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.

Submitting a Research Proposal to FHS

Researchers are encouraged to review the guides below before submitting an application:

How to submit an application:

The FHS Research Application is available to investigators with an approved account. An investigator may request an account through the Research Application link. Upon approval, an email will be sent to the investigator to create their password protect account. The investigator will then be able to create an application through the Research Application web-based platform and submit it for review.

  • Immediately after submission, proposals are routed to one or more research review committees based on the nature of the application, please see below for guidance.
  • The DNA, Lab, and External Review Committee provide expert review for applications that will be decided upon by the FHS Executive Committee.
  • All FHS Research Applications (proposals) require “Approval” or “Approval in Concept” before investigators may submit to sponsors for funding.
  • General Review Committee Considerations
    • Does the proposal require the unique characteristics of the FHS cohort(s)?
    • Is collaboration with a Framingham investigator planned?
    • What Cohort(s) and Exam cycle(s) are required?
    • What Framingham data and/or analyses are needed?
    • Does the proposal show proof of resources for conducting the project?
    • Does the proposal put minimal demand on FHS resources?
    • Does the proposal follow FHS recommendation to include in the design the Omni cohorts that are parallel to Offspring and Third Generation cohorts? Exclusion of the corresponding Omni cohort requires a specific scientific justification.


Application submissions should be made according to the following schedule:

For Review by: Application Should be Received by:
Executive Committee Six weeks before grant deadlines and by the 3rd Monday of the month
Laboratory Committee July 15, August 15, November 15, December 15, March 15, April 15
DNA Committee July 15, August 15, November 15, December 15, March 15, April 15
Research Committee Any time (rolling review)

Applications received past the requested receipt date may be subject to later review.

Review Committees meet as follows:

  • Executive Committee meets twice monthly; usually the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month
  • Laboratory Committee meets 6 times a year; usually 2 weeks after the submission deadline
  • DNA Committee meets 6 times a year; usually 2 weeks after the submission deadline
  • Research Committee is on a rolling review


Routing of applications:

Proposals Involving: Will be reviewed by:
Application to a Sponsor for new funding Executive Committee
New Participant Contact Executive Committee
Third Party Involvement Executive Committee
Genetic Research Requesting
New DNA Specimens with data DNA Committee
Use of Extant DNA Specimens* with data
*DNA already in possession by the PI
DNA Committee
Genetic data (not from dbGaP) Research Committee
Biological specimens with data (other than DNA) DNA and Executive Committee
Research (not gene-based) Requesting
Previously collected clinical data Research Committee
Pedigree structure Research Committee
Biological specimens with data Lab and Executive Committee
Exam chart review Research Committee
Scan image data Research Committee

Routing of applications requesting biospecimens for RNA extraction

Flow of FHS Reviews of RNA Applications
Initial Routing of Applications by Heather Arruda with Advice from EC Chairs as Needed
Source of RNA PLASMA PAX GENE TUBE
Consideration of Scientific Merit Review by DNA Committee Review by DNA Committee
Consideration of Specimen Conservation Review by Lab Committee Review by DNA Committee
DNA and Lab Review Committee Decisions will be routinely reported to the Executive Committee, and reviewed under Committee Reports. Full EC reviews may be needed.


Executive Committee Expedited Review (aka ‘Fast Track’)

Certain applications submitted through the Research Application will qualify for expedited review if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • require no lab or other biospecimen;
  • require no new participant burden;
  • no involvement of a third-party;
  • will use only preexisting de-identified data;
  • falls within the existing informed consent;
  • no distribution of PHI needed (either de-identified or to be analyzed at FHS); and
  • seeking federal support (intramural or extramural) with no for-profit involvement.

Such applications may be reviewed by the FHS Executive Committee in an expedited fashion (e.g. by email), in lieu of review at the regularly scheduled bi-monthly FHS Executive Committee meetings.