Research Proposals

On January 1, 2018, Intermacs/Pedimacs became the fourth component of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) National Database. Intermacs has long been a valuable tool in the field of MCS research, providing statistical analyses and data that have led to over 80 publications since 2008. The stability provided by the STS platform will allow Intermacs to continue serving the MCS community in this capacity. STS leadership is currently working to align Intermacs research proposal review processes with those of the STS National Database and Research Center. All research proposals seeking to access Intermacs data are now processed through STS Research Center programs. Additional information on routes available to investigators is summarized below:
Participant User File (PUF) Program (fees involved, expedited review process, investigators perform analysis)

Investigators interested in performing their own analyses should place a request through the STS Research Center’s Participant User File (PUF) Program, an innovative research initiative designed to streamline and facilitate STS National Database participant-led research with analyses performed at investigators’ institutions. Investigators on approved PUF research projects must complete and sign the STS PUF Research Program Data Use Agreement (DUA) prior to the initiation of the project, as well as pay applicable fees outlined in Exhibit C of the DUA. Final PUF study fees are primarily driven by the volume of data received by investigator (PUF size). These fees will generally range from $4,500 to $9,500; please refer to Exhibit C of the Data Use Agreement for additional information. Investigators are always encouraged to check with the STS Research Center about availability of research topics prior to submission of PUF projects. A list of active A&P/PUF Intermacs research projects can be found here.

To fully understand the STS PUF program, we ask that you carefully review the PUF program description (including rules and procedures). If you have questions about the PUF Program, please contact contact Kristin Mathis STS Research Center Manager, at

Access & Publications (no fees to submit, highly competitive, longer review process):

Requests for analyses performed by the Intermacs Data Collection and Coordinating Center (DCCC) should be directed to the STS Access and Publications (A&P) Program. The Society’s Access and Publications (A&P) Task Force is always seeking new clinical research proposals related to the STS National Databases. STS Funding is available for a number of novel, well-conceived, and hypothesis-driven proposals.

A&P proposals are reviewed twice per year on a rolling cycle; there is no charge to submit an A&P proposal, but the principal investigator (PI) must be an active participant (e.g. surgeon, cardiologist, etc.) in the STS National Database. A select number of projects are approved for STS funding following a highly competitive review process. The proposal submission deadlines are June 15 and December 1 for Intermacs/Pedimacs. Additional information on the A&P review process can be found here.

Minor Data Requests (for internal quality improvement purposes)

Minor data requests (MDRs) for research purposes are intended to assist investigators as they prepare for full scientific proposal submissions by testing the feasibility of their hypotheses. MDRs for quality improvement are not at this time being considered. Minor data requests are approved for a maximum of four hours of statistical analytical time; consequently, this does not include multivariable modeling or complex statistical analyses. 

Download the Minor Data Request form here. Complete and upload here.

For more information, contact Jessica Rodriguez.

Grant Proposals

This form is intended for use by those with research questions involving data from the STS National Database that require funding from an external granting agency.
Download the Grant Proposal here. Complete and upload here.