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Welcome, New Investigators


The data and specimens collected in CHS represent a major national resource for the study of development and progression of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases in older adults. From the start, CHS has encouraged collaboration.  CHS welcomes New Investigators, especially well-trained investigators early in their research careers, to utilize the valuable resources that have been collected since 1989.

What is a "New Investigator?"

A "New Investigator" is a new Collaborator interested in using the CHS resources for the first time. Typically, a New Investigator is seeking to launch their career, may have a career award, and is considering seeking their first R01 funding. A New Investigator may be affiliated with one of the current institutions that have received funding for this study, or a new institution never before associated with CHS. Regardless, the opportunities to use CHS are the same. They are briefly listed below:

Opportunities to become involved with CHS:

  • Consider participating in one of the CHS Working Groups designed to involve New Investigators. The Working Groups are open to new members on a space-available basis in order to maintain an optimal operational size. Contact the CHS Working Group Coordinator for queries regarding the Working Groups.  See also the CHS Working Groups information page.
  • Obtain data collected by the parent CHS study or by Ancillary Studies to prepare a scientific manuscript for publication on a topic that has not yet been addressed by other investigators.
  • Receive limited preliminary study data summaries to prepare a proposal for funding of secondary analyses of CHS data (e.g R03 grant).
  • Conduct an Ancillary Study, whether to collect/generate new data, or to seek external funding (e.g. any NIH grant, foundation funding, institutional internal funding) for analysis of existing data in a paper or series of papers.

All of the above include the requirement that the effort does not duplicate work already completed or proposed by other investigators using CHS data. See Opportunities and Unique Aspects of CHS.


CHS has collected data several ways, all of which may be available for use by New (and current) Investigators. These data include:

  • Data collected by the parent (CHS) study at 10 clinical examinations conducted by the 4 CHS Field Centers from 1989/90 through 1998/99. See summary & frequency of types of clinic visit data collected.
  • Outcome data (referred to as "Events") collected during follow-up of CHS participants beginning in 1989/90 and continuing in the present. See Events Data collection.
  • Laboratory data include those analyses completed by the CHS Central Blood Laboratory at the University of Vermont on either the entire CHS cohort or a partial sample. See CHS Lab Information.
  • Reading Center data include interpretation of technical procedures conducted during the CHS examinations, such as results of ECGs, echocardiographs, carotid ultrasound, and cerebral imaging.
  • Ancillary Study data collected by investigators who have received external funding for additional data collection and whose data are now available for others to use. See Ancillary Studies.

One may obtain data in 2 ways:

  1. DATA, SUPPORT and COLLABORATION: become a New Investigator to CHS ("CHS Collaborator") using policies and procedures in place for use of data and specimens. A brief explanation of these policies is provided below.
  2. DATA ONLY: request NHLBI Repository data files prepared for external investigator use.



All of the data listed above are available for analyses and inclusion in scientific manuscripts by New (and current) CHS Collaborators for topics not yet published or proposed by other investigators. Specific policies and procedures have been developed for this purpose. Below, several important steps are outlined that are necessary for obtaining CHS data to write a manuscript:

  • Contact a CHS Investigator to serve as a sponsor. See the CHS Directory Group menu for a list of CHS Investigators.
  • Assure that the topic has not yet been addressed. This can be done with your sponsor's assistance.
  • Prepare a manuscript proposal with your sponsor and submit to the CHS Publications and Presentations (P&P) Subcommittee for approval.
  • Currently, funding is available to provide data for a first paper for New Investigators who are not already seeking funding for the same use. See the Funding page for more details.
  • Complete a Data and Materials Distribution Agreement (DMDA) asserting compliance with confidentiality guidelines for use of the data.
  • If you are affiliated with an institution that does not already have Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval for CHS, you must receive your own IRB approval for secondary analyses of CHS data. Institutions that have received funding from CHS contracts have IRB approval and are listed as CHS Centers. See Principal Investigators and Study Sites. All others will need to approval from their own IRB.
  • If you have question about CHS data, please contact the CHS Data group at



Policies have been developed that must be followed to obtain access to samples and data for use in studies ancillary to CHS. See Ancillary Study Policy. In brief, these include:

  • Obtain a "CHS Sponsor", an established CHS investigator who is willing to become involved in your study and help you with use of data and sample acquisition. See the CHS Directory Group menu for a list of CHS Investigators.
  • Assure that your new study has not yet been done in CHS by reviewing with your sponsor other studies that have been proposed or completed.
  • Prepare an Ancillary Study Proposal with your sponsor and submit to CHS for approval prior to submission of the grant proposal. 
  • Include the CHS Coordinating Center and Central Laboratory in your budget for costs associated with data and sample extraction as needed.
  • Include other CHS sites in the budget as needed if involved in your new study.
  • Visit our Forms & Agreements page to download a CHS Data and Materials Distribution Agreement asserting compliance with confidentiality guidelines for use of any data or specimens.
  • Obtain IRB approval for your study from your institution.
  • Agree to allow other CHS investigators to utilize the data collected by your ancillary study after 1 year.
  • Follow CHS manuscript policies for publishing results of your ancillary study. See P&P Policies.

The CHS Coordinating Center is dedicated to help you complete the steps needed to become involved in CHS. Please contact David Siscovick, Chair of the New Investigator Committee for additional information or to answer questions you may have.

See also:


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