Currently, the only source of information about how PCORI will function is Section 6301 of the PPACA (1). The Table shows some of the functions of PCORI, and these suggest that the principal focus of PCORI will be to formulate a portfolio of research projects. Colleagues and I recently proposed a development process for research project portfolios that would strive to balance the conflicting requirements of broad coverage of high-priority topics, precisely interpretable research results, and a fixed research budget (14). To solve this optimization problem, we suggested that PCORI should specify both the research question and the most appropriate method to address it. The recommended study design would take into account the costs of alternative research designs, the tolerance for uncertainty about the validity of the results, and the importance of other research questions on the project agenda. To make these difficult assessments, PCORI would need intensive methodological and topic-specific advice. Section 6301 of the PPACA addresses this need by specifying a standing methodology committee and ad hoc expert advisory committees to address individual topics. According to the legislative language, PCORI will contract with federal agencies and private sector organizations to manage the funding and conduct of the research, which suggests that PCORI will outsource the entire process of soliciting research proposals, reviewing applications, making awards, and monitoring adherence to contractual obligations.