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Associate Director, Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science (CEDS)

Post Date


Job Location

1333 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, District of Columbia


Department: Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science

Reports to:  Director, Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science


About Us

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.


Position Summary

PCORI is conducting a national search for an Associate Director to support our Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science unit within the Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) division. The incumbent must have a proven track record of leadership possessing comprehensive breadth of knowledge in multiple clinical, policy, analytic, and methodologic issues to allow for knowledgeable oversight of the portfolio. In addition, the incumbent must demonstrate mastery of executive-level science leadership skills related to the analysis and prioritization of scientific and related challenges in the solicitation, award, and management of multiple research projects.  

Under the direction of the Program Director, the Associate Director is responsible for leading and supervising a scientific team of Program Officers and Program Associates in the strategic decision-making and high-level planning, management and monitoring of the program portfolio, and a broad array of program activities (e.g., advisory panels, workgroup meetings) that advance PCORI’s research agenda. The incumbent will optimize functional alignment and coherency of their team’s unit to align with an evolving operating model that integrates multiple disciplines, provides clearly defined positions, and creates a collaborative, inclusive culture to ultimately achieve PCORI’s mission.

PCORI’s Scientific Programs focus on comparing patient-centered approaches to improve the equitability, effectiveness, and efficiency of care as well as seek to fill clinical information gaps by producing valid, trustworthy, and useful new evidence comparing the effectiveness of different clinical options.   

A cover letter is required for application to this position.

This position is located in Washington, DC, and is not eligible for full-time remote telework.


Duties and Responsibilities

Management and General Program Responsibilities:

  • Supervises and mentors a scientific team of professional staff, including Senior Program Officers, Program Officers, and Program Associates to accomplish a broad array of scientific development and oversight functions across the life cycle of extramural research funding in patient centered outcomes research.
  • Assists the Program Director, Program, and Senior leadership in identifying and implementing strategic objectives for the program and PCORI.
  • Evaluates the program’s portfolio to ensure balance and to identify need for modification of strategic funding directions and future funding opportunities.
  • Provides scientific, professional, and developmental guidance to mentor each team member to foster optimal performance and growth.


Portfolio Management:

  • Applies knowledge of clinical care delivery and/or clinical trials to portfolio management activities including PFA development, pre-award reviews, discussions with applicants, and serves as a resource to PCORI staff when clinical expertise is required.
  • Develops, with assistance from PCORI staff and external organizations, program-specific funding announcements
  • Actively engages in PCORI’s processes for reviewing and awarding applications received through the funding announcement process.
  • Advises awardees on the execution of their contracts; advises potential applicants regarding their applications and the application process.
  • Engages in active portfolio management by monitoring awardees’ attainment of contract milestones and overall study progress, conducting site visits, and implementing learning networks or conferences to facilitate shared learning opportunities for relevant stakeholders.


Organizational Responsibilities and Contributions:

  • Leads/participates in small teams or working groups to conceptualize research topics, perform or assess systematic reviews of evidence, execute strategic research portfolio management, implement strategic planning, identify emerging initiatives, and facilitate the prioritization of research questions by experts, Board Committees, or advisory panels.
  • Represents PCORI publicly regarding program direction, program funding, the application process, and award results.
  • Participates in conferences, seminars, and other professional development activities to maintain and enhance expertise and professional status.
  • Keeps Program Director and team apprised of developments and occurrences in the field that are likely to affect program decision-making, strategies, and/or award decision-making.
  • Carries out other responsibilities as assigned by PCORI management.


Incumbent(s) in this position may be required to perform other duties and special assignments not specifically stated above.

Statements outlined in this section are designated as essential job functions in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Required Skills

  • Possess the requisite knowledge, skills, and strong leadership experience in mentoring and supervising a scientific team of Program Officers and Program Associates.
  • Demonstrate expertise in clinical trial design, and execution and oversight in research methods, which may be reflected by prior success in publishing first-authored scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Demonstrate expertise in clinical research analysis and prioritization of scientific and related challenges in the solicitation, award, and management of multiple research projects.
  • Able to manage complex tasks with substantial independent responsibility, balancing multiple projects with competing deadlines and priorities, and opportunities to make substantive contributions to the research and program development activities of PCORI.
  • Display strong written and verbal communication and oral presentation skills.
  • Possess high tolerance for ambiguity.
  • Exhibit motivation to support PCORI’s mission and goals; to work independently and in teams to think imaginatively about opportunities; to create and respond to innovative approaches to addressing an issue; to inspire others to work towards achieving team goals.
  • Demonstrate outstanding interpersonal and teamwork skills; collegial, energetic, able to develop productive relationships with colleagues, awardees, consultants, external funders, and others who contribute to program development and management.
  • Show sound judgment and maturity, exemplified by consistent professionalism in dealing with individuals at all levels, both internally and externally.
  • Maintain confidentiality, exercise discretion, personal maturity, good judgement, and strong work ethic.
  • Able to make decisions, justify recommendations, and is responsive and clear with funding announcement applicants.
  • Able to synthesize material and focus quickly on the essence of an issue; to identify major opportunities in a specific area; to see the big picture.
  • Able to link organizational goals to individual department missions and activities and able to envision innovative solutions.
  • Able to travel, as required, including for site visits, and representing PCORI at external meetings.


Required Experience

  • Doctoral degree plus minimum of seven (7) years of experience is preferred; however, Masters’ degree plus ten (10) years of experience also will be considered, and proven leadership in program and staff management and development.
  • Experience in leading and mentoring a scientific team, managing large, complex research programs, funded portfolios, assessing risk and developing recommendations and action plans. Extensive experience working in a funding organization with increasing responsibilities and senior management roles is a plus.
  • Proven leadership for specific area of knowledge in one or more of PCORI’s program areas: Evidence for Existing Interventions and Emerging Innovations and/or Advance the Science of Dissemination, Implementation, and Health Communication.



The health and safety of our employees is a top priority. As part of that commitment, PCORI requires all employees, regardless of remote work status, to be vaccinated against COVID-19. As a prospective and/or new employee at PCORI, you will be required to comply with PCORI's vaccination policy, report your vaccination status, and provide proof of vaccination. Compliance with the policy does allow for exceptions, but those exceptions will only be granted in circumstances related to medical conditions, disabilities, and sincerely held religious beliefs. Continuing with this application indicates your intent to comply with PCORI's Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.


PCORI conducts background checks on all applicants.


PCORI’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion:

PCORI is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity both internal and external to the workplace. You can learn more about our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion here All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.




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This position is located at 1333 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. View the Google Map in full screen.