PCORI is a great funding opportunity–$650M budget this year, with abundant funding for projects that win awards. There is no doubt that the PCORI application process is different from the processes to which many are accustomed, and there is no denying that the application is long and time demanding. And yes, it is a fairly new institution, clearly and openly refining its research priorities as it progresses through the funding cycles and builds its portfolio. In other words, part of being successful in your bid for PCORI funding is to realize that this is a dynamic funding source. While I would argue that the strategic applicant to any funding source actively pursues current information about the agency/foundation/institution to which they will apply for funding, this may be especially true with such a new and dynamic funding source like PCORI.
Remember the Golden Rule: S/he who has the gold makes the rules. The strategic grant writer attentively listens to what the funder wants and needs. To that end, here is the latest information about what PCORI wants and needs from its proposals.