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Associate Director, Merit Review

PCORI
remote work
United States, D.C., Washington
1828 L Street Northwest (Show on map)
Mar 17, 2024

Associate Director, Merit Review

Post Date
5/8/2023
Job Location
1333 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington, District of Columbia

Staffing Advisors has been exclusively retained by Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute ("PCORI") to conduct a search for an Associate Director, Merit Review PCORI is an equal opportunity employer.

Interested candidates may send resumes to: Aileen Hedden at with "PCORI - Associate Director, Merit Review #2023-2805 CW" as the subject of the email.

Please do not contact PCORI directly; all resumes sent to PCORI will be routed to Staffing Advisors for handling and will create delays.

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 Director, Merit Review, the Associate Director (AD), Merit Review, is responsible for managing a team of Merit Review staff as they plan, coordinate, and execute all aspects of the comprehensive scientific and technical review of applications submitted for PCORI funding. The Associate Director, Merit Review, is responsible for ensuring that Merit Review Officers (MROs) and merit review team staff adhere to PCORI policies and standard operating procedures for conducting a fair, scientifically rigorous and consistent merit review of received applications.

The Associate Director, Merit Review, is also responsible for assisting the Director to: ensure the MROs and the MR team staff are aware of and adheres to review timelines, complete review tasks and create deliverables on time; plan and implement high-quality, fair, and objective multi-stakeholder reviews; recruit and train patients, stakeholders, and other experts for review panels; disseminate merit review information to program staff; train staff on merit review policies and procedures; and help prepare pre- and post-review documents and materials for use by applicants, merit review panel members and Science/Engagement programs.

These duties require close collaboration with other PCORI business units and departments. The incumbent will handle complex tasks with substantial independent responsibility, balancing multiple projects with competing deadlines and priorities. Position requires the ability to work actively with multiple internal stakeholders and address multiple viewpoints.

Duties and Responsibilities



  • In accord with the Director, oversee operations and review panel logistics for all activities conducted within a Review Portfolio Team, including the supervision of MROs, Program Associates, and contractors, as relevant. This includes ensuring adherence to PCORI standards and policies, ensuring appropriate identification and management of potential conflicts of interest for all scientific reviewers and staff
  • As assigned by the Director, Manage Panel Managers and Panel Manager Support Personnel for review meetings.
  • Oversee effective management of in-person Merit Review in accordance with PCORI's merit review goals
  • Oversee MRO preparation of succinct, accurate, and informative final summary statements for all applications assigned for review
  • Oversee training program for merit reviewers and work with Programmatic and Training staff to update training as necessary
  • Assist the Director to recruit, onboard, and train MR staff.
  • Establish and maintain strong working relationships with PCORI partners across other divisions and business units. Collaborate on special projects and initiatives as assigned by the Director
  • Represent MR on PCORI Working Groups or Matrix Teams for relevant responsibilities as assigned.
  • Ensure MR concerns, issues, and interests are represented on all PFA Working Groups and other meetings as assigned to you or to direct reports.
  • Represent or delegate MR representation on PFA Working Groups for development of SAE and new PFA initiatives as requested by the Director.
  • Identify areas for process improvement, lead and actively participate in, and manage cross-cutting process improvement initiatives
  • Ensure performance and process optimization and implement pilot studies to improve performance, in assistance to the Director.
  • Contribute to relevant Policy and Practice documents, in assistance to the Director.
  • Assist Director in identifying and implementing strategic objectives and directions for the merit review program
  • Oversee communication and relationships with the scientific, patient, and stakeholder communities to enhance review activities, collaborating with Engagement staff on patient and stakeholder recruitment, training, and quality review.



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

  • Concrete and thorough understanding of PCORI's mission, vision, activities, and merit review criteria
  • Effectively 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 while being tolerant of ambiguity and change;
  • Outstanding interpersonal and teamwork skills; collegial, energetic, able to develop productive relationships with colleagues, reviewers, consultants, and others who contribute to the merit review process.
  • Sound judgment and maturity, exemplified by consistent professionalism in dealing with individuals at all levels, both internally and externally
  • Strong understanding of the history, interests, internal dynamics, and relationships of organizations in which health services, scientific and/or comparative effectiveness research is conducted.
  • Knowledge and expertise regarding high quality, fair, and objective merit review processes.
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Strong verbal, written, and presentation skills.
  • Excellent project and people management skills.

Required Experience

  • Doctorate or First Professional Degree (e.g., PhD, ScD, MD, DrPH) in relevant field
  • Minimum of seven (7) years of experience in research review and management, proven leadership and recognition in research program administration, scientific project management or for specific area of knowledge.
  • Demonstrated experience in effectively managing staff and leading teams in a collaborative environment
  • Proven project management experience and the ability to respond to complex questions and inquiries of a scientific or technical nature
  • Interacting with scientific, clinical and or lay reviewers and managing multi-stakeholder workgroups or panels
  • Previous experience with independent research, grant writing, scientific or peer review, and/or contract management is preferable.



Conflict of Interest.

PCORI wants to ensure that prospective employees are aware of its conflict-of-interest policies so that employment deliberations take into consideration this aspect of PCORI employment. PCORI requires all PCORI employees to disclose upon commencement of their employment and on an annual basis all individual and close relatives financial, business, and personal association with the potential to bias or that have the appearance of biasing one's decisions relating to PCORI. All disclosures made by employees are made publicly available on PCORI's website. Disclosures must include all financial, business, and personal associations with any health or healthcare-related organizations. Disclosures should include all associations with any other organizations that have the potential to bias or that have the appearance of biasing one's decisions relating to PCORI, including but not limited to vendors or other third parties with whom PCORI has a contract or that PCORI has funded. For more information please visit

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 . 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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Tracking Code
1310-858

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