The Framingham Heart Study is a project of Boston University & the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute.
The Framingham Heart Study is a project of Boston University & the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute.

Research Application FAQ

Submitting a Research Proposal

Requesting Data and Materials

Approval Process

Types of Applications

Documents for Approved Applications

Additional Information

Submitting a Research Proposal

How do I apply for an account at FHS?
An investigator may request an account through the Research Application link. Upon approval, instructions for access and setting up a password will be emailed to the applicant.

How do I submit a research proposal?
Applications are submitted through the FHS Research Application. Once received in the system, applications are referred to the appropriate review committee(s).

Do I have to collaborate with a Framingham investigator?
Though not required, collaboration with FHS investigators is encouraged as it helps to maximize the scientific potential of the unique data.

What is the deadline for my application?
Application submissions should be made according to the schedule posted here:
Submitting a Research Proposal to FHS

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Requesting Data and Materials

How do I request genetic data?
Most of Framingham’s genetic data is stored and accessible through dbGaP. Requests for Framingham genetic data not posted at dbGaP may be made by submitting a research proposal, which will then be routed to Framingham’s DNA Committee.

How do I request clinical data?
Much of Framingham’s clinical data is stored and accessible through BioLINCC. Requests for Framingham clinical data not posted at BioLINCC may be made by submitting a research proposal, which will then be routed to Framingham’s Research Committee.

How do I request bio-specimens for genetic research?
Requests for Framingham DNA or other bio-specimens specifically for genetic research may be made by submitting a research proposal, which will then be routed to Framingham’s DNA Committee.

How do I request bio-specimens for non-genetic research?
Requests for Framingham bio-specimens specifically for non-genetic research may be made by submitting a research proposal, which will then be routed to Framingham’s Laboratory Committee.

How do I request participant contact?
Requests for participant contact may be made by submitting a research proposal, which will then be routed to Framingham’s Executive Committee and the FHS Observational Study Monitoring Board (OSMB).

What are some of the key review considerations of an application?

  • Does the proposal complement the FHS research scope?
  • Is collaboration with an FHS investigator planned?
  • Does the proposal require the unique characteristics of the FHS cohort(s)?
  • Does the proposal put minimal demand on FHS resources?
  • Does the proposal show proof of resources for conducting the project?
  • Investigators are strongly encouraged to use Omni data/biospecimens. If they are proposing not using the Omni 1 when requesting Offspring data or Omni 2 when requesting Gen 3 data, the applicant must provide a compelling scientific rationale for the Omni’s exclusion.

Are there fees associated with receiving data or materials?
Yes, please refer to the fee schedule posted here: FHS Service Center.

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Approval Process

Which committee(s) will review my application?
Please see details here: Submitting a Research Proposal to FHS.

How do I find out my application status?
Applicants may check the status of submitted applications online by logging into the FHS Research Application with their account, selecting the application, selecting “View” and selecting “View Application History.” Notification letters of review committee(s) decision(s) are also saved under “Letters” on the same page and sent to study PIs, by e-mail, shortly after the committee decision.

When do the committees review my proposal?
Please see details here: Submitting a Research Proposal to FHS.

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Types of Applications

What is an Addendum Application?
The Addendum Application allows investigators to extend the scientific aims of a previously approved application. An addendum application may request to add elements to a previously approved application or to follow up on the original application’s resultant data through additional analyses, assays or subjects.

What is an Expedited DNA Application?
The Expedited DNA Application is available for rapid turn-around to follow-up on genetic results, such as genome-wide association study (GWAS) results and may be submitted at any time. Permission will only be granted if the preliminary data for follow-up has reached genome-wide significance.

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Documents for Approved Applications

What is a Distribution Agreement?
The Framingham Data and Materials Distribution Agreement (DMDA) is a material transfer agreement. The investigator initiated agreement is required of all approved data and/or material distributions.

Do I need IRB Approval?
Investigator IRB approval is required of all approved data and/or material distributions along with the DMDA. Although Framingham data is de-identified, FHS is a study of a single community and hence one’s identify can be more easily ascertained, even if traditional identifiers are removed. The NHLBI requires IRB Expedited or Full Board review, IRB Exempt review is not allowed.

What is a Third Party Agreement?
Proposals involving industry sponsorship, in kind services or collaboration with an investigator with industry ties will be evaluated in accordance with the procedures described at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/funding/policies/thirdparty.htm It will be the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to initiate the agreement through an appropriate contractual mechanism.

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Additional Information

What is the Publication Policy?
All publications based on data from the Framingham Heart Study must have an acknowledgement of the Framingham Heart Study. All manuscripts and abstracts based on Framingham Heart Study data must be sent via e-mail to Ann Walsh, at walshac@nhlbi.nih.gov prior to submission for publication.

Is there a Help Desk?
Please email fhsapp@bu.edu with questions regarding the FHS Research Application.

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