PUF Application


Your PUF Application must be completed in one session. Partially completed applications will not be saved in the system; if you close your browser before submitting your PUF Application, your work will be lost.

Before you begin, please review the PUF Application (PDF) and gather the required information and files. Some of the items you will need include:

1) STS National Database Participant ID - 5-digit number corresponding to the affiliated participant in the Adult Cardiac (ACSD), General Thoracic (GTSD), or Congenital Heart (CHSD) surgery databases; or the 4 letter code in case of STS Intermacs/Pedimacs database participants;
2) Principal Investigator contact information and biosketch;
3) Study Statistician information and biosketch;
4) File identifying any Co-­Investigators and providing their contact information;
5) File with proposal Research Plan; and
6) Completed Variable File that corresponds to your study. (Select the Adult Cardiac Variables File, the General Thoracic Variables File, the Congenital Heart Variables File, Intermacs Variables File or Pedimacs Variables File. Next, mark with an “X” in column A next to each variable you want included in your data file, save the file starting with PI initials, and then upload in the corresponding section of the application below.)

  • Note: The Data Analytic Center for Intermacs/Pedimacs proposals derives many variables (i.e. intervals, indicators, etc.) to facilitate the analytical process for researchers requesting PUF files. To request a variable marked as PHI (e.g. death date, implant date, follow-up date, etc.), please refer to the "Derived Variables" worksheet, ordered by the research dataset (Device, Patient, Follow-up, Events) containing each variable, within the PUF Selection spreadsheet. Carefully review the variables of interest, referencing the "Guidance" column as necessary, before choosing your PUF variables.

For information about codes and values for each data variable in the final PUF sent to investigators, please visit the following links:


A $500 application fee is required to process your PUF request. You will be directed to the payment site after submitting your completed application. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

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.

Investigative Team

Principal Investigator

name and title
5-digit number corresponding to the affiliated participant in the Adult Cardiac (ACSD), General Thoracic (GTSD), or Congenital Heart (CHSD) surgery databases; or the 4 letter code in case of STS Intermacs/Pedimacs database participants. ID provided must correspond to the specific STS ND specialty Registry that will be used in the research proposed by the investigative team; e.g. General Thoracic Surgery proposals should provide an ID corresponding to the GTSD.
One file only.
4 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.

Study Statistician1

Study Statistician1
One file only.
4 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.

Other Investigators

One file only.
4 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.

1 A PhD level study statistician is typically required by STS for PUF requests, unless otherwise authorized by the PUF Task Force.

PUF Research Project Information

Select Database

Investigators must provide a full list of requested data fields based on the applicable STS National Database - Data Collection Form (Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, General Thoracic Surgery Database, Congenital Heart Surgery Database, Intermacs Database or Pedimacs Database).

One file only.
10 MB limit.
Allowed types: xlsx, xls.

PUF Research Study Plan

All applications must be accompanied by a concise, informative Research Plan that will be reviewed by the STS Research Center staff, assigned reviewers, and PUF Task Force chairs and members. The Research Plan should generally adhere to the following format:

Research Plan (5-6 pages)

1. Study Background
2. Overview - Hypothesis/Aim
3. Study Plan/Approach
     3.1   Study Patients
        3.1.1   Study Inclusion Criteria
        3.1.2   Study Exclusion Criteria
     3.2   Statistical Methods
     3.3   Timetable for Executing the Study2
     3.4   Dissemination Plans3

2After receiving the data file, a 3- to 6-month suggested time­line is recommended for completion of PUF analyses, depending on scope and complexity. If a PUF analysis is not completed within 6 months, then the PUF Task Force may approve a similar or closely related PUF proposal submitted by other investigators.

3STS strongly suggests that the investigators target the STS Annual Meeting and The Annals of Thoracic Surgery as the meeting and publication forums, respectively, for dissemination of PUF­-based research. If PUF research output is presented at the STS Annual Meeting, then the STS Board of Directors or Executive Committee may waive the requirement that it be published in The Annals in exceptional circumstances.

One file only.
20 MB limit.
Allowed types: pdf, doc, docx.

To complete your application, please click "Submit."