Elder Receives Second Phase of PCORI Funding to Support Underserved Families with Autistic Patients

Jennifer Elder_MCM_6448A UF College of Nursing researcher has received an additional round of funding to continue to forge a much-needed bridge between patients with autism and their families with professionals who can provide them with support and information.


Jennifer Elder, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., a professor in the UF College of Nursing, part of UF Health, received a “Tier II Pipeline to Proposal” award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, or PCORI, to build and forge collaborations to further autism research for underserved families.


“With the rising prevalence of autism spectrum disorders, demands of caregiving for these individuals place heavy burdens on families who must provide long-term care. This may prove difficult for families in poor and rural areas that may lack the resources to assess the most suitable interventions,” Elder said.


Elder is leading this research project at UF. Her project seeks to connect patients and families in rural, underserved communities with clinicians, teachers and community members to identify interventions that are most effective for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Her proposal was originally funded in Tier I funding last April, and it was the first Pipeline to Proposal fund awarded at UF.


The pipeline awards provides seed money to individuals and groups who have the expertise and passion to participate in patient-centered outcomes research and to create partnerships within communities that lead to high-quality research proposals. Elder’s Tier I project was evaluated by PCORI who determined it qualified for Tier II funding. Tier II awards fund 12 months of research that aims to develop research capacity, create new partnerships, and build the infrastructure needed to conduct research. Elder’s study joins PCORI’s portfolio of 45 Tier II Pipeline to Proposal national awards funded in May.


“We would like to build on solid Tier I foundation and further develop relationships and communication among our autism research and engagement groups comprising community members


“Ultimately, the goal for our research is to help these individuals progress from the fringes of intervention to the center by implementing the most current evidence-based treatments.”


PCORI is an independent, nonprofit organization authorized by Congress in 2010 to fund research that give patients a better understanding of available prevention, treatment and care options. It was founded to advance the field of patient-centered comparative effectiveness research and provide patients with information that will help them make better-informed decisions about their care.