About the ANZSCTS Database Research Program
The ANZSCTS Database Research Program is directed by Professor Christopher Reid and its activities are financially supported through a NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship and NHMRC Program Grant awarded to Professor Reid. The Database encourages collaborative research and the Research Program focuses on three broad themes of research pertaining to (a) risk prediction; (b) intra-operative procedural factors; and (c) improvement of clinical outcomes following cardiac surgery. To facilitate this work, the ANZSCTS Database has established links to a number of datasets including the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s National Death Index.
The Research Program is driven and managed by the Centre of Cardiovascular Research and Education in Therapeutics (CCRET) at Monash University, with surgeon representatives providing valuable insight and knowledge to each research project through membership with the ANZSCTS Database Research Committee.
Research activities are governed by the Research Committee, which is chaired by Professor Julian Smith. Research Committee members include the Chair, the Research Program Director, surgeon representatives, and nominees from the CCRET. The Committee meets quarterly to review applications and other data access or research related matters.
Prof Julian Smith
Chair ANZSCTS RC / ANZSCTS Surgeon
Prof Christopher Reid
Research Program Director
Mr Gil Shardey
Chair ACSRI Ltd
Prof Alistair Royse
Mr Andrew Newcomb
Mr Bruce Davis
Mr Cheng-Hon Yap
Prof Robert Baker
Dr Jenni Williams-Spence
Dr Lavinia Tran
Ms Angela Brennan
Information for Researchers
Please read the ANZSCTS Database Data Access Policy carefully for full information regarding research projects. The below information provides condensed answers to the most common questions.
What data can be requested?
Researchers can request access to non-identifiable case-level data for the entire dataset or a subset of hospitals, if appropriate. Researchers interested in a specific hospital should approach the unit directly – individual hospitals have access to a full copy of their data available to them at any time.
Datasets with National Death Index data including long-term mortality information are available with special permission. Research datasets do not include variables to separate or identify based on hospital, clinician, or hospital state/country. No information that could identify patients will be shared under any circumstances. Researchers can contact the Database team (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a full list of the data fields collected by participating hospitals.
Who can request data?
Anyone can submit a research project application to the Research Committee; however, only projects that include at least one ANZSCTS member as an investigator will be considered. Researchers interested in using ANZSCTS Database data who do not have support from an ANZSCTS member should contact the Program Manager to discuss their options.
Industry and commercial bodies are usually not approved to access data from the ANZSCTS Database; however, each request is decided on a case-by-case basis and the Research Committee welcome these applications.
How can successful applicants access data?
The Database utilises a system that allows investigators to remotely and securely access and analyse data, which is known as the Monash Secure eResearch Platform (SeRP). The platform can be customised to meet the researcher’s specific software and technical requirements. The Monash SeRP is associated with set-up and maintenance fees and researchers are encouraged to discuss these in advance with the Program Manager.
What conditions are there for accessing data?
The collective ANZSCTS Database dataset is managed in line with ethics approvals, state and commonwealth privacy legislation, stringent data management procedures, and participating hospital agreements to protect against potential breaches of privacy as well as to ensure appropriate ethical integrity. Accordingly, identifiable data will not be provided under any circumstances, and each project must obtain separate ethics approval (either low-risk or full ethics depending on the project). Researchers can use the Information to Assist with Ethics Applications document to support preparation of an application, and HREC approval may be sought prior to, or after, approval by the Research Committee.
Researchers will need to sign a Confidentiality Statement prior to accessing the data, provide regular progress reports, and there are requirements researchers must meet prior to publishing their results. These requirements are outlined in the Data Access Policy.
Is it possible to link the ANZSCTS Database to other datasets?
Linkage projects are possible but must meet strict conditions, consistent with the Database’s ethics approval, patient information sheets and study protocol. Researchers interested in a linkage project should discuss this with the Program Manager in the first instance.
Can data be accessed for non-research purposes?
It is possible to obtain summary data or analyses for certain non-research purposes. Requests are assessed on a case-by-case basis, separate from the Research Program. For further information, visit the ‘Submitting a Request for Summary Data‘ section on the ‘Information for Professionals’ page.
How do I submit a research project application?
All applications must receive approval from the Research Committee. Approvals are granted based on many factors, including interest to the community, the track record of investigators, and the quality of the proposal.
To initiate a formal request, researchers should complete and submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) summarising their project for the Program Manager to review. This ensures the proposed project is appropriate and does not duplicate existing research. A list of previously completed projects is also available on request via email@example.com.
Researchers with successful EOIs will be invited to submit a full application for review by the Research Committee using a proforma that will be supplied. The Research Committee will review the project at the next available meeting.
Please note the application deadlines for both EOIs and full applications below. Late applications will be held over to the following meeting and incomplete applications will not be considered. There are limits on the number of projects that can be reviewed each meeting and if the number of applications exceed these, projects will be reviewed in order of submission.
2021 Research Deadlines:
|EOI Deadline||Full Application Deadline||Meeting Date|
|Wednesday 16th December 2020||Wednesday 20th January 2021||Monday 8th February 2021|
|Wednesday 24th March 2021||Wednesday 21st April 2021||Monday 10th May 2021|
|Wednesday 23rd June 2021||Wednesday 21st July 2021||Monday 9th August 2021|
|Wednesday 22nd September 2021||Wednesday 20th October 2021*||Monday 8th November 2021*|
* Subject to change
Note: Information regarding requests for summary data by participating hospitals is on the Information for Professionals page.
Dr Jenni Williams-Spence
+61 3 9903 0229