Quality Improvement for Institutions

Research Proposal Submission Process

Research proposals are intended for hypothesis-driven studies based upon secondary analysis of NCDR data, with the intent to develop manuscripts suitable for peer-reviewed publication.

Patient, hospital and physician confidentiality is always protected. All projects are supervised by NCDR R&P committees to ensure adherence to NCDR data access and use policies and procedures, as well as relevant regulations.

Submitting an RPA

Researchers interested in undertaking studies must complete a formal research proposal application (RPA) through the NCDR's online research management system using your ACC.org credentials. To ensure that your proposal has the best chance for acceptance, please follow the guidelines below before drafting your research proposal application:

Submit a Proposal

  1. Review the Investigator's Guide to NCDR Research.
  2. Review the NCDR Research Calendar for submission guidelines.
    The NCDR currently offers one annual proposal deadline. The proposal deadline is February 2, 2024. Under this process, all RPAs will be reviewed at the same time receiving the same level of consideration for priority. This will allow research proposals to be approved, analyzed, and produce a manuscript within one calendar year. In addition, the new process will enable NCDR to implement a new strategic manuscript process and allow data analytic centers to better plan and budget for research proposals.
  3. Choose the appropriate registry.
    • Data analysis from NCDR's eight hospital-based registries and two outpatient registries is available for research. Review registry data collection forms to confirm that the registry collects the data needed for your proposal.
  4. Determine if the NCDR 'Rule of Two' applies to you.
    • A primary author may not have more than two active proposals across all NCDR registries at one time in the NCDR R&P pipeline. An active proposal is one that has been submitted to NCDR for R&P Committee review but has not resulted in publication of a manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal.
  5. Ensure your research proposal idea has no overlap with in-progress or published work.
  6. Request an NCDR Mentor to assist throughout the NCDR research submission process.
    • To provide investigators of all experience level the opportunity to put the best research proposal forward for consideration ensuring equal opportunity for funding, the ACC has developed the NCDR Mentorship Program.
    • Upon request, the NCDR will match you to a subject matter expert from the NCDR Research & Publications Subcommittee to act as a mentor. As a mentor they will provide guidance to navigating the research drafting and submission process as well as journal submission process if funded.
    • To request a mentor email, ncdrresearch@acc.org, subject line 'Mentor Request'.
  7. Is your proposal is for the PINNACLE Registry?
    • Review PINNACLE Registry Data Completeness information. Because the PINNACLE Registry database is comprised of relevant registry data fields extracted from electronic health records, data completeness can vary depending on the data element.
  8. Review this article to better understand NCDR's data quality.
  9. Determine which funding source you will select on your RPA.
    • All NCDR research studies must adhere to the same oversight processes regardless of funding source for the research activities; therefore, obtaining funding does not automatically guarantee NCDR will approve the research study. Funding goes towards the cost of data analytics, which includes the analysis for a manuscript and an abstract. Analytics must be conducted at a NCDR-designated data analytic center. The NCDR does not send datasets to individual investigators or organizations.
  • Select NCDR Funding:
    If you are a researcher with no financial support by  grant, industry, institution, or independent funding should select "NCDR funding" on the RPA form (most common funding source).
  • Select External Funding:
    For AFib Ablation Registry, CathPCI Registry, Chest Pain – MI Registry, EP Device Implant Registry, IMPACT Registry, LAAO Registry, PVI Registry and STS/ACC TVT Registry data: If you have grant, institution, industry, analytic center or another external source of funding, please complete the preliminary proposal for non-NCDR funded research form. and email it to ncdrresearch@acc.org before preparing a proposal. These proposals may be submitted at any time and are not subject to deadlines. Investigators are encouraged to contact the NCDR early in the funding exploration phase.

For PINNACLE Registry or Diabetes Registry data: If you have grant, institution, industry, analytic center or another external source of funding, please fill out the preliminary proposal for PINNACLE & Diabetes Registry non-NCDR funded research and email it to ncdrresearch@acc.org before preparing a proposal.

Once your application is received by the NCDR, you will receive a confirmation email along with an assigned registry-specific tracking number. If it passes preliminary screening, your submission will then move forward for committee review. You will be notified about next steps throughout the process.

Note Regarding JACC Journals

NCDR Research is independent from any scientific journal or meeting. Final decisions regarding choice of target journal are at the discretion of the primary author, and acceptance of manuscripts for publication are at the discretion of the journal's editorial board. Investigators interested in submitting research findings to JACC Journals can visit JACC.org/Submit.

Learn More

For questions email ncdrresearch@acc.org or call 800-257-4737 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.

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