Young Investigator Research Opportunities

Updated:Jul 5,2016

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Young Investigators initiative provides fellows-in-training, as well as individuals who have completed fellowships within the past five-years, opportunities to conduct research projects using data from American Heart Association/American Stroke Association quality improvement programs, including Get With The Guidelines®. Young Investigators also have the opportunity to apply for seed grants to fund research projects using data gathered through Get With The Guidelines.

Applications are currently being accepted for seed grants to fund meritorious research projects based on data gathered through Get With The Guidelines. Apply for a Young Investigator Database Research Seed Grant by September 30, 2016. Learn more.

General Information
The Council on Clinical Cardiology, the Stroke Council, The Council on Cardiopulmonary, Critical Care, Perioperative and Resuscitation (AHA Council 3 CPR), and The Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science greatly value the development of young clinical investigators. To further this effort, the councils have a limited number of seed grants for young investigators for meritorious research projects based on the data gathered from Get With The Guidelines. The Executive Database Steering Committee, the Get With The Guidelines Steering Committee, and the Get With The Guidelines Science Subcommittee provide oversight for the large database. Members of these committees will be available as mentors to the applicants. Young investigators may be current residents or fellows in training or students within five years of completing residency or fellowship, or other doctoral prepared professionals who are early in their career development and have interest in cardiovascular or stroke research.

The seed grants provide adequate funds to: 1) allow initial project design, access to the Get With The Guidelines data and statistical analysis; and 2) cover travel expenses of the recipient to travel to a National scientific conference to present the results. Mentors provide recipients methods of clinical research using Get With The Guidelines databases. Our goal is to have this initial effort succeed in opening future opportunities for research, collaboration and scientific advancement for the young investigator.

What is Get With The Guidelines?
Get With The Guidelines is a hospital-based quality improvement program designed to close the treatment gap in cardiovascular disease and stroke. It includes modules for patients with coronary artery disease (CAD), heart failure (HF), atrial fibrillation (AFib,) and stroke. Each program provides physicians and healthcare providers with materials, information and tools based on relevant AHA/ACC guidelines — i.e., for secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease, for treatment of HF, or the AHA/ASA guidelines for stroke treatment. Using standard protocols in the hospital setting will help ensure that cardiovascular disease patients are placed on appropriate medications, informed of recommended behavioral modifications, and improve the rate of intervention with cardiovascular disease (CVD) patients both in-hospital and post-discharge to reduce the incidence of CVD events. A key component of this continuous quality improvement program is to monitor progress through the Web-based Patient Management Tool (PMT).

What information is collected in the Get With The Guidelines database?
The information captured in the Get With The Guidelines database parallels the American Heart Association guidelines information.

New! Post-discharge outcome data can also be analyzed in the subgroup of patients with fee for service Medicare (linked dataset).

The Get With The Guidelines-CAD module collects the following patient-level information:
  • Patient ID
  • Physician
  • Location
  • Transferred in (ED)
  • Medicare
  • Arrival Date/Time
  • Admit Date
  • Discharge Date/Time
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Medical History
  • Hx Smoking
  • Cardiac Diagnosis
  • Initial ECG
  • Procedures
  • Thrombolytic Therapy Administration
  • Thromb Date/Time
  • PTCA Date/Time
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Blood Pressure
  • Lipid Measurement
  • Ejection Fraction
  • Discharge Status
  • ACE at Discharge
  • ARB at Discharge
  • ASA at Arrival
  • ASA at Discharge
  • BB at Arrival
  • BB at Discharge
  • Participation in an ACEI Clinical Trial?
  • Contra to ACEDisc
  • Contra to ASAArr
  • Contra to ASADisc
  • Contra to BBArr
  • Contra to BBDisc
  • Antiplatelets
  • Lipid Lowering Meds
  • Other Meds
  • Cardiac Rehab
  • Smoking Cessation Counseling
  • Risk Interventions
  • Discharge Instructions to HF

The Get With The Guidelines-HF module collects the following patient-level information:
  • Patient ID
  • Physician/Service
  • Transferred in (ED)
  • Medicare
  • Medicaid
  • Admit Date
  • Discharge Date/Time
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Medical History
  • Hx Smoking
  • HF Hx
  • Cardiac Diagnosis
  • Medications Prior to Admission
  • VITAS Signs
  • Height
  • Weight
  • BMI
  • Heart Rate
  • BP
  • Respiratory Rate
  • Lipids
  • Labs
  • Procedures
  • Ejection Fraction
  • Discharge Status
  • Discharge Meds
  • Other Meds
  • ICD Therapy
  • Risk Interventions Smoking Cessation Counseling
  • Activity Level
  • Follow-up
  • Symptoms worsening
  • Diet
  • Medications
  • Weight Monitoring
  • Referred to Rehab Program

The Get With The Guidelines-Stroke module collects the following patient-level information:
  • Patient ID
  • Patient Location When Symptoms Discovered
  • Physician/Service
  • Arrival Mode
  • Advanced EMS notification
  • Arrival Date/Time/Location
  • Admit Date/Time
  • Discharge Date/Time
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Hispanic Ethnicity
  • Insurance Status
  • Final Clinical Diagnosis
  • Discharge Status
  • Discharge Destination
  • Initial Exam Findings
  • Last Known Well
  • Stroke Symptom Date/Time
  • NIH Scale
  • Brain Imaging
  • Thrombolytic Therapy
  • Reasons for no IV t-PA
  • Medical History
  • Ambulatory Status
  • Labs, including LDL
  • VS
  • Height/Weight
  • Dysphagia Screen
  • DVT Prophylaxis
  • Medications Prior to Admission
  • Estimated Mortality Rate
  • Discharge Medications
  • Antithrombotic tx
  • Atrial Fibrillation/Flutter
  • Anticoagulation
  • Anti-hypertensive tx
  • Cholesterol Reducing/Statin tx
  • Diabetic tx
  • Anti-smoking tx
  • Other lifestyle interventions
  • Stroke education
  • Stroke Rehabilitation

Process for Developing and Submitting a Proposal

Study questions (hypotheses) need to be developed within the context of data acquired through the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines program. The applicant should review the data elements collected across each of the modules (CAD, Heart Failure, Stroke and Resuscitation). To avoid developing a proposal already in progress, it will also be helpful to refer to the reference box above and to review prior published publications and the list provided of abstracts and manuscripts already in process. Please note: longitudinal data post discharge is not available.

Next steps:
  1. Complete the online proposal form and send to Please submit an updated Curriculum Vitae with the completed proposal form. Please be sure to provide your e-mail address on the form.
  2. If you have questions, please contact
Submitted proposals will be reviewed jointly by Get With The Guidelines committee leadership and/or the leadership of the sponsoring Council to determine funded applications.
If awarded funding, data access will be arranged through a designated Get With The Guidelines mentor and statistical analysis will be arranged through the Duke Clinical Research Institute. The monetary award will cover statistical analysis up to $6,000 in addition to $2,000 to support travel to the national conference for presentation.

Deadline (twice a year): The spring deadline is September 30, 2016.

Three awards approximately $8,000 each

Note: Research Requests can be submitted for any of our Quality Programs using the same form and email address. More information on all programs can be found here.
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