Pew Community Opioid Response and Evaluation (CORE) Project

The CORE project will advance adoption of best practices in addressing opioid use disorder through the evaluation of existing community innovations. The CORE project will provide support for up to six community research collaboratives to conduct robust evaluations of a local initiative through granted funds and technical assistance.

The CORE project, with support from and in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is an effort to help communities on the front lines of the opioid crisis conduct evaluations of existing programs. CORE will enable communities to learn with and from one another as they work to address the opioid epidemic and the inequities facing diverse populations across this nation.

Accordingly, CORE seeks to support community-research collaboratives in evaluating innovative community programs that address OUD. Successful applicants must demonstrate: 1) preliminary information indicating the potential of their program; 2) robust partnerships across government and/or other stakeholders; and 3) a model that can be scaled in other communities.

The project will fund a diverse range of communities. The full spectrum of programs will be considered, with specific attention to the understudied areas of prevention, recovery, and harm reduction.

The CORE award will provide direct financial support for community-based initiatives to conduct evaluations of established programs. In addition, the communities selected will receive assistance from Pew, the CORE Advisory Committee, and an external evaluation advisor (external advisor) on the evaluations; collaborative learning opportunities across peer communities; and support for identifying strategic communications opportunities and conducting targeted media outreach to amplify results.

Each selected community-research collaborative must include both a lead organization and a local evaluation partner to conduct a thorough evaluation of the existing program. While the awardees are expected to develop and conduct the project’s evaluation activities, the CORE project provides an external advisor to provide guidance and assistance for the duration of the project to the grantee and the grantee’s local evaluation partner. The external advisor and Pew will assist grantees to ensure program evaluations are robust, scientifically sound, and designed to produce results to inform the work of other stakeholders, including additional communities seeking to implement models as well as state and community-based policymakers.

Each evaluation will include both quantitative and qualitative information. Quantitative evaluation plans should incorporate process measures (e.g., number of participants, services provided, etc.) and outcome measures (e.g., changes in health conditions, behaviors, quality of life, knowledge, etc.). Qualitative evaluation may include information such as a discussion of challenges overcome, and an assessment of planned versus achieved attainment of objectives, or more formal reports such as focus groups and other structured processes. Participant feedback should be a component of all program evaluation plans.

Pew staff and the external advisor will visit the selected communities and collaboratively aid in the development of evaluation plans. Throughout the project the external advisor will offer direct assistance and feedback on grantee deliverables, including final reporting. The external advisor will also develop a final report summarizing the process and findings of the CORE project.

Number of Applications
Amount of Funding

$500,000 for 24 months


The project must be centered upon an existing community innovation on opioid use disorder and involve a local evaluation partner (can be an individual).

Successful applicants must demonstrate:

1) preliminary information indicating the potential of their program;

2) robust partnerships across government and/or other stakeholders; and

3) a model that can be scaled in other communities.

Proposals must discuss approaches focused in one geographically-defined community. Organizations that focus on individuals with, or at-risk for OUD, and represent diverse geographic areas are encouraged to respond.

Selected communities will be expected to meet project deliverables including:

  • Work collaboratively with a local evaluation partner to conduct program activities as specified in the proposal.
  • Work collaboratively with an external advisor to the program and Pew for the duration of the project.
  • Develop and submit a detailed evaluation plan with selected evaluation partner and the external advisor for review and approval by Pew and Advisory Committee.
  • Submit annual financial and narrative updates on evaluation activities to Pew.
  • Develop in consultation with the external advisor a comprehensive final report detailing the evaluation process, results, and how efforts will be sustained after the grant period.
  • Attend annual CORE meetings and present evaluation updates.
  • Participate in monthly conference calls of CORE grantees (exact frequency may vary depending on the phase of the project).
  • Program staff and evaluation partner will facilitate local community onsite meetings with Pewand external advisor over the course of the project.
  • Participate in a CORE conference to share project findings with other community organizations.

Submission Process

Step 1

Internal Letters of Intent (LOIs) must be one PDF document.


The first two pages of this single PDF document should be double-spaced containing:

  • PI name,
  • PI department/division and school/college,
  • Project title,and
  • An abstract of the proposed research that attests to / addresses the following:
    • Overview of the program (incl. Community served), its goals, and health equity considerations
    • Identification of evaluation partner or plans for establishing one if selected
    • Identification of the program elements that would benefit from a more thorough evaluation

The PDF must also contain the PI's NSF or NIH style biosketch beginning on page 3.

This LOI should be submitted no later than 5:00pm EST on August 12, 2019.

Materials should be submitted as a single PDF attachment to an email sent to

Step 2

Applicants will be notified of their selection by August 14, 2019.

Step 3

Final proposal must be received by the Office of Research Administration or the Office of Grants and Contracts by 5:00pm EST on August 28, 2019.

Step 4

Final proposal must be received by the sponsor by 5:00pm EST on  August 30, 2019 at 5:00pm EST.


Abstract or LOI to ORA Chosen Proposal Announced ORA Final Proposal Due Date Sponsor Submission Deadline Days Until Due
08/12/2019 08/14/2019 08/28/2019 08/30/2019 CLOSED