Quality Improvement for Institutions

Steps for Submitting a Research Proposal

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. Data analysis from NCDR’s eight hospital-based registries and two outpatient registries is available for research. Specific information about the data collected by NCDR registries can be found on the Data Collection page.

Researchers interested in undertaking studies must complete a formal research proposal application (RPA) through the NCDR’s online research management system. When an RPA is submitted, the proposed project enters the NCDR Research and Publications (R&P) pipeline, which includes:

  1. Proposal review, approval and prioritization by the appropriate NCDR R&P Subcommittees
  2. Analysis by an NCDR-designated analytic center (the NCDR does not send datasets to individual investigators or organizations)
  3. Oversight of manuscript and abstract preparation and submission

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:

To ensure that your proposal has the best chance for acceptance, please follow the guidelines below before drafting your research proposal application:

  1. Review the NCDR Research Policies and Procedures.
  2. Review the NCDR Research Calendar for submission guidelines.
    Note the NCDR changed its R&P cycle to offer one annual proposal deadline and one annual review meeting a year. The proposal deadline is April 9, 2021. Previously, NCDR offered two proposal deadlines and review meetings per year. 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. The new review cycle will enable NCDR to maintain its commitment to research aimed at measuring and improving the quality of cardiovascular care while improving efficiency and streamlining the review process.
    *Applicable to all NCDR Registries except the STS/ACC TVT Registry (Note: The TVT Registry April 9th and July 26th deadlines will be accepting requests for TVT Registry collected data ONLY. No CMS linked data requests accepted at this time)
  3. Choose the appropriate registry. Review registry data collection forms to confirm that the registry collects the data needed for your proposal.
  4. Ensure your research proposal idea has no overlap with in-progress or published work. Lists of published and unpublished projects are found on the Published Research page.
  5. If 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.
  6. Review the article The National Cardiovascular Data Registry (NCDR) Data Quality Brief: The NCDR Data Quality Program in 2012, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, to better understand NCDR’s data quality.
  7. Determine which funding source you will select on your RPA:
    • Researchers with projects not supported by a grant or industry funding should select “NCDR funding” on the RPA form (most common funding source).
    • 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.
    • For AF Ablation Registry, CathPCI Registry, ChestPain-MI Registry, ICD Registry, IMPACT Registry, LAAO Registry, PVI Registry, and 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.
    • 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.
  8. 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 submission of a manuscript to a peer-reviewed journal.

  9. When you are ready to submit an application, log in to the NCDR Research Management System using your ACC.org credentials, or create a new account.
  10. 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.

For Questions About NCDR Research

Send an email to ncdrresearch@acc.org or contact us at 800 257-4737 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.

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