Comparative effectiveness research and patient-centered outcomes research definitions.

Steps to write and fund your Patient-Centered CER Proposal

Writing a patient patient-centered CER proposal can be very challenging. Fortunately, more resources are becoming available for guiding you through the process of writing and funding a proposal for patient-centered CER. We have consolidated and organized this information through an online course and a decision tool for more specific observational settings.

We suggest that you take advantage of these resources by following the subsequent steps to write and fund your Patient-Centered proposal:
1) Review the proposals already funded by the agency to which you are applying, and consider their training opportunities.
If you are applying to the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), you can find their funded projects here. PCORI also provides applicant training webinars on their specific application and review process. You can also visit the PCORI blog for current information.
2) Take the (self-guided) online course: PCOR Studies Part I: Writing a Successful Concept Proposal.  
This course, which was produced as part of the Expanding National Capacity in PCOR through Training (ENACT) Program, and funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, outlines the steps and resources needed for writing a Patient-Centered CER Proposal. This online version of the course, which is publicly available in the form of a Google Document, has a number of embedded links and resources for those seeking further instruction on specific topics.
The available resources include the PCORI Methodology Standards Academic Curriculum produced by Johns Hopkins University, University of Pittsburgh and UPMC Stakehold Engagement Resources Guide and online videos produced by the University of California at Davis and videos from Ohio State University. Further information on the specific modules is available here.
The second course, PCOR Studies Part II: Writing a Full Contract Proposal, is coming soon.
3) If you are proposing to evaluate comparative effectiveness using observational data, refer to the Decision Tool for Causual Inference and Observational Data Analysis Methods in Comparative Effectiveness Research (DECODE CER).
This decision tool was produced through a PCORI-funded statistical methods contract. This tool, which is publically available in the form of a Google Slides presentation, has a number of embedded links and resources for thos seeking further instruction in the specific methods available for observational data and non-statisticians who want to learn more about the overall methods available for making causal inferences about treatment effectiveness. 

4) Stay current on funding opportunities by Signing-up for the Comparative Effectiveness Research Core (CERC) e-mail list.

We periodically send out email updates about PCORI and other CER/PCOR news.

If you have further questions about our research, please email Monica Costlow.

Journal Articles and Guides


  • Dr. Douglas Landsittel was a speaker at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Seattle, Washington in August 2015.
  • Dr. Douglas Landsittel was a speaker at the International Conference on Health Policy Statistics in Providence, Rhode Island in October 2015.
  • Dr. Sally C. Morton gave the Lowell Reed lecture at the American Public Health Association in Chicago, Illinois in November 2015.
  • Dr. Sally C. Morton spoke at the International Chinese Statistical Association 2016 Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia in June 2016 on “Challenges for Statisticians in Patient-Centered Pragmatic Studies.”
  • Dr. Chaeryon Kang spoke at the Joint Statistical Meetings in Chicago, Illinois in August 2016.
  • The Causal Inference Methods for PCOR Using Observational Data (CIMPOD) conference was broadcast over the internet. There were a number of high profile speakers, including Miguel Hernan, Dylan Small, and our University of Pittsburgh CERC colleague, Doug Landsittel. The conference talks were videotaped and are currently available to view. Please visit CIMPOD and click on the “Click here to watch CIMPOD 2016 live” link. You will then see 2 different places to push the play arrow; the top arrow is day 2 and the bottom arrow​ is day 1.

External Courses and Tools