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Program Officer, Methodological Research

Job Location

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


Department: Methods Unit, PCOR Infrastructure and Innovation Division 

Reports to: Chief Research Infrastructure Officer


A cover letter addressing how candidates’ background and experience qualifies them to support research advancing methodological research, as described in the required experience section of the position description, is required for application to this position.


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

Under the direction of the Chief Research Infrastructure Officer, the Program Officer is responsible for strategic decision-making and high-level program planning, management and monitoring of a program portfolio and program activities (e.g., advisory panels, workgroup meetings) that advance PCORI’s patient-centered research agenda. The primary responsibilities include providing scientific oversight for funded research awards, development of funding announcements, and evaluation and implementation of activities to further the strategic direction of the Patient Centered Research program.  


PCOR Infrastructure and Innovation’s Methods unit is seeking a Program Officer to support methodological research funded under the Enhance Infrastructure to Accelerate Patient-Centered Outcomes Research and Accelerate Progress Towards an Integrated Learning Health System National Priorities for Health. 


Duties and Responsibilities

General Program Responsibilities:

  • Assists Methods unit leadership, , PCOR Infrastructure Chief, and Patient Centered Research program leadership in identifying and implementing strategic objectives for the Program.
  • Identifies and manages the development and implementation of program funding activities (e.g., funding opportunity announcements).
  • Supports the PCORI Methodology Committee in the development and refinement of the Methodology Standards and other initiatives to support methodological innovation.
  • Collaborates with staff from other Patient Centered Research programs, as well as Communications, and Contracts Management staff in implementing program activities.
  • Works closely with a team of PCORI staff in managing research awards. 

Portfolio Management:

  • Identifies and manages the design and implementation of activities related to the development of program-specific PCORI funding announcements (e.g., convening workgroup and advisory panels meetings, working with external organizations including government organizations)
  • Develops, with assistance from PCORI staff and external organizations, program-specific PCORI funding announcements.
  • Actively engages in PCORI’s processes for reviewing and awarding applications received through the PCORI funding announcement process.
  • Advises awardees on the execution of their contracts
  • 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.
  • Collaborates with contract management staff to assess status of projects.
  • Evaluates the program’s portfolio to ensure balance and to identify need for modification of strategic funding directions and opportunities. 
  • Advises potential applicants regarding their applications and the application process.

 Organizational Responsibilities and Contributions:

  • Represents PCORI publicly regarding program direction, program funding, and the application process and award results. 
  • Participates in conferences, seminars, and other professional development activities to maintain and enhance expertise and professional status.
  • Leads, contributes to, and participates in internal groups and teams and cross-cutting initiatives.  Carries out other responsibilities as assigned by PCORI management.
  • Keeps the PCOR Infrastructure and Innovation and Patient Centered Research teams appraised of developments and occurrences in the field that are likely to affect program decision-making, strategies, and/or award decision-making.



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

  • Candidates should have demonstrated expertise in study designs and statistical methods for conducting clinical research studies.
  • Proactively cultivates, through actions and attitudes, a culture of support, synergy, respect, trustworthiness, and accountability with all PCORI internal and external stakeholders.
  • Candidates should also be familiar with measurements of patient-reported outcomes and possess good understanding of comparative effectiveness study design and analytic issues that could benefit from further methodological research. These qualifications may be reflected by prior success in publishing scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Preference for topical expertise in the following methods: machine learning, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, cluster designs and hybrid clinical effectiveness and implementation trials.
  • Preference for topical expertise in the following clinical topic areas: cancer, cardiovascular disease, multiple chronic conditions, studies comparing pharmacological therapeutics or surgical interventions.
  • Doctoral degree and 2+ years of experience in a research discipline relevant to patient-centered outcomes research (e.g., clinical epidemiology, health services research, sociology, psychology, health policy, biostatistics, economics, bioinformatics, data science, education or health education) OR a Master’s degree in relevant field (e.g., MPH, MPA, MPP; or MBA) and 7+ years of experience
  • Proven track record in Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER), and CER Methods; extensive experience in a funding research agency/organization; and/or extensive experience and proven leadership in research program and staff management.

Required Experience

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to handle and manage multiple priorities effectively; must be adept at organizing time efficiently; high tolerance for ambiguity; ability to understand and work effectively with PCORI staff members
  • 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
  • Strong oral presentation skills
  • Strong project and people management skills
  • Personally motivated 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
  • 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
  • Sound judgment and maturity, exemplified by consistent professionalism in dealing with individuals at all levels, both internally and externally
  • Ability to make decisions, justify recommendations, and is responsive and clear with funding announcement applicants
  • Ability to travel, as required, including for site visits and representing PCORI at external meetings;
  • Proficient in the use of technology
  • Ability to link organizational goals to individual department mission and activities
  • Ability to envision innovative solutions


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. 



A cover letter addressing how candidates’ background and experience qualifies them to support research advancing methodological research, as described in the required experience section of the position description, is required for application to this position.





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