Research & Publications

The NCDR’s Research and Publications process allows investigators to submit research proposals based on analysis of limited datasets from the registries. This robust investigator-lead research program is an important component of the NCDR’s quality improvement efforts. Submitted proposals are reviewed for scientific merit and undergo a competitive approval process for NCDR funding, which is used to support analysis conducted by an NCDR-contracted data analytic center. The NCDR does not release limited datasets to individual investigators or organizations.

Research & Publications 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. These studies require the completion of a formal research proposal application (RPA) and will undergo a careful review process. When an investigator submits an RPA, the proposed project enters the NCDR Research and Publications (R&P) pipeline. This includes:

  1. Proposal review, approval and prioritization by the appropriate NCDR Research and Publication Subcommittees
  2. Analysis by an NCDR-designated analytic center
  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 Research Proposals:

  1. All applications must be submitted online via the online management system. Review the brief slide set, “Introduction to the NCDR Research Management System” for an overview of the system and access instructions.
  2. Log in to the NCDR Research Management System and access the “R&P Resources Page” (located on the top navigation bar) to review the following documents:   
    1. NCDR Research Calendar for submission deadlines
    2. Application Instructions and Author Guidelines
    3. FAQs
  3. Choose the appropriate registry. Interested investigators should review the relevant registry’s data collection form to confirm that the registry collects the data needed for your proposal. For information specific to the PINNACLE Registry research and publications process, click here.
  4. Check for overlap. Projects that have already been approved for each registry are listed on the website. Review the NCDR Manuscripts by RegistryNCDR Abstracts by Registry and Current Unpublished Projects by Registry to ensure your proposal does not overlap with study that has already been completed or is underway. 
  5. Review “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 (JACC), to better understand NCDR’s data quality.
  6. When you are ready to submit an application, review the “User Guide for Investigators, Part I: Submitting a Research Proposal Application (RPA)” for a brief tutorial on using the system for your submission. 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.

RPAs are accepted on a rolling basis but are reviewed by the appropriate NCDR Research and Publications Committee during meetings as published on the NCDR Research Calendar. All deadlines provided in the calendar are subject to change. Investigators wishing to identify an external funding source to support an NCDR research proposal should complete a Preliminary Research Proposal Form and email it to to discuss the opportunity. 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. If the research is approved, investigators will be asked to submit their RPA online as instructed above under “Submitting Research Proposals” for tracking and review purposes.

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 the premier cardiovascular publication, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) or its sister journals can click here for related author information.

Join us on LinkedIn®

Want to stay up-to-date on the latest NCDR research publications, proposal submission deadlines and research opportunities? ACC in Touch has expanded to include a new NCDR Research Network Subgroup, created for physicians, researchers, and other individuals interested in cardiovascular research. The group serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas, networking and discussions centering around cardiovascular research findings and opportunities to conduct research based on NCDR data.

To join, go to LinkedIn Groups, search for “NCDR Research Network” and click the “Join Group” button. Once you have joined the NCDR Research Network community, you will also be accepted into its parent group, the American College of Cardiology, if you are not already a member.

Contact Us

For questions or more information about NCDR research, please send an email to or contact us at 800 257-4737 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.