National Level Program Data Research Opportunities

The American Heart Association’s® (AHA) Get With The Guidelines® (GWTG) is a hospital-based quality improvement program designed to close the treatment gap in cardiovascular disease, stroke, and resuscitation. It includes modules in coronary artery disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke and resuscitation. The AHA collects millions of patient records in our Quality Programs, creating vast databases for advancing scientific research. Study questions (hypotheses) are developed within the context of data acquired through the AHA’s GWTG program and an investigator can submit a proposal to conduct an investigator-led research project using this national level data. The research project would be developed into a manuscript suitable for peer-reviewed publication.

AHA’s Quality Programs Research has been a highly valuable source for quality outcomes-based research and a solid base of GWTG literature with over 575 publications to date.

NOTE: Get With The Guidelines-Resuscitation follows a different analytic model. Learn about the details of the program and the publications using Get With The Guidelines - Resuscitation Research


Beginning July 1, 2019, AHA has implemented a new process for incoming research proposals for GWTG AFib, CAD, HF and Stroke that includes more selective funding of GWTG Program Research that will now evolve to pursue more timely, significant and novel topics that align well with our mission goals.


Research Proposal General Information:

  • There will be a quarterly proposal review and acceptance process where the top scientifically meritorious, novel and feasible research proposals will be selected to be funded by the AHA.
  • Research proposals may be on any topic that can be answered using the GWTG database; in addition, the AHA may request proposals for certain high priority topics.
  • AHA Funding will be in the form of statistical analysis and support as well as guidance and mentorship from expert GWTG Program physician-scientist volunteers.
  • In addition, we will continue to solicit and fund Young Investigator Database Seed Grant Awards once per year (consolidated from twice per year, previously).
  • Accepted projects should begin within a 4-month time frame.
  • Projects not selected that are feasible may be revised and resubmitted for up to 2 subsequent cycles.
  • Research proposals with their own external funding will be reviewed for acceptance on a monthly basis.

Submission Deadlines:

  • July 15, Jan 15, Apr 15 for Open Topics and High Priority Topics
    • 2019 Focused High Priority Topic: Health Economics and GWTG
  • Oct 15 for AHA Young Investigator Database Seed Grant submissions
  • Proposals with external funding will be reviewed monthly and therefore have no submission deadline

Developing and Submitting a Research Proposal

  1. Study questions (hypotheses) need to be developed within the context of data acquired through the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines® or Mission: Lifeline program.
  2. The applicant should review the data elements collected across their program module of interest.
  3. Avoid developing a proposal that has overlap with any published scientific research, including GWTG.
  4. Complete the Research Proposal Form completely with details and suggested tables and charts.
  5. Submit completed proposal to qualityresearch@heart.org by submission deadlines listed above.
  6. Proposals will be reviewed, and decisions will be emailed back within 90 days. 

Links and Documents for Reference

Research Proposal Forms

Data Elements Collected by Program