of PCOR/CER findings with end users. Demonstrate the feasibility of implementing these approaches both with respect to the target end-users and any intermediaries important to their success.

Applicants must clearly explain how the infrastructure and relationships developed to disseminate and implement PCOR/CER could be sustained over time, with the potential to be scaled to reach an even greater audience or to disseminate and implement additional research findings.

The information and tools generated by Engagement Award projects must be generalizable; they must be of interest or use not just to the applicant organizations but to others doing related work. The tools and information will be made public so they can have a broader impact.

Finally, through the Engagement Award Initiative Notice (EAIN), we provide support for symposia, seminars, workshops, and other organized and formal meetings where individuals assemble to exchange information or explore issues or areas of knowledge related to PCOR/CER.

If you are considering applying for an Engagement Award, please be sure to review the awards we have already made to avoid submitting a proposal duplicative of work we are already funding.

For questions about Engagement Award application processes, technical assistance with the online application system, application deadlines, potential fit of a project idea, or related issues, please contact us at or (202) 370-9312.
We will provide a response within three business days.
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