Program Officer, Science

    • Washington, DC


Department: Science

Reports to: Associate Director, Science

About Us

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is authorized by Congress to conduct research to provide information about the best available evidence to help patients and their health care providers make more informed decisions. PCORI's research is intended to give patients a better understanding of the prevention, treatment and care options available, and the science that supports those options.

Position Summary

Under the direction of the Scientific Associate Program Director, 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 intellectual and organizational leadership to shape the program's research agenda and funding priorities, develop funding announcements, award and manage a diverse portfolio of research contracts, and evaluate program activities to further the strategic direction of the program.

We are seeking to fill multiple vacancies under this posting for both the Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science Program (CEDS) and the Healthcare Delivery and Disparities Research Program (HDDR).

Duties and Responsibilities

General Program Responsibilities:

  • Assists Associate Director, Program Director and Chief Science Officer (CSO) in identifying and implementing strategic objectives for the Program.
  • Identifies and manages the development and implementation of program funding activities (e.g., requests for proposals).
  • Collaborates with CSO's office, staff from other PCORI Science programs, as well as Engagement, 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 Program Director and team 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.

*PCORI Staff Conflict of Interest Statement - No PCORI employee can receive a direct financial benefit from a healthcare related organization during the course of his/her employment with PCORI.

PCORI conducts background checks on all applicants.

PCORI is an equal opportunity employer committed to cultural diversity in the workplace.

Required Skills

For the Clinical Effectiveness and Decision Science Program (CEDS):
    • Demonstrated expertise in clinical trial design, execution and oversight and in research methods, which may be reflected by prior success in publishing first-authored scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals
    • Preference for topical expertise in the following areas: cancer, mental health, cardiovascular disease, multiple chronic conditions, studies comparing pharmacological therapeutics or surgical interventions


For the Healthcare Delivery and Disparities Research Program (HDDR):
    • Demonstrated expertise in health systems and/or disparities research preferred, with experience in clinical trial design, execution, and research methods, which may be reflected by prior success in publishing first-authored scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals


For Both Programs:
  • Preference for topical expertise in either intellectual and developmental disabilities or maternal mortality and morbidity
  • 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

Required Experience

  • 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, education or health education) OR a Master's degree in relevant field (e.g., MPH, MPA, MPP; or MBA) and 7+ years of experience


  • For CEDS:
    • Proven track record and leadership potential in at least one of CEDS's program areas (Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER), Communication and Dissemination Research (CDR), CER Methods); extensive experience plus proven leadership for specific area of knowledge in one or more of PCORI's program areas; extensive experience plus proven leadership in a funding research agency/organization; and/or extensive experience and proven leadership in research program and staff management.


  • For HDDR:
    • Proven track record and leadership potential in at least one of HDDR's program areas (Health Systems and/or Disparities Research); extensive experience plus proven leadership for specific area of knowledge in one or more of PCORI's program areas; extensive experience plus proven leadership in a funding research agency/organization; and/or extensive experience and proven leadership in research program and staff management.

Job Location Washington, District of Columbia, United States
Position Type Full-Time/Regular


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